Michelin Man coat? Bad. Puffy coat that still shows your curves? Good.
For those in need of a demonstration, behold the dos and don'ts of donning winter's favorite puffy jacket.
Exhibit A: Short Coats
I'm not sure what was going through the minds of the designers when they created this LaRok Puff Breaker jacket ($268), but it reminds me of Missy Elliot's Supa Dupa Fly get-up–you know, the black Hefty bag?
A better (read warmer, more sophisticated and stylish) option is the Nine West Cropped Puffer jacket ($80). It has long lines and plenty of warmth, but the unique wrap shape gives the impression that you still have a figure under all that polyfill.
Exhibit B: Medium-Length Coats
I understand Helmut Lang is a very prestigious designer. This $500 coat, however, looks like a big, ugly sack. Who wants to spend all that time at the gym if your new-found size 4 looks like a 16?
If you're going to wear white–which looks uber-chic in winter–at least make it a crisp white with pretty accents and a tailored fit. This Juicy Couture Angel Button Puffer Coat ($400) is a fine example. For girls on a budget, check out this longer-length Mossimo look-alike at Target ($50).
Exhibit C: Long Coats
Why? That's all I can say. Kira Plastinina seems to have gotten a little carried away with the pouf in this black camo puffer coat ($118). Much preferred is this streamlined Kenneth Cole New York Long Puffer ($228) with a cinched waist and high collar.
I rest my case.