Puffer Jackets – From the Skyliner to Skepta

The Puffer Jacket – we all know it as an iconic look represented by some of the world’s greats, from Kanye and Drake, to Skepta and even Bibendum (a.k.a. the Michelin Man, although his puffer jacket is more of a puffer suit – more on that later), but there’s more to this wardrobe essential than meets the eye.

The puffer jacket is a symbol of style, edge and authority, making you look bigger and bolder. This is exactly why, during the 1990s, the humble puffer embarked on a bit of a Hip-Hop revolution – making the classic ‘down jacket’ the coat of choice for many rappers and MCs of the time.

Within the street fashion scene, we’ve recently seen a huge boom in the number of men’s puffer jackets moving into the market – including the iconic Gym King Core Puffer, the classic black SikSilk style and the best-selling 11 Degrees Space Puffer. As we move into the chilly autumn season, we’re going to see the puffer embark on its annual resurgence and we can’t wait! Always bang on trend and a firm favourite amongst the Urban Celebrity crowd, a good puffer jacket is functional, comfortable and above all, makes you look great.

So if you want to get your seasonal style up to scratch or that old puffer you’ve had for years is looking a bit deflated – you should check out these favourites for AW19:

All this might seem bang on trend and very street but back before the Grime and Hip-Hop revolutions of the Noughties and 90s, the puffer jacket had far more practical origins. It’s actually the result of a design called the Skyliner – a down coat invented by American designer Eddie Bauer in 1936. And just in case it ever comes up in a pub quiz, the design was then patented in 1940.

The Skyliner was created simply to keep its wearer warm, a trait still upheld by the modern-day puffer jacket. The concept was simple but effective – take a quilt-style garment and stuff it with down (feathers). This gives you a product that traps air ridiculously effectively and leaves its wearer feeling warmer and looking a little ‘puffy’. The puffy style eventually caught on, and the style eventually became somewhat of a cultural icon in the U.S. rap scene many, many years later. This latest arrival from Superdry captures the quilt design of the Skyliner with a modern edge for today’s street scene.

Earlier we referred to the puffer suit worn by Bibendum and fans of the Michelin Man are probably cursing us right now. Yes, we know he’s not actually wearing a puffer jacket (or even a puffer suit) he’s actually a fictional character made up of tyres. Our point is that a good puffer jacket should have that silhouette, much like the giant puffer suit worn by Skepta in 2017, or this puffy number worn by the incredible Missy Elliott in The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), back in 1997. (Stick some headphones in and push the volume up, this one’s a proper banger)

So yes, the puffer jacket is about the practicality – but it is also a street symbol that speaks volumes. It’s about heritage. It’s about power. It’s about silhouette. Put simply – it’s BOLD. Championed by rap pioneers like Drake and Skepta, the puffer jacket is like their music – a stand-out style to make a statement and take your look to the next level. So if, like Missy Elliot, you can’t stand the rain, don a puffer from our huge range featuring garments from all the top streetwear brands including Gym King, 11 Degrees and more.

Make a statement, show your authority, keep dry, stay warm. You know what to do.


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