Puffer jackets and chic styling don't often go together at first glance. How to style a puffer jacket isn't top of mind for most people. Instead, winter dressing is usually about making sure that you're mentally and emotionally ready to step out of the door without regretting not putting on that extra layer of clothing.
As a new-ish New Yorker who has never experienced a true winter in her entire life, I have to admit that I'm in the latter camp. So when it came to finding a winter jacket that both looked and felt good, I knew I had my work cut out for me—until I asked Karla Welch, that is.
Welch, who has years of experience styling top A-List clientele like Hailey Bieber, Tracee Ellis Ross, America Ferrera, Karlie Kloss, and Lorde, among others, partnered with Canada Goose this fall and winter to make puffer jacket outfits feel more like a creative choice rather than a chore.
"We really wanted to show how a warm functional coat can add to a look and become part of the entire fit vs. just something you wear to stay warm and dry," Welch, who partnered with the legacy outwear brand in styling its fall/winter 2023 drop, explained. "This new collection is super flattering on the wearer and the color offerings are in arrays of muted tones with pastels here and there, that can easily work themselves into any wardrobe and on any type of person."
She's not wrong—a quick glance at the in-season offerings drastically shows that this isn't your father's bulky all-black winter puffer of the past. Earth tones and soft, muted mattes instantly elevate the collection, with a minimalist take on quilting, logos, and hardware from the Canada Goose design team.
Opt for Currated Proportations
"For me, the jacket has to add to the look—sometimes it can even be the look, but especially for cold weather, I can’t have a jacket ruin the vibe nor can we have the weather ruin it," Welch explained. Long gone are the days of hiding a well-curated 'fit behind an ill-fitting, boring puffer jacket. Instead of something more traditional, Welch suggests playing with proportions when it comes to styling a puffer jacket.
"Oversize silhouettes continue to be a trend that I love and like to integrate into my personal style, and [with] my clients," she explained, going on to emphasize the importance of finding the right balance. If you're going with a warmer puffer jacket, it often comes at the expense of being more filled than other puffers. In this case, Welch suggests going for a base layer that feels more sleek and sophisticated.
If you're skeptical, take it from Welch herself, who usually opts for a puffer during long days on-set: "I frequently wear the Rhoda [jacket] while on set, especially for music videos that go through the night. I also love the vests! Living in L.A. doesn’t exactly give us tons of cold weather, but the vests are perfect for our winter, plus I love to travel in it."
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Before joining Who What Wear, Ana was Glamour magazine's editorial assistant, where she focused on daily news and special packages, including leading the brand's 2022 Met Gala coverage. For more than half a decade, she has covered style, beauty, and digital culture for publications such as Paper magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Japan, and Allure, among others. Ana has been called a rising star in media by publications such as Nylon and Teen Vogue. (Her mother, meanwhile, calls her "the coolest person" she knows.)