The Search for the Perfect Puffer Coat


navy coat (updated 2020 version) | green coat (updated 2020 version)

I’ve been on the search for the perfect puffer coat for 6 years now. Every year, I search the stores, the catalogs, the blogs…nothing has been quite right. I wanted something lightweight and not too constricting, with nice lines that don’t make me look like a giant marshmallow — something warm of course that covers my tush, and most importantly (or so I thought) something fun…or at least interesting…or with some sort of oomph. I have spent years wearing a terribly boring long black puffer that had no pizazz whatsoever.

Last winter, I gave up on my search for the perfect puffer and bought what I thought (at the time) was the most boring coat ever from Uniqlo. Navy blue, no embellishments, no detailed cuffs, no interesting snaps, no fancy fur hood…just a navy blue basic puffer. The first time I wore it though, I got so many compliments that I started reconsidering my idea of the perfect puffer. This Uniqlo coat is super comfy, has a pretty great matte finish, nice lines, and is a perfect neutral for all the pops of color I usually like to add. Last year, I wore it with my bright yellow hat with the pink puff ball on top, my red color block hat, and with lots of fun bags and statement sunglasses too. And I keep getting compliments on my very basic (dare I say a bit boring?) coat. It seems like there are a lot of others on the search for the perfect puffer too. Shana coveted it last year and kept threatening to buy the exact same coat in the exact same color and the exact same length. I kept reminding her that we see each other a ridiculous number of times per day on our city life paths, and we will look awfully silly walking to school next to each other in the same coat all winter long. Luckily for me, it sold out super fast last year, and she was out of luck. This year, however, it’s back.

I may have found the solution, though, because I think I have now FINALLY found the perfect puffer I was initially looking for. Boden came out with a beautiful puffer with contrasting trim, detailed cuff sleeves, fun racer stripes, AND a contrasting faux-fur hood lining. So now, of course, I can’t decide. I obviously don’t NEED another puffer coat, and I’ve grown to love my basic blue puffer, but I do think this IS the perfect puffer I’ve been looking for the past 6 years.

A terrible dilemma, right? Ha! So….TME readers (you know you guys have a good eye for these types of things), help me out:

1. Do I go with the Boden green one and let Shana rock the navy blue Uniqlo one she so desperately wants?
2. Stick with the blue one that’s been tried and true?
3. Choose the best of both worlds and rationalize owning and wearing both…and just rub it in when I see Shana that I have not one, but TWO  fabulous puffers now? (PICK OPTION 3! PICK OPTION 3!!!)
4. Keep the search going…maybe something even better is out there (I won’t be offended if you pick this option, I promise.)

Think you can't rock a puffer coat when the temps drop? Think again. We're obsessed with these warm, long winter coats in 2 unexpected & gorg colors.Think you can't rock a puffer coat when the temps drop? Think again. We're obsessed with these warm, long winter coats in 2 unexpected & gorg colors.Think you can't rock a puffer coat when the temps drop? Think again. We're obsessed with these warm, long winter coats in 2 unexpected & gorg colors.Think you can't rock a puffer coat when the temps drop? Think again. We're obsessed with these warm, long winter coats in 2 unexpected & gorg colors.

Puffer Details

Navy Coat: Seamless Down Short Coat (updated 2020 version)– (size s for reference) – comes in 8 different colors, water-repellant, wind-proof, lightweight and wonderful to wear. Comes in a longer and shorter version, but I think this one hits at just the right spot.  Last year’s sold out fast, fast, fast.

Green Coat: Boden Puffer (updated 2020 version) – (size 4 for reference) – comes in a really beautiful black with yellow details and a good navy as well, functional and super-cute contrasting ribbed cuffs, Boden-branded poppers down the front (snaps) along with a front zipper, and removable faux fur trim.

Shana’s Outfit Details

Jeans: AG Ankle Jean – Shana looks so great in these jeans. AG is not for my body type, but works so well for Shana’s.

Boots:  Free People Celine Ankle Boot – These looks so good with Eve-ry-Thing! So good.

Linzi’s Outfit Details

Jeans: Unfortunately my new favorite jeans from Pilcro have sold out in black, but these are almost identical.

Backpack: I finally replaced my old Fjallraven this year with a new Fjallraven. I’m loving the added laptop sleeve (which my previous one didn’t have), the multiple organizing pockets, and the color selections (loving the new chestnut color!)

Boots: You guys are probably sick of me talking about my clog boots. I’m really loving them, though. There’s a waitlist for most sizes, here are a few other options of similar ones if you don’t want to wait for the black Lottas.

Let me know what you guys think…



  1. It’s a splurge, but the Moncler Barbel is worth every penny! I had been on the hunt for years for a puffer I actually liked- the Moncler is perfection. Try it!

  2. Definitely 3, unless you are super pressed for closet space or need the extra cash from selling your blue one to Shana. But you live in a place with legit winter and you should have a warm coat that makes your heart sing. Keeping the blue one as a backup isn’t a terrible idea, but if you get halfway through winter and you’re just not wearing it, you might consider donating it to a coat drive.

  3. I absolutely love you both! I chose 4 . If you are serious about warm and style go with Lole. Montreal and Quebec City is my husband and mine date city of choice., AND we only seem to get away in the winter. 5 years ago I wandered around Montreal seriously cold. I admired all the bad ass warm and stylish ladies and wondered what they were wearing. I basically stalked them and walked close enough to read the label. It was always Lole. Found the store and tried on the shiny Katie special edition jacket. Went home to Vermont and thought about it. Finally ordered at full prize and it has hands down been the best purchase ever. They still have the Katie but not in shiny black BUT they have the Emmy in shiny black and that might be even better than mine. Regardless you two are the best. Thanks Linzi for making sure the world knows about Dansko booties..amazing!

    • I love Lole coats too. They are sooooo pretty. I’ve found many of them to be bit higher than my usual price range, but good to know you have found it’s worth it! Maybe I need to order a Lole and a Moncler for “research purposes.” Ha!

  4. Oh, I like the Boden one, fun details! the blue one is a good basic though. I just found a great new puffer from North Face at Nordstrom Rack last week – great olive green with black faux fur inside and get this – it’s reversible too! and when Winter really sets in here in Pittsburgh, I’ll stick with my full length black down parka with huge hood from LL Bean! ha! not high fashion, but super warm!

  5. Navy. It’s classic and you can funk it up however, forever. That racer stripe will go out of style in a snap of your finger.

  6. Oh my god that green one is amazing! The navy one is cute but the green is really special. Sell your blue one to Shana and buy that green coat and wear the hell out of it! (After making sure that it’s warm and cozy enough to serve as your primary winter coat of course.)

  7. I choose option 3. If you live in a place with real winter, then go for another coat. Winter seems to last forever here and I have multiple coats to get me through.

  8. I never think puffer coats look good on ANYONE, but wow, Linzi, the navy one looks really good! You should keep it! A flattering puffer coat–seems like a rare find.

    Shana, I love your boots, but the Zappos page makes them look kind of pre-worn on the toe. Is that how they looked on yours or is it just the Zappos photo? I need a black bootie that is comfortable and stylish, but that is nice enough to go with work pants, too, and I think the worn toe thing may not do it…thoughts?

    • They are pre-worn on the toe. NOT as much as the Zappos page makes them look, but enough so that I don’t LOVE them with black work pants. It’s annoying. I’ve also tried to find dressier sock boots that are as comfortable for walking, and have the perfect (higher) shaft and….nothing. I always end up going back to these ones. So yeah – I wear these with black work pants. It’s not the best possible situation, but I find it’s usually good enough. Ugh – not the most helpful, I know. xoxo

  9. I have been looking for a long puffer for a trip to New York. I’m very petite at 5 to 5.1 feet tall so wondering if you think these two options might be way too long on my frame?? I seems you both are a bit taller than 5 to 5.1 feet tall.

    • I’m 5’2, Lisa, so not that much taller than you and Shana is right around that same height too. The boots we are both wearing, though, have heels. The Uniqlo coat doesn’t feel too overwhelming…The Boden one might feel too long on your frame. Boden has free returns, though, so if you like it…it might be worth a try. I often will order a couple of sizes from them since returns are easy.

  10. I looked for my perfect leather jacket for eight years, so I understand. I say trust your gut. You need to keep the green one for sure. Hold onto the navy for a few months, then decide.

  11. 1. The green is so fun and I am always drawn to something a little more fun. I however have learned usually the more neutral coat is the best option. I would pick the navy for myself and add fun accessories like you said. I also don’t have a lot of cold weather so I want something classic to last a long time since it doesn’t get a ton of wear every season. Since you have cold weather maybe you need the green one to cheer you up all winter. ?

  12. That navy coat is so cute I ordered it instantly. Now if you could just suggest some fun winter gloves, hats and scarves to dress it up, this old Wisconsin girl *might* be able to get a little excited for winter.

  13. Thanks for the coat recommendations! I’m in the south, so your light weight coat is my heavy winter coat. My vote: Sell the navy one to Shana, then buy the Boden navy with green stripe version! Just my two cent’s 😉 Thanks always for the style inspiration!

  14. I have the black ones and they are a bit pre-worn on the toe. I really love these boots but they are more casual. If you are looking for something super clean looking for a more formal work environment l would keep looking.

  15. I bought the Navy Uniqlo coat too last year because I was tired of a sea of black. I don’t really care for the Boden coat but if you like it, I say buy both. You can never have too many coats and it is more fun to switch it up in the winter and alternate wearing both.

    I recently boat a navy wool coat with a hood from Muji. Love the fun shape and it is something different than the sea of black puffers you see everywhere.

  16. You guys are so AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much for all the comments! So…I just got home from the post office. I returned the Boden one. I love it, but I’ve had both hanging up on my coat rack and every day I reach for the Uniqlo one. Maybe it’s out of habit that I reach for my old one…but maybe not. I’m going to keep searching for the absolute perfect puffer that meets all of the requirements above….the Boden one is really good, but the green isn’t quite “my” green…it’s a little too subdued of a color to be the perfect coat for me, I think. It IS really good, though…ugh…I will probably second guess this decision all season long. Ha. Thanks again for all the comments! You guys are too much fun. 🙂 . I think I’ve found my new personal style consultants.

  17. Linzi and Shana – can either of you comment on the warmth of either of these 2 coats, but more on the Uniqlo one which I love the look of but fear it may not be warm enough for a MN winter. Also, the Uniqlo ones say hand wash for washing instructions. I’m used to throwing my puffers in the washing machine but if these are hand wash only they may be too much work for me 🙁

    • The Boden one definitely felt lighter weight and didn’t feel quite as toasty. I wore the Uniqlo one, though, every day this past winter walking about 5 miles a day outside in Philadelphia with no problems, but Philly doesn’t get as cold as MN for sure and I’m never standing around outside for very long (I’m usually on the move). MN winters are no joke I know…are you better off with one of the more technical brands? Patagonia, North Face, Spyder, Marmot??? I’m afraid I don’t know…may be worth giving the Uniqlo one a try, though…it’s less $ than the technical brands and kept me plenty warm in Philly. As for hand washing…no way could I be bothered with that. I throw it in the washer on gentle and then lay it flat to dry and it has been fine.

  18. Linzi, thanks so much for the input. I can see now that neither will work for me. I have patagonia jackets and a mountain hardware coat for the truly worst winter days but they make me look and feel even more horizontally challenged than I really am. I’m looking for some semblance of style while still being warm 🙂 The lole coats mentioned above have me intrigued. The local REI never have enough variety of styles/ sizes in stock to try out different kinds of jackets. Would it be a challenge you guys could get into ????

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