There's no escaping winter (unless you live in the tropics), but a great coat can make leaving the house on the coldest days less of a chore. Down jackets have long been a wardrobe staple for staying warm, but these puffy pieces can also be stylish. Cropped or oversized, long or short, colorful or neutral—there's a puffer coat for everyone, including those of us of a certain age. Read on to see what fashion and style experts say about wearing down jackets if you're over 60.
Pick a silhouette with some shape.
All that puff will keep you warm, but adding bulk may not be the look you're going for. Instead, shop for high-quality down jackets that are sleeker—those that use Thinsulate, for example.
"Look for ones that have some type of shaping which could include a waistband, or that have thinner quilted panels," advises style blogger Jodi Filogomo. "There are some coats where the panels are on a diagonal which also helps them look sleeker."
And since the point of a down jacket is to cover below your hips, be mindful of how the length affects the silhouette.
"Many long puffer coats are also oversized, which creates a balloon-like look that isn't flattering," notes Melissa Fiorentino, stylist and trends forecaster at Cake Style. "To keep the outfit sophisticated and high-end, get a jacket that's form-fitting and ends mid-calf." Many of these longer jackets will also come with a built-in belt.
Flatter your figure.
The best shape for your down jacket may also depend on your figure, so think about your height and body type.
"If you're pear-shaped, for instance, look for a puffer/down jacket with a belted waist to cinch in your middle and create a more hourglass-like silhouette," suggests Luke Lee, designer and CEO of fashion brand PalaLeather. "If you're apple-shaped, opt for a puffer/down jacket with a bit of structure to it—something that will hold its shape and not add bulk around your midsection."
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Don't get stuck on a black jacket.
If a black or neutral jacket makes you feel most confident, go for it! "Black, navy blue, or camel will do a better job at standing the test of time and matching the rest of your wardrobe," notes Fiorentino. "This doesn't mean that your outfit has to be boring; you can style the coat with a colorful scarf, hat, or gloves." But don't feel that you have to take this route.
Liis Hainla, founder of vegan fashion and beauty site Vegan Avenue, is partial to jewel tones such as sapphire, ruby, and emerald for women over 60. "These colors look particularly beautiful on those who decided against dyeing their grays." But Hainla's favorite hue is cobalt blue, especially when "paired with an oversized scarf in neutral tones."
If you really want to spice things up, Lee suggests a print that's "unexpected yet still stylish," like a leopard pattern. He also says to pay attention to small embellishments. "Look for a puffer jacket with interesting details like zippered pockets, a hood, or even fur-trimmed sleeves. These added details will take your outfit from drab to fab in no time."
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Dont forget to accessorize.
Don't ignore the accessories you'll need to keep warm. Gloves, scarves, and hats make great fashion statements, so feel free to pile them on. Some of Filogomo's suggestions for accessorizing a down jacket include draping an extra-large scarf over the coat, adding a belt of your own, or wearing a vest over top.
Overall, a down jacket is a timeless classic that can adapt to any age and style. "Fashion is about showcasing who you really are through the clothes you wear and finding ways to adjust different pieces of clothes to your style, not the other way around," says Hainla.