How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Lindsey Lanquist
How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man
Photo: Allison Kahler.

Scroll To See More Images

The question “to wear a puffy winter coat, or not to wear a puffy winter coat?” is more complicated than it initially appears. Because puffy winter coat outfits are all form, no fashion—all function, no flair. To wear a puffy winter coat is to admit defeat in the eyes of the fashion gods: You’ve chosen practicality in all its puffy, chunky and surprisingly immobile glory. Lacking the sleek sophistication of a trench or retro ruggedness of a letterman jacket, puffy winter coats are the enemy of the sartorially minded; all they have to offer is warmth.

Or so I thought. But a deep dive into the world of street style takes on puffy winter coat outfits revealed that my logic was myopic, at best (and offensively small-minded, at worst). There are near-countless ways to sport a puffy winter coat—and to do so stylishly; the repertoire isn’t limited solely to tossing a longline black down jacket over whatever you’re already wearing. Puffy winter coats can serve as statement-makers in their own right—one-stop shops for style that elevate an outfit from ordinary to eye-catching. And understanding their full potential transforms them from reluctant necessity to winter wardrobe must-have.

Ahead, a visual guide to the myriad statement-making puffy winter coat outfits that have entered our sartorial history thus far. Some are shockingly elegant, others feel strictly streetwear-appropriate and others offer elevated (and cold weather-appropriate) takes on athleisure. Regardless of your style (and level of puffy winter coat skepticism), you’re sure to meet at least one puffy winter coat outfit you like—just keep scrolling.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

The off-the-shoulder trend isn’t exclusively reserved for tops and dresses.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Nothing dresses up an all-black-everything athleisure look like a metallic puffer coat—and, let’s be real, some embellished slides.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Split-sleeve coats are the perfect excuse to show off the boldest sweaters in your closet. (Especially if the rest of your outfit is comprised of pieces that match said sweater.)

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Puffer vests are totally on the menu, too.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Sometimes, ya just gotta let your puffer coat be the entire outfit.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Because statement-making style looks good no matter what you layer over it.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Colorblocked, cropped and begging to elevate any tee-and-jeans combo.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.

You’d seamlessly layer an olive trench over an all-neutral-everything ensemble, so why not treat your olive puffer coat the same way?

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Short-sleeve puffer coats are your excuse to have fun with silhouette.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

I mean, why not treat your go-to puffer coat like a shawl?

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.

As far as longline puffer coats go, tan is a seriously underrated color.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

Because puffer coats and delicate prints aren’t—and shouldn’t be—mutually exclusive.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

Who knew head-to-toe camel and red puffy coats could look this good?

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Nothing makes an instant statement quite like a colorful, outfit-dominating coat.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Layering outerwear is a thing—puffy coats, included.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

If there’s a time and place for cropped sweatshirts, there’s also a time and place for cropped puffer coats—layered over crop tops.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

A plaid puffer coat is just an excuse to have a ton of fun with styling.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images for Zalando.

Embrace the inherent fun of a colorful puffy jacket by pairing it with equally voluminous, equally eye-catching pieces.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Because longline coats are only accentuated by long sweaters and long pants.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images.

The opportunities to have fun with color, texture and silhouette are near-endless.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

OK, this puffer coat is literally runway worthy.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Simplicity is always an option.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

Part-cape, part-coat, part-avant garde masterpiece—whoever said puffer coats were one-trick ponies was seriously misinformed.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.

Amazing how the addition of a simple puffy coat took this outfit from simple to standout, huh?

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

Because puffy doesn’t have to mean massive.

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Colorblocked, cropped, textured and paired with metallic gloves—have I died and gone to puffer coat outfit heaven?

STYLECASTER | How to Style Your Favorite Puffy Coat Without Looking Like the Michelin Man

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

See? Elegance is always an option.

share