bearded man wearing orange puffer jacket

Choosing a winter coat can be a tricky decision, as it is usually quite a big investment. Your new winter coat may last you a few years, and it needs to keep you warm as well as looking stylish.

Each winter coat design is usually designed for a different purpose, with some perfect for climbing mountains in, while others focused on just being enough to get you from the car to the office door. 

Choose wrongly, and you could end up with an expensive coat that you never wear. With that in mind, we take a look at two of the most versatile and stylish designs on the market right now; men’s winter parka jackets and men’s winter puffer coats.

What is a parka jacket?

Parka jackets have become an iconic part of outerwear styles, becoming part of both men and women’s wardrobes for years. The original style actually came from the Inuits; although back then the parkas were made from material like seal skin, in order to protect them from the arctic climate. 

Since then, parka jackets have become somewhat of a cultural symbol. They were issued in WWII to soldiers and continued into the Mod subculture of Britain in the 60s. By the 1990s, parkas had been reinvented for the Britpop culture; Liam Gallagher of Oasis is often pictured in parka jackets even today.

The design of the parka jacket has remained largely unchanged over the decades; it is stylish yet practical, and has continued to stay relevant through evolving fashion trends. Generally speaking, a parka jacket has a longer length and hooded, sometimes with a faux fur trim. 

You will find parka jackets often button or zip right up to your chin as protection from the elements, with zippers often hidden under additional material. Parkas are often oversized to allow for knitwear and other layers underneath.

What is a puffer jacket?

Also a functional style, the puffer jacket was created by outdoors enthusiast Eddie Bauer in the 1930s. Eddie was from Washington, and often spent his time exploring the woods and rivers. He created a puffer jacket from down feathers and quilted fabric after nearly losing his life to hypothermia on a fishing trip.

This incredibly practical outerwear has taken the world by storm ever since, becoming one of the most popular jacket styles in the world. What was a functional style quickly evolved into something very fashionable.

Puffer jackets are characterised by their padded or quilted design, almost resembling a sleeping bag. They will usually have a high neck in order to keep the wind chill at bay, and are found either with or without a hood. 

In recent years, puffer jackets in bright colours have been a go-to choice, offering something a little more exciting for your winter wardrobe. They have ample pockets, sometimes both side and inner pockets, and characteristically have a shorter length than styles like parkas.

How to choose which style is best 

More often than not, choosing a winter coat simply comes down to your own personal taste. However, when choosing between the likes of a parka or puffer jacket, consider what you need your winter coat for and when it will be worn most. 

Think about which style of coat would keep you warmer depending on how much time you spend outside, as well as what technical features you would prefer. For instance, do you like the sporty aesthetic of a puffer jacket with drawcords and padding, or would you be more comfortable in a longer style with a big hood? 

TheBeardMag
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