The “Nostalgic Puffer” Jacket Is Now a Thing, And We Love It
Classic warmth + vintage vibes = a good look
Your correspondent has always been a sucker for nostalgia. And as a kid who grew up running around ski lodges after a long day on the slopes while his parents consumed pitchers of beer and sang along to bad renditions of “American Pie” performed by barroom troubadours, I have very fond memories of oversize sunglasses and puffy, colorblocked jackets in all manner of eye-catching, semi-cringey hues.
Lucky for me, that’s exactly the era that designers have been hearkening back to of late, giving the now-ubiquitous “puffer” jacket (fun fact: originally designed for a 1922 Everest expedition that turned out pretty poorly for all involved) a welcome dose of Reagan-era pizazz.
This is throwback style at its finest, and options abound. Below, a few of our favorites to channel your inner ski-bum — accompanying drunken singalong not required, but recommended.
ML x LF Telluride Puffer Hoodie
Straight up this is the dopest jacket on this list, and this list is 100% dope jackets. Perfect old-school color combo (gotta love a good dose of baby blue), perfect amount of puff, just perfect all-around. Kudos, Marine Layer.
Rab Asylum Jacket
It’s subtle, but the deliberately muted tones here are so damn era-appropriate. This puffer is stylishly drab, and that is a really hard thing to nail.
Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket
The Fuego also comes in three other terrific color combos (plus plain black), but please, for the love of all that is holy, you must choose this green machine banger right here. What a fantastic sartorial middle finger, total power move. Also stuffs into a tiny sack, for the record.
Tommy Hilfiger Colorblocked Quilted Puffer Jacket
Check out the collar on this thing. Best paired with pom-pom beanie, mustache and a can of Busch.
Jack Wills Moxley Colour Block Puffer Jacket
You don’t see enough navy/kelly green outside of prep wear. Good stuff. Bonus points for the delightful embroidered logo — a pheasant sporting a top hat and cane.
It ain’t cheap, but Moncler was literally doing these puffers in the ‘70s, so you gotta figure their experience in the field counts for something. Also comes with a detachable hood, which is cool.
FILA Colour-Block Puffer Jacket
Y’all remember Five Alive, that crazy juice combination that used to come in the navy carton with all the colors on it? This is the jacket equivalent of that carton. In a good way.
The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Puffer Jacket
In any other colorway this two-tone North Face number doesn’t seem particularly retro, but the tan/navy combo is another story — a very “gassing up your pickup at a snowy Lake Tahoe 76 station” vibe.
GAP Heavyweight Colorblock Puffer Jacket
Speaking of gas stations, I don’t know if the “navy chevron” colorway of this jacket refers to the geological shape or the petrol chain, but honestly I don’t care because either way it’s badass.
SAM. Olympic Puffer Down Jacket
The color arrangement here is channeling some seriously French-y, Chamonix feels. Worth noting that this baby also features 80% actual goose down and is currently 40% off.
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