Some trends can feel alienating, but the padded coat can be worn by anyone from new fathers to students and Theresa May to Alan Partridge
It has become a truism that, if you wait long enough, something unfashionable will end up being in fashion.
It has happened to tracksuits, socialism and Celine Dion. And, for better or worse, it has happened to puffer coats – you know, the catch-all term for those working water-resistant, ultrapractical “technical” coats you might tackle Everest in. Or at the least Storm Erik.
Winter has turned into spring, but it still seems we are never more than 6ft from a puffer. They are on your dad, but also in Whitehall( Theresa May regularly emerges from Downing Street- looking broken- in one of two versions of the same PS7 50 padded jacket, and last weekend wore a more generic black version to church ). They are on Tv, too: in the US, Russian Doll’s Alan wears a Uniqlo one under his coating; in the UK, antihero Alan Partridge’s extraordinary- or “ludicrous”, if you are the Daily Telegraph- yellow padded coating is uncannily similar to something Balenciaga presented last season.
It was a trickle at first. In 2016, Demna Gvsalia’s first collecting for Balenciaga featured a red padded jacket worn off the shoulder, in the style of Brigitte Bardot. Eyebrows were raised, but puffers appeared on the Balenciaga catwalk a year later and again the year after that. They were also in Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Late last year, Lyst, a search enginethat tracks what people are buying according to clicks, reported a 59% year-on-year rise in searches. In February 2019, the rubicon was traversed: two puffers- one by the US outdoors brand The North Face and the other by the Italian company Moncler- were decreed second and sixth most desirable products in the world, respectively. For context, “the worlds largest” desired item was a pair of Nike trainers.