6 Ways to Wear a Puffer Vest in 2022, and 1 That’s Majorly Dated

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We’ve long associated puffer vests with outdoor activities, like hiking, or with preppy, country club styles. And while you certainly can still rock the sleeveless outerwear in both of those ways, 2022 has seen street style stars and fashion editors alike adopting the cozy closet staple as a fashionable winter trend. Much in the same way that The North Face’s Nupste jacket revival helped to make puffers feel cool again, the vest iteration is now enjoying its turn as a stylish must-have. Here’s exactly how to wear puffer vests as an unexpected winter trend for maximum chicness, plus one look to avoid entirely.

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how to style a puffer vest with white boots
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1. add A Belt To Cinch Your Waist

The most popular puffer vest silhouette in 2022 is definitely belted. But we’re not talking about the cinched ski styles of the ‘80s. Instead, these puffs come with a coordinating belt that’s intended to be knotted around your waist in a casual loop (much like how you’d secure a trench coat). The belt helps to maintain some semblance of your figure despite all the volume and makes this traditionally sporty staple feel just a bit more posh.

Style it: Topshop Puffer Vest ($74); Gap Vintage sweatshirt ($60; $41); n:philanthropy Scarlett Leather Joggers ($248); Public Desire Beau Boots ($56)

how to style a puffer vest with a midi skirt
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2. wear It Over Midi Skirts And Dresses

Balance the inherently rugged nature of a vest with an unexpected flowy or A-line skirt or dress. Midi lengths work best here, as minis will feel out of place with such a cold-weather staple and maxis will wind up looking heavy when paired with a bulky puffer, but you should feel free to play around with different color or pattern combos. Of course, a timeless neutral hue will always work, as well (though we must admit that we adore a pop of, say, brilliant blue).

Style it: A New Day Puffer Vest ($35); Everlane The Pima Turtleneck ($40); ASOS Midi Skirt ($32); BCBGeneration Beya Boots ($130; $105)

how to style a puffer vest with a blazer
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3. Layer With Another Jacket

Puffer vests are a great way to warm up your core without going full marshmallow woman, but sometimes, you still need something else to help. Try layering your vest over a lighter jacket, like a plaid blazer or a leather duster, on particularly chilly days. The key here is to choose pieces that are slightly longer or shorter than your puffer—i.e. a longline blazer that you pair with a hip-grazing vest a calf-length jacket worn with a mid-length vest.

Style it: Stradivarius Padded Vest ($49; $35); Madewell Dorset Blazer ($175); Agolde 90's Pinch Waist jeans ($188); Tory Burch T Monogram Bag ($548); ASOS Eliza Boots ($57)

how to style a puffer vest with a bucket hat
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4. opt For A Longer Length

A maxi or midi-length puff vest feels dressier than cropped alternatives, and can more easily be paired with cute dresses or date-night options. On the flip side, it also helps to dress up more casual pieces, like boyfriend jeans, lug-sole boots and a rain-ready bucket hat. Opt for solid, neutral hues to really amp up those luxe vibes and give your weekend wardrobe a chic boost.

Style it: Pieces Longline Vest ($68; $58); The Hat Depot Bucket Hat ($14); Norrona Falketind Jacket ($469); Levi's 724 Jeans ($82); Sam Edelman Genia Boots ($180)

how to style a puffer vest with a suit
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5. pair With Polished Workwear

In much the same way that a champagne-colored long vest can elevate casual apparel, a sporty, cropped cut can add a much needed cool-factor to more tailored workwear. Opt for a solid hue with a clean silhouette (a belt is fine, but avoid excessive pockets or detailing) and layer it over your favorite suit, be it purple plaid or gray wool, for a smart and easy mid-week ensemble.

Style it: Frankie Shop Down Vest ($308) M.M.LaFleur The Yiyan blazer ($465) and M.M. LaFleur The Horton Pants ($295); Madden Girl Dafni Boots ($60)

how to style a puffer vest with casual pants
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6. keep Things Simple

Eschew wild patterns or bright colors for more timeless options to keep things feeling polished and not too casual. When in doubt, stick with no-fuss classics—a black vest, straight-leg green khakis, a slim-fitting long-sleeve top and a nice pair of Chelsea boots will get the job done.

Style it: lululemon Wunder Puff Vest ($228); Rails Kate Top ($198; $119); J.Crew Chino Pants ($90); Kenneth Cole New York Maple Boots ($219; $153)

dont cross element
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7. Don’t: Go The Classic Preppy Route

It’s not that this look, which may encompass flat riding boots, skinny bottoms, a crewneck knit or a chambray/plaid button-up, doesn’t work with a cute puffer vest. In fact, it works really well which is why it has been worn to death over the past 15-plus years. There are so many more interesting ways to rock a puffer in 2022 (ahem, see above), so why not push yourself to try something new rather than reverting to the same old, same old?



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...