In a woman's entire wardrobe, her winter coat might be one of the most high-stakes purchases she ever makes. They've got to tick off a load of boxes — Is it actually warm? Does it look good? Will I still like it in five years? — mostly because winter coats cost a lot of money. And unless you've got a Scrooge McDuck vault of gold coins, most women only own one or two substantial ones. But there's one factor that oftentimes trumps every other consideration: How much does this coat make you want to snuggle up, hunker down, and just take a nap in the middle of the sales floor?
These types of coats have experienced degrees of acceptability throughout history, and we're just entering a pro-snuggle era that matches the Norma Kamali sleeping bag coats of the '80s, the hip-hop puffers of the '90s. This time around, coats are utilitarian and unisex — sporty even — but full of glamour as well. Traditional sporting brands like Patagonia and Northface have been doing this silhouette forever (and are recently experimenting with fun colourways and patterns), and heritage designer labels have come out with their own versions. Wear it off-the-shoulder and open a la Balenciaga's puffer-cum-opera-coat, or fully inflated with peg-leg jeans in a human-pumpkin sort of way.
Speaking of pumpkins, we thought there was no better place to celebrate these sculptural coats than in the most quintessentially fall place nearby: The Philip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut, where Yayoi Kusama's floating Narcissus Garden and enormous steel PUMPKIN are currently housed. Said Yayoi, "In Japanese, a ‘pumpkin head’ is an ignorant [person], but for me, I am charmed by its shape, form, and lack of pretension.”
Hear, hear. Ahead, we celebrate the coats of the season that give good snuggle.
A full-length sleeping-bag-style coat might be too aggressive for certain winter days, so a convertible version is great for climates that regularly switch between Antarctic to just-plain-Arctic.
One of our favourite tricks to capitalise on the exaggerated shapes of coats is to layer up. A classic puffer gives this ruffled Kenzo number some extra drama.
Pro tip: Shop the men's section. This men's Patagonia jacket has an oversize cut and long-length sleeves that are (probably unintentionally) on-trend.
Here's an homage to the original: Norma Kamali first created her signature coat from the sleeping bag she slept in after her divorce.
There are some great examples of brands giving old classic coat shapes a bit of a twist. Here, rag & bone updates the flight bomber with a longer torso and lacing up the side.
MSGM's oversized spots will make you as recognisable as a Kusama original.
The snuggle vibes don't end at just coats. Puffer scarves, mittens, and vests can also help you amp up the volume.