Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Practically Cool

Top: An unidentified Berghaus puffa and the Moncler advert Fall/Winter 2009 by Bruce Weber.
Second top: Arsene Wenger in the Football Manager look and Spring/Summer 2011 Moncler ad by Bruce Weber. Middle: The famous get-ups in East 17's 'Stay Another Day' music video and Penfield Summit puffas. Bottom: Supreme puffa (see similar here) and a trusty Uniqlo Ultra Light Men's Down jacket.

Yes, it's cold. It's cold, it's cold, it's cold. It really is bloody cold. But that's old hat and not enough to warrant the 'snow causes disruptions' headlines that plague British news channels year after year. Although perhaps because the bitter breath of winter is once again breathing down our necks, I've been looking at puffa jackets in a whole new light. I have realised that sensibly swaddled Football managers, and, well East 17 are the surprising key holders of the wisdom of keeping warm. Of course, there are lots of things that can keep you properly warm but they're not always the things that we might like to wear. Puffa jackets used to belong in this league for me. They were something I didn't think much about, by no means a 'rare' un-traversed item of clothing-loads of people wear puffas-just something that maybe I associated with school children or Italian men and not myself. But the quilted down, the voluptuous Michelin-man curves have an new appeal because my semester abroad in America is now just around the corner and I've been looking to Bruce Weber and wise on-location Directors because they are exactly the people to know about riding out a severe chill of which I'm to expect in Massachusetts. 

There is unsurprisingly a wealth of variety when it comes to puffas, do you like them nipped in at the waist or bulky and 'turkey fat'? There are those that graze the knees-not much my bag as then it really does avoke the 'child eaten by coat' look as seen at school-or boxy ones that hit just under the hips to avoid muffin top breezes. Brr. In my book the most important decision probably comes down to the fabric. The Moncler type puffa is flashier with it's super duper shine while it's more matte, waxy counterparts suggest that 'Director getting a job done' practicality which is exactly what I like about puffas in the first place. The idea of wearing this type (see the Supreme one in the collage) with a stubby pony tail, a sliver of green boiled wool skirt (see Cos) maybe a Dries Van Noten gold hair band and some leather boots or Nikes is to me, the holy image.

Although that doesn't sound too unpalatable an outfit, I suppose the Puffa is also an extension of the other geekier items that have wooed me over the last couple of years and which read like a list of Dad memorabilia (if such a things exists) Fishing jackets, dungarees and teva sandals move over, for the Puffa! Or just love each other in a brotherly way, united in your common purpose. The common purpose of being Practically Cool. In which practicality ever so slightly limits the end result and that in itself is is what makes it not only snug but slightly smug-the wardrobe equivalent of a nonchalant shoulder shrug 'It's cool, I'm warm in this.'


WendyB said...

People like to tease my for my ultra-puffed, cropped, fringed puffa! :-D

Anonymous said...

puffas have been on my mind too! i'm starting to think its not how cold it gets that matters, its how warm I can get! and I am going to be warm!

I saw some amazing ones at Macy's via Shopstyle.com

Totally rocks!

fivefeetnothing said...

it's the italian family dream to own a good puffa jacket!

I saw some quite nice ones in Mango, they are like walking around in a quilt!

Nadja said...

Your writing really is great, so warm and intelligent and down-to-earth. It's so refreshing to find a fashion blog that focuses on STYLE as well as "fasshunn": it seems like you get the perfect balance between relevant-to-real-life musings and the necessary inspirational dab of fantasy eye-candy. Big big props (and I do love a puffa)

Unknown said...

I work as a teacher in South Korea now and the hot new thing is bomber jackets. The kids actually look super cute in forest green ones.