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It's now possible to dress up in down coats and jackets

It's now possible to dress up in down coats and jackets

When you think of a down coat, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Warmth? Coziness? A profile resembling the Michelin Man?
Yeah, I thought so.
But by far, this synthetic mix of nylon, polyester and, sometimes, down feathers is among the best barriers against winter's fury. The challenge is making it look less, well, inflated.
Let's face it. The coats are big. Bodacious. Even the titles of a few, which refer to "puff" in the name, point to their mammoth size.
"With the older down coats, it was like you were carrying around an extra sleeping bag on top of you," suggests Maeghan O'Hagan, co-owner of Clayton-based Lusso. "Now, they've gone to great lengths to make it more wearable and less like camping gear."
Right combinations
Nowadays, you can dress up down.
"The right pieces together can make a great outfit, like a great pair of cropped pants and a short-waisted down jacket," notes Jacob Laws, visual merchandiser for Splash. To illustrate his point, he paired a tangerine shrunken jacket with cropped pants with lame banding.
People might be surprised to learn that even coats that say down aren't always filled exclusively with feathers.
"There's a lot of simulated down. It has the look and same effect: warmth," Laws says, adding, "The addition of other materials helps to keep your coat's shape."
Coats typically have somewhere between 20 to 80 percent down feathers combined with fillers.
Want something more than the basic blanket form? Laws says check for designers with "a cool edge."
Embellishments also help. Regular white coats with brassy gold detailing can't help but stand out. And coats in robust hues, including cotton candy pink and sky blue, look good enough to be plucked.
Down on top
We caught up with Monroe G. Milstein, chief executive officer of Burlington Coat Factory recently. During a phone interview, Milstein called the down coat the year's No. 1 fashion, at least in the coat market. "More than any other coat this year, it's selling," he says. "It's selling this year was far superior to any other year. Ordinarily, they stop buying coats right before Thanksgiving, but this year's going so strong that we put in additional orders for January."
But the coat mogul acknowledges that color variety and easy maintenance are only a part of the appeal. The puff is a must.
Puffier is warmer
"The truth is, the flatter ones aren't as warm," he says. "It's from the depth of the pile; that's where you get the insulation. It's not like the old Michelin Man, but the puffier ones are warmer."
Does he deny that depth results in a puffier profile?
"No, it doesn't make you look fat, but it doesn't make you look anorexic either," Milstein says before asking, "Do fur coats make people look fat?"


Updated : 2021-10-20 22:11 GMT+08:00