Style News

The Perfect: Down Jacket

The Perfect: Down Jacket

In this series, we unpick what makes an essential piece of clothing perfect, and highlight our favourite styles of the season.

The world can be a scary place in autumn, as daylight savings plunges us into early nightfall and the mercury plummets. You know that winter’s icy grip is on its way, and the only way to fend off the cold is either by staying indoors or investing in a properly warm sneakercoat. No-one wants to stay inside for six months of the year, so the latter option is by far preferable. Hibernating may seem like an appealing way to deal with the cold, but it would make for a pretty anti-social and ultimately miserable winter. Luckily, outdoor brands like Moncler and Canada Goose have been finessing their luxury outerwear offering for decades, combining technical expertise with luxe performance materials and slick high-end design. The result is big, warm jackets stuffed full of fluffy down that look as cool in the street as they would on a subarctic glacier. Read on as we dissect the perfect down jacket in all its feather-filled glory.

Model wearing a Parajumpers musher orange parka and Valentino VLTN logo sweatshirt in grey
Model wearing a Parajumpers musher orange parka and Valentino VLTN logo sweatshirt in grey

THE LOW DOWN

A down jacket is a jacket that has been stuffed with the small under feathers (known as down) of duck or geese. The feathers create air pockets that trap heat between the jacket’s outer layers and keep the wearer warm. Wearing one is pretty much equivalent to wrapping yourself up in a top quality duvet or sleeping bag – in style. You might get some funny looks on the tube if you were actually to venture out in your bedclothes. Once upon a time they were the reserve of outdoorsy types but they’ve since made their way into mainstream fashion and onto the runway.

Model wearing a black Moncler down puffer jacket
Model wearing a black Moncler down puffer jacket

THE CURRENT SITUATION

The manufacture of a down jacket is something that should always be left to the professionals. Iconic outerwear brands Moncler & Canada Goose, hailing from the French alps and, you guessed it, Canada respectively, were born of necessity. The harsh climates and frozen terrain of their homelands means that they were developed to function in the coldest of climates – making them the best in class for warmth, comfort and protection from the elements. Nothing like temperatures of -40 to inspire you to design one of the warmest coats on earth. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all. Whilst down jackets were initially primarily functional, they have become style statements in their own right, and fashion’s recent obsession with puffers and outsized clothing has seen them come into their own. A$AP Rocky, Kanye West and Skepta have all been seen in down jackets and Moncler pieces, and they’re now as much a fixture of winter streetwear trends as a pair of sneakers.

Model wearing a blue Canada Goose parka
Model wearing a blue Canada Goose parka

THE FACTORS FOR PERFECTION

The outerwear scene is littered with puffers, padded jackets and parkas claiming to be the best, but not all are created equal. Firstly, as down is an animal product you need to make sure it’s coming from a reputable source – all of the brands stocked at FLANNELS have excellent standards when it comes to sourcing their down. Secondly, heritage and new brands alike that really understand their materials and have honed their design processes, from Canada Goose to Pyrenex and Mackage, should be your first port of call for a down coat.

Model wearing Moncler down jacket
Model wearing Moncler down jacket

Beyond that, you need to consider what part you want your down jacket to play in your wardrobe. A down jacket will be warm whichever way you look at it, but if you’re in the city you might want something lighter weight. Equally, if you’re going to be using it in the great outdoors something more technical will work for you. If the end-goal is looking cool on the street, Moncler has a range of fashion-forward styles that combine streetwear styling (think oversized silhouettes, logos and statement colourways) with levels of performance that you’re unlikely to need in the city, but that give you extra style credentials nonetheless.

Model wearing a green Canada Goose parka
Model wearing a green Canada Goose parka