wear it well

    Wear it Well: The Puffer Vest

    17th December 2013

    You guys know that here at SG HQ, we love a good puffer vest. We share twitpics of our own puffers, and we’ve oohed and ahhed over celebs’ stylish interpretations of the sporty look.

    As the thermometer inches downwards, then, we thought it was the perfect time to add the extra layer of warmth that comes from the puffer vest.

    Below, three outfits – complete with puffer vest, naturally – to keep you guys feelin’ cozy and lookin’ cool.

    Sale Shopping Soldier

    Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 8.13.01 AM

    The puffer vest can sub in for a big bulky coat if you just have to run from your car into the mall. Its streamlined silhouette will make for greater range of motion when grabbing that last sweater on the very top shelf, not to mention breezy comfort when you have to stand in a 40 minute line to actually purchase said-sweater.

    Puffer Vest – eBay, $50
    Shirt – H&M, $30
    Pants – eBay, $162
    Shoes – Ugg, $140
    Belt – eBay, $27

    RobPat Revisited

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    ICYMI, we obsessed over RobPat’s sportcoat+puffer vest combo last year, and let me just affirm that, yes, we are still very much interested in this layered cold weather style. A puffer feels totally unexpected with dress clothes, but also so right. Make sure to find a thin one so that it fits under the blazer without making you look puffy.

    Puffer Vest – eBay, $150
    Shirt – Banana Republic, $60
    Blazer – Topman, $300
    Pants – Toddland, $58
    Belt – Fossil, $35
    Shoes – DSW, $110

    Brawny Man Date Night

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    This is what my imaginary lumberjack boyfriend would wear on a date night at the movies. The sweater is dressier than his typical wood-cutting (that’s what they do, right?) uniform, but his mountain man mystique is maintained with a big orange puffer vest that will keep him warm when I steal all the popcorn.

    Vest – eBay, $119
    Sweater – Billabong, $52
    Pants – Fox, $55
    Shoes – eBay, $124
    Belt – Karmaloop, $51

    As you can see, a men’s puffer vest is more than just, well, a puffy vest; it’s a way of life. The chameleon of your wardrobe, they can be fancy or free of care. The best puffer looks are those that look more intentional than just, “Oh I’m cold in what I’m wearing so I should put this on, right?” Try layering your puffer with a dressed-up look; we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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    Love these puffer styles but don’t own one yet? Check out the Baby It’s (Sort of) Cold Outside: The Puffer Vest collection by Style Girlfriend on eBay. We’ll be updating this collection and others like Oh, Buffalo, Orange is the New Black, and In the Navy in the months to come, so be sure to follow Style Girlfriend on eBay for all kinds of shoppable inspiration. 

    Love this SG collection? It can be yours! Share this and others for a chance to win $25,000 from eBay? See official rules here:

    Tell us:

    How do you rock the puffer?

    The Style Girlfriend eBay Collections were curated as part of a collaboration with eBay and Style Coalition. #FOLLOWITFINDIT

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    • ilyac

      Exactly like this.

      …but seriously, not my cup of tea. Props to those that rock it though.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Marty McFly: Style Icon

      • Mathieu Bilal

        Would be an easy Halloween outfit, if I could just find where I put that hoverboard…

        • average joe

          yo that’s not until back to the future 3…we still need a delorean photo

          • Dreadpiratehurley

            Hoverboard was in the second one. Time-traveling train was in the third.

            • average joe

              ahh yes…that’s right.

            • Style Girlfriend


      • average joe

        Gigawatt Gold!! Nothing can top this, nothing! Bonus points for Marty on the denim ove denim layering, turn back contrast cuffs, and that snazzy Seiko calculator watch.

        • average joe

          Not that we condone turn back contrast cuffs these days, but if you can time travel…what the hell…you get a free pass on this one

    • Joshua

      Not long ago when the temperature started to dip, I put on my waistcoat under my sport coat hoping it would provide some warmth; it probably did, but *not* to my arms. From then on, I would reach for my cardigan when it gets cooler. A waistcoat is only for style to me.

      So, honest question, tell me how functional a puffer vest is?

      • Derric

        They work pretty well in my experience. Easy to layer with and will help keep your body warm unlike a waistcoat.

      • Baxter

        The puffer vest has some great functions in these parts. I live a typical Chicago suburban lifestyle. That means shoveling 4 inches of snow off my driveway. When it’s 20, 25 degrees out and you’re working, you don’t want the giant winter coat and you don’t want the unsubstantial jacket. It starts off like this: flannel shirt, wool sweater, puffer vest, and a mid-weight jacket. After 5 or ten minutes, you’re about to overheat and the jacket comes off and the puffer gets unzipped. So it keeps you warm, but gives you lots of mobility and ventilation. You never say to yourself, “man my arms sure feel cold—wish I had some sleeves.” You’re arms never feel cold. It’s always just your hands, feet and face/ears when you’re working in the cold.

        Also, if you live garage-to-parking-lot like most of us up here, you honestly usually do not need the giant parka or (for women) those shapeless, giant, head-to-ankle puffy coats. You need something to get you from the car to the office/store. Sweater, puffer vest, gloves, scarf. Or you can try the puffer vest/blazer combo for the office. Works like a dream, you don’t need the overcoat, and you’re not commuting in a giant winter coat that is total over-kill. Also, you’re not dragging your nice overcoat through the salty, dirty snow that is caked on your car and all over everything.

        • Joshua

          Ah, thanks. I can see puffer vest is suitable when working in the cold, which I don’t do. For garage-to-parking-lot routine in Southern California, a sport coat and a cardigan will do (and a scarf and gloves occasionally), but a sport coat and a puffer vest won’t do I’m pretty sure.

    • Derric

      Thanks for the reminder! I still need to get a proper puffer/quilted vest for layering. I have a puffer jacket-turned-vest which works alright but doesn’t close all the way to the bottom.

    • Enrique Ollero

      I’m a fan of the puffer vest, though I prefer the thinner to the bulkier (I’m plenty bulky myself so I try not to add to it much). In fact I’m wearing one right now – one of Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down puffers with a houndstooth pattern ( It adds a layer of warmth without adding too much bulk and keeps my arms unhindered so I still have a good range of motion – which is key for those who use public transportation.

      I’m wearing my puffer right now with a flannel shirt, blazer, chinos, and bean boots. I can get a full body pic from a coworker if you like, but in the meantime it looks like the pic below.

      I like using the puffer for layering. It’s especially useful on trips to the mall – it’s cold out, but I know once I get inside I’ll want to take my coat off and then have to walk around the mall carrying my coat all afternoon. So I wear the vest instead and it keeps me warm enough on that walk through the parking but not so hot that I have to strip it off while I walk around the mall for a few hours. I really like wearing it over a black marled hoodie, a buffalo plaid scarf, and a pair of jeans. It’s a great casual look and the houndstooth pattern ups my style beyond the average “jeans and hoodie” look.

    • Benjamin Clos

      I really like my more rugged quilted vest from Kakadu Australia that I got first shot at earlier this year since I work at Long Ridge Traders. It’s heavy enough to keep me warm along with great mobility when your outside being active. Being a bit further South in the US than you denizens of the Windy City that have commented on your favorite vests, I am lucky enough that I can get away with just wearing it most of the time.

      • gabi meyers

        I love the quilting on that vest! It’s very refined for a puffer.

    • Biscuit!

      I picked up a puffer from Land’s End a couple years ago – best $25 I’d spent in a while. It’s super versatile since St. Louis has pretty mild winters.

      • gabi meyers

        Love land’s end for staples. I have a pair of riding boots from there that have lasted through 2 winters now!

    • Adam

      I actually prefer to sport the thinner puffer vest over the blazer. I find it never fits quite right under the blazer, and with my more casual blazers, there’s not a lot of blazer that pokes out underneath, so it works well. keeps me warm on the cooler fall/warmer winter days. Works especially well with rugged tweed blazers or knit blazers.

      • Style Girlfriend

        I actually just saw a friend yesterday who was wearing a (thicker) puffer vest over a sportcoat, and it looked great! So yes, totally agree that can work too