Find the Right Puffer Coat for Your Figure
If You Have a Tummy
Look for: A shaped cut, which gives the illusion of an hourglass figure. And “diagonal lines or smaller insets at the waist are slimming,” says Matthew Friedman, a trend analyst for Larry Levine.
Avoid: Tummy-accentuating belts, bulky pockets, and cropped lengths.
To buy: Helly Hansen down-blend coat with airflow zippers on arms, $325, hellyhansen.com.
For a Tummy
To buy: Soia & Kyo down-blend coat, $350, soiakyo.com.
If You Have a Large Bust
Look for: Styles that are roomy enough to accommodate an ample chest yet narrow at the midsection, so your waist won’t look thick.
Avoid: Big shawl collars that add volume to the bust area, says Liz Yager, a designer at Eileen Fisher.
To buy: Club Monaco down coat, $298, 212-459-9863.
For a Large Bust
To buy: Larry Levine down-blend coat with detachable hood, $130, macys.com.
If You Are Petite
Look for: A shortish coat, either a bomber or hip-length, which shows more leg, making you seem taller, says Ilan Elfassy, the founder of Soia & Kyo. Knee-length works if the waistline aligns with yours.
Avoid: Maxis, too-long sleeves, or broad shoulders—you’ll look lost.
To buy: Improvd polyester coat that converts to a bomber or vest, $398, 212-242-4020.
For a Petite Frame
To buy: Nine West Outerwear down-blend coat, $150, wilsonsleather.com.
If You Have Full Hips and Thighs
Look for: A coat that doesn’t pull across the bottom when zippered and a past-the-hips hem to streamline your figure, says Friedman. Try a nipped-in style to create a nice silhouette.
Avoid: Cuts that are short and boxy or slim and straight.
To buy: Eileen Fisher down-blend coat with fleece-lined pockets, $318, eileenfisher.com.
For Full Hips and Thighs
To buy: Larry Levine down-blend coat, $130, macys.com.
3 Puffy Coat Problems Solved
“My Puffy Down Coat? Not So Puffy Anymore”
To revive down that’s been flattened, follow these steps from Brady Barry, a sales and marketing coordinator for Helly Hansen.
1. Wash the jacket in a front-loading washer (a top loader’s agitator is too rough) in warm water on a gentle cycle. Use a non-detergent cleaner, like Nikwax Down Wash ($10, reicom). Remove any fur trim first; if you can’t, dry-clean the coat.
2. Run the coat through two rinse cycles (the second one should be detergent-free) so that the coat is free of all soap residue.
3. Throw a couple of new tennis balls into the dryer, set to low, along with the coat; the balls will prevent the feathers from clumping. Dampness can cause mildew, so run the dryer until the coat is totally dry. Note: This may take several hours.
“Do Flattering Plus-Size Puffers Actually Exist?”
They sure do! Head straight for these brands.
- Columbia Sportswear: Sizes 1X to 3X, columbia.com.
- Dress Barn: Sizes 1X to 3X, dressbarn.com.
- Eileen Fisher: Sizes 1X to 3X, eileenfisher.com.
- Larry Levine: Sizes 1X to 3X, macys.com.
“It Rained, and Now My Down Jacket Is Soaked”
The first thing to do is wash the coat. Then you’ll be able to treat it so water will bead off its surface during the next downpour. Complete step 1 of the directions above. But instead of following step 2, put about three capfuls of Nikwax Down Proof ($12.50, rei.com) in the machine’s detergent dispenser and set the water temperature to warm. (That’s one cycle for cleaning and a second for waterproofing.) Dry the coat as described in step 3. Reapply every six to eight washes. You may want to treat your well-worn ski jacket, too, since a built-in water-resistant coating can fade over time.