How to Wear a Puffer Coat

Confession time: I've been a resident of New York City for a full eight years now—a city where January and February temperatures can dip into the teens and essentially freeze your soul—and only bought my first puffer coat last winter. It's a padded Theory parka with a fur-lined hood, to be more precise, and I absolutely adore it. Because chic as a little woolen duffle topper or a brass-buttoned peacoat may be, when it comes to pure, unadulterated warmth, they don't hold a candle to down-filled outerwear.

Of course, bulky puffers aren't always the most figure-flattering. Select the wrong silhouette or cut—or layer the wrong items underneath—and you can wind up looking like a buttoned-up marshmallow. Click through to read our handy-dandy tips on picking the perfect puffer coat, plus what you should pair it with for maximum cool factor (while still staying incredibly warm).

Whittle That Waist

A puffer with a built-in belt will cinch you in at your smallest point, making the overall look more Mad Men than Michelin Man.