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My Search for the Most Flattering Puffer Coat (I Found it)

By 12/04/2019March 26th, 202033 Comments

Maria Killam, Lea Junttila, Elizabeth Jacobs

My sister Elizabeth,  Lea and I are slightly obsessed with coats.  This season it got so out of control I had to share it with you!

In my defense, we live in a mild but yet chilly climate (same as Seattle weather), so I’m always looking for the perfect, most flattering puffer.

You know, the one where, once you’ve found it, you don’t keep looking the following year, to see if there’s a better one out there.

It’s not too small or too big, it keeps you warm without looking like you’re wearing a sleeping bag! The sleeping bag puffer is definitely a trend right now but I think it belongs best on young models.

Everyone needs a good coat or two because then, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, once you throw on a great coat, you’re golden!

I have been especially keen to re-think my puffer wardrobe since Terreeia and I registered with Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership for one year.

Here we were at UPW July 2018 which was our first Tony event!

One of the values Terreeia and I share is personal growth and development! It’s such a powerful way to move your life (and your mindsets about money, etc) forward in a powerful way! We met doing a course with Landmark Education where we participated for approximately 10 years. I give a lot of credit to Landmark for the success of our business!

Anyway, for the next year (in addition to the travel we already do for our workshops) we will be travelling to as many events as possible and when you are in a course with Tony, the room is literally this cold so you don’t fall asleep:

We’ll be on a plane to Palm Beach on Wednesday where we will be attending Date with Destiny, we are very excited! Here’s Tony’s twitter account.

Anyway, two years ago when Terreeia and I took my Mom to New York in December, I bought a puffer just so I’d be warm enough to walk the streets!

But, in my opinion, it wasn’t perfect yet.

Maria Killam and my Mom Hellen

When Terreeia and I were in Boston for our second last workshop of the season, I saw a North Face store, so I popped in to check out their puffers.

I liked this one (below) but didn’t buy it because I didn’t want to carry it with me, I thought I’d order it online and ship it home.

Lea and Elizabeth’s puffers were also flattering (below)! Slimming, not too puffy and not too warm.

I did want this particular puffer (below) to be one step up in warmth from the light one my sisters are wearing.

Maria, North Face | Lea and Elizabeth, Eddie Bauer | Elizabeth’s leopard jeans

But at the time, it was suddenly sold out in my size online, so I went back to the store in Boston before we flew out of town, to buy it.

I’m not a fan of faux fur around the hood and I did like the sheen. It was not as slimming as I would have liked, but overall, better than the one I already had.

Then, on the way inside, I saw a woman on the street, who was wearing the perfect puffer and I stopped her to ask her where she bought it.

“It’s Tahari and I bought it 15 years ago, I’ve been trying to replace it and I can’t find a better one” she replied mournfully.

“Oh”, I said deflated, “okay thanks” and I promptly went inside and bought the North Face Puffer.

Then when Terreeia and I arrived in Orlando, the day before that course, we walked into the Nordstrom Rack and I saw this puffer and tried it on and to my surprise and delight, the brand was Tahari.

And IT WAS THE PERFECT PUFFER! Warm AND super flattering, it even had the little tie with the hood just like this woman’s jacket who I bumped into on the street.

By the way, if you haven’t searched The Rack for puffers they have a big selection and they are already on sale!

So I snapped it up.

And it was a much better price ($89.00) than the North Face jacket.


Here I am with my sister Elizabeth in one of her favourite cream puffers she bought at Winners a few years ago.

Elizabeth’s cream puffer, similar here and here.

My navy short one was also from The Rack but it was sold out, similar here and here.

Photos by Macy Yap Photography

And then this past weekend, I went shopping downtown with my good friend Jan Romanuk. I told her my puffer story and she mentioned she had just ripped her favourite puffer on a job site. So we went to The Bay to try on a bunch and well, low and behold, I found a lighter, longer puffer that was even better than the one I already had.

If you’re in Canada, you can get jacket from The Bay, but I found it at Bloomingdales for my American readers:

I liked this one better than the other THREE light puffers I already bought this season because it’s the most flattering! And the zipper doesn’t rub against my face when it’s open:

The Bay | BloomingdalesOver the knee boots


Okay, I’m done.


I promise.

I have the perfect light puffer and the perfect heavier weight one and a short navy one (and a short black one, not shown).


Over and out.

Over to you my lovelies. Do you need more room in your coat closet for coats this season? I feel like there are so many gorgeous coats out there and many of them so inexpensive. Especially the faux fur ones! OMG don’t get me started on those!

Related posts:

Best 5 Tips When Travelling to Italy (Including packing a carry-on)

Top 5 Fashion Tips from a Stylist

The Best Way to Plan Outfits for Any Trip

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  • Fran W. says:

    This post is great. I get really obsessed with a certain item and will shop like crazy until I find exactly the right one. I love coats, but since I live in Atlanta, I don’t need them very often. Our climate is so mild here. You look great in your new puffer! Enjoy!

  • Beth says:

    When cold I lose concentration – and respect for the person who controls the temp! Lowered concentration is partly due to energy used by our body to try to help us stay warm. Concentration and productivity both suffer. From one study (which looks at lighting too): “When temperatures were low (68 degrees or 20 degrees Celsius) employees made 44% more mistakes than at optimal room temperature (77 degrees or 25 degrees Celsius).” Part of it is people are so aware of and distracted by the cold.

    Puffy coats! Doesn’t everyone resemble the Michelin Man? 😀

  • Joanne says:

    Coats are a personal obsession. Please do not start showing coats or I may need to stop following you! After seeing your last puffer, I started to go to the link, but was able to stop myself. Recently, I went to a Penn State football game where there was going to be a “Whiteout.” None of my puffers were white – so of course I needed a new one. And as coats go – puffers are not my favorites!

    I love a good wool coat. A good wool or wool/cashmere feels so luxurious. I have been known to buy one, leave in my closet for a few weeks and act like I have owned it “for awhile” when my husband comments.

    No more coat posts, please! They are dangerous!????

  • Lucy says:

    Maria you look good in all of your puffers! The last one certainly is good looking! I have several coats of course but I’m obsessed with the faux fur ones. I saw a girl at Whole Foods who had the perfect jacket that would go with everything and I told her I loved it but was too timid to ask were she bought it. Argh! Now I can’t get it out of my mind! Hopefully she didn’t buy it Neiman Marcus. I will probably be looking for it until the season ends! I really do need it in California…really I do!

    Have a good time in Palm Beach and listening to Tony Robbins!

  • teres says:

    Yes!Yes! and Yes! I have a wardrobe of coats of all sorts. My favourite puffer is by Athleta! Check them out! People stop me to ask about this coat and I bought it at The Gap Outlet!!! I have a short waist length one by Michael Kors that a check out girl offered to buy!!! It’s another winner. I love coats because noone ever sees what’s under them in so many instances.

  • Kay says:

    I see puffers everywhere, and people seem to love them, but they’re not my thing. I dislike shiny and that padded look. The climate where I live is very cold and snowy, and after moving here 32 years ago I realized that the only kind of coat that would keep me warm was sheepskin or fur. (The same is true for boots and mittens.) Sheepskin is what I wanted, ankle-length, buttoning up to the chin, and hooded, and I found exactly the right coat at a relatively reasonable price in a shop on Orchard Street on NYC’s Lower East Side. That was at least 15 years ago, and it’s still the only coat I wear when it’s really cold. And sheepskin breathes so can be worn even into the thirties (or 0 C). The color is charcoal, so the coat doesn’t show dirt and still looks practically new. Of course, it wouldn’t be suitable for a milder climate.

  • Goldie says:

    My all time favorite puffer is made by Uniglo. It’s very slimming.
    My daughter lives and works in Manhattan. They have a store in her building on Fifth Avenue.

  • Teresa says:

    So funny, I’m on the search for the perfect puffer for a ski trip to New Mexico. Thanks for sharing and I’m off to shop!

  • Yvonne says:

    Such a timely post as I am in desperate need of a cute coat this season! Another tip for American readers…the last and favorite Calvin Klein coat is also available online at Nordstrom Rack. I just bought it in Fig (also comes in black or blue) and it’s selling for $99. (search: Calvin Klein Packable Quilted Coat) Happy Holidays!

  • mrsben says:

    Oh Maria so happy you found one as I can totally relate since was on a mission for a puffer coat for myself. Finally found one at Eddie Bauer (their website online) called Álpendown Parka. Though down filled and partially, faux fur lined (bodice back) it doesn’t make you feel like the Michelin Man as is fitted with a tulip front hemline and stylish channel pattern. Also has a detachable hood with a detachable faux trim plus a two-way zipper and looks fabulous with any type of boot. All said; when wearing it without the hood I plan to accessorize it with a faux fur scarf (from Winners) but purchased a second one and made detachable cuffs to match, which dresses it up a tad as suspect it will be my go-to coat when temps drop well below zero as know my cloth/wool blend or faux fur ones won’t be able to compete in keeping me warm. Also did I mention it is also light as feather so I suspect it is going to be my ‘shop-til-you- drop’ favourite when roaming the Malls ….. winks!)
    P.S.: The price was not outrageous either.


  • Laurie says:

    Your leopard booties are fabulous! Where from? Love the puffers too

    • Maria Killam says:

      The leopard booties I bought last year but I don’t have them with me on my trip and I don’t remember the brand sorry! Those are hard to find too because the leopard has to be a certain yellow/orange before I like them 🙂 x Maria

  • Keri says:

    This post is ridiculously timely as I’ve spent the last 2 weeks searching for ‘the one’.
    Lululemon ‘down for a run’ puffy is brilliantly flattering and perfectly warm up to -10C.
    Indygena makes some gorgeous puffy coats too, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on one yet.
    And lastly, Quart & Co. (another Canadian company!) makes some beautiful puffy coats…but they are an investment!

  • Squeak says:

    As a plus-sized woman, if I wore a puffer coat I’d look like Bibb the Michelin Man.

  • Karen Kirby says:

    Your puffer research is almost as helpful as paint undertones. – A good looking puffer coat is a serious quest! Thanks so much. All of you look great in each version – likely because they are great jackets but more because you are family having fun together.

  • Chris says:

    I love ‘over the butt’ Puffers! I wear no other coats anymore. Your right, that is the Perfect One and I’m tying to get it.
    But…the downside is that we are all looking the same now. No matter if in London, New York, Tokio, Copenhagen or Qingdao….we’re all the same! Armies of dark-ish puffer coats!

  • Great coat, I’m going to purchase it! In my opinion the key to a great styled puffer, is the way the lines run. When they run on a diagonal like this last coat from The Bay, it is always more slimming. My current coat is the same but its nearly had the biscuit, so thanks for the great find, I’ve been looking for two years now! AND its on SALE

  • Christina Nickerson says:

    Maria, you have the gift of knowing what is ailing us! I too couldn’t find the perfect long puffer for all the same reasons! This post is everything I have thought. I gave up thinking I will just be happy without one until now! I bought the Tahari just now….thank you!!! Have a great time in FL!

  • Looking great in those puffers!!

    I think I need to go shopping!


  • Nancy says:

    Re: puffer jackets, consider synthetic down rather than animal sourced down. Most people are unaware of the practice of live plucking. It’s truly horrendous. Some companies like Patagonia and North Face work to source ethical down. Here’s one article that discusses the issue:
    For myself, I’m into the non-animal puffers.

  • Carol says:

    I thought I was the only one searching for the perfect puffer coat……its so nice to know Im not alone! This is my 3rd year in a row I’ve been looking. Haven’t found it yet but your post has given me hope its out there and renewed my resolve!! Thankyou. And yes the last one IS perfect on you!!

  • Snowflake says:

    The tahari …..does that have a built in vest??? Yep, that’s for me! But your most recent purchase at the bay is quite nice too, it is quite slimming and it could be how the baffles are placed, not running horizontally ( or vertically depending on how you see it) across ( down) the body but on an angle with a slight curved downward direction on the bottom and going upwards on top.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes that is what I loved about them both!! Those vertical lines are better! And the vest is great! xo

  • Jeannie says:

    Love my puffers – being in PA I do need them to be warm and I like having a few different lengths. My favorites are Eddie Bauer 700 fill power, and Columbia Heat series. I do steer clear of black as on me it looks like I’m wearing a garbage bag! LOL

    So I have brown, blue, white, purple, dark green coats. Love them all.
    For the longer lengths I look for ones with a waist cord inside so that I can cinch it to give me definition in my waist.
    Happy Holidays

  • Tara Dillard says:

    Great heads-up on puffers. Grew up on Galveston Bay, dream ‘winters’ no coat needed, now live in Atlanta, stupid frigid winter days, windy, working outside as a Garden Designer.

    Need tough fabric, easy to wash, and long, must cover my rear-end.

    Didn’t realize the good price points. Appreciate your mentioning Tahari, their clothes always fit, and I keep them forever.

    Looking forward to what you post after the Tony Robbins seminars………..

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • Rebecca Mielke says:

    Lol, this is such a fun post!
    On a serious note, this year homelessness has been in the forefront of our local news and I have been contemplating, particularly, the need for coats. One of my volunteer responsibilities is to take women in recovery to a thrift store where they can “shop” for free, but more often than not there isn’t a coat there that will fit and be warm enough. I did the mental math real quick: if every homeless person needs a single warm coat every year, that is alot of coats! So I took one each of my puffers and my long wool coats, cleaned, and donated them.
    I would encourage everyone to consider buying yourself a new coat more often than is strictly necessary ???? and to pass along your less favorites ones to others in need. ????????❤️

  • Linda Trammel says:

    I loved this blog about your puffers! You and your sisters looked great in all of them. I really do like the last puffer that you modeled for us. Stay warm and keep the blogs coming!

  • Fran says:


    The angle of the channels makes all the difference!

  • Paula Baillie says:

    Maria I love your blog and I was an avid follower until you mentioned Tony Robbins. I’m sorry, but I can’t support anyone who supports a sexual abuser. You seem to champion women which is why I’m so shocked you would align with a credibly accused sexual miscreant. This man courts controversy and has a strange power dynamic, hence the cold room?! It’s been great reading but I’m out.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Paula, the reason that article was NOT picked up by the New York Times and the Washington Post was because it WAS made up by the reporter who wrote the article for Buzzfeed. Tony works underground to save women from sexual slavery, and LIVES to make a difference, which you would see if you watched the Netflix documentary on him called ‘I am not your Guru’.
      Most of the men out there in the me too movement are everything you describe but Tony is definitely NOT.

  • Sandy says:

    You look great in your puffer coats. My pre-requisite for all jackets is: inside pockets. I’ll be interested to read about the one shown to see if it has them. Thanks for the tip – and, the polka dots you wore in a previous post were SUPER!

  • Claire says:

    My puffer got a small rip when someone’s cigarette butt burned the elbow. I was able to invert it and sew a new “seam” into it. Just bunch the fabric around the hole and sew a line that goes in the same direction as the other seams. When it’s on, nobody notices!

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