The puffer jacket might be notorious for being a ski essential, or at least an obvious piece in winter attire, but there is so much more to the much-beloved puffer than one might think.
People who experience the colder season yearly have at least one puffer jacket in their arsenal. It isn’t just a shield against the elements; it is also quite cozy and comfortable. Add to it a few tweaks and decorative embellishments, as is the case with the offerings of many brands nowadays, and you have a remarkable fashion item.
And how did this particular thing come to be, you might wonder? Unsurprisingly, it was borne out of necessity, as the creator conceived the very first rendition of it as protection against extremely chilly weather. Invented in 1936 by Eddie Bauer, the idea came to him after an unfortunate encounter with hypothermia. And he was right to think that such an invention would serve as adequate protection against the cold.
Charles James was the one responsible for reinventing the puffer jacket into something that did not just serve utility but also style. However, it wasn’t until the late 1970s when Norma Kamali helped with incorporating the jacket further into the fashion world. Inspired by his camping trip, he created the sleeping bag coat. This was well-received because while it provided warmth, it also came in multiple colors. And in the 80s, Moncler contributed to its further popularization, as their attire was worn by the wealthy and fashionable young crowd in Milan. On another side of the world, in cities such as Chicago and New York, the puffer jacket soon became uniform for the hip-hop generation of the 90s.
Since then, the puffer never really faded out of the fashion scene. Big brands such as Balenciaga, John Galliano, and Helmut Lang, out of many others, have embraced the versatility and appeal of the puffer jacket and added their own touches to it. The puffer jacket continues to dominate the runway, the streets, and even the stage.
By Sophie Jocson