Jackets and coats are often an investment piece that help to get you through the colder months, choosing the right type is not only important for your comfort but also for your style. Two popular options right now are the puffer jacket and the parka jacket, both have their pros and cons.
Here is a brief overview of each style to help you pick which is best for you:
The history of the Puffer – designed out of necessity
The puffer jacket was never actually designed to be a fashion item. In fact, inventor Eddie Bauer created the first down jacket in 1936 out of sheer necessity following on from a fishing expedition where he nearly froze to death.
An English designer was there inspired by the style in 1937 and adapted it. Over the decades the design has been amended but its signature ‘puffy’ look has been maintained.
Puffer jackets are now everywhere, from the catwalk to fashion retailers. They are worn as part of an everyday look during the colder months or form part of an essential outfit for performing in winter sports like skiing.
The history of the Parka – a traditional caribou Inuit style
Likewise, the parka jacket was also created to be a practical item of clothing. The Caribou Inuit tribes first used these to stay warmer in the harsh Canadian Arctic weather, they used materials such as seal or caribou skin and often waterproofed them using fish oil.
The United States military and other professions such as pilots then began to wear the style in an effort to keep warm while on duty. The coat’s large pockets were useful for carrying food or other essentials.
Later, ‘mods’ bought the coat into fashion in the latter half of the 20th century and eventually celebrities began to embrace the trend.
Why wear a Puffer Jacket?
Puffer jackets are everywhere and it’s now easy to buy puffer jackets for men online and at major fashion retailers. One selling point for this coat is the insulation it contains, which can be made up of down or synthetic down material.
Down filled jackets are usually the warmest but both types have the potential to keep you from getting cold in sub zero temperatures. The stitching on these coats is part of their unique puff style, it can be vertical, horizontal or even diamond shaped.
These quilted jackets are ideal for outdoorsy types and those that really feel the cold. Paired with jeans or other warm materials, this jacket will keep you toasty throughout the season.
Why wear a parka?
The parka is traditionally longer than the puffer jacket and tends to have a hood with insulated filling. Cotton, polyester and nylon are all popular materials used to make the modern parka.
The high fill in a parka will keep you warm in chilly weather and the waterproofing will protect you through rain showers. Some are made to withstand a light rain, while others are fully waterproofed to protect you during a storm.
parkas tend to have pockets for convenience and these are usually either zip pockets on either side or pockets with a flap and popper or button.
Final thoughts on which jacket to buy…
Overall, the parka jacket is longer, heavier and more likely to have a hood and large pockets. Whereas, puffers are lightweight and designed to protect you from wind and rain.
The best option depends on your outfit style choice, the weather conditions and requirements for features such as pockets. Both styles are truly versatile and are unlikely to go out of fashion any time soon.