Puffy Coats That Will (And Won't) Make You Look Fat

12/31/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Michelin Man coat? Bad. Puffy coat that shows your curves? Good.

For those in need of a demonstration, behold the dos and don'ts of donning winter's most cozy jacket.

Exhibit A: Short Coats

I'm not sure what was going through the minds of the designers when they created this LaRok Puff Breaker jacket ($268), but it reminds me of Missy Elliot's Supa Dupa Fly getup - you know, the black Hefty bag?

A better (read: warmer, more sophisticated, more stylish) option is the Nine West Cropped Puffer jacket ($80). It has long lines and plenty of warmth, but the unique wrap shape gives the impression that you still have a figure under all that polyfill.


Exhibit B: Medium-Length Coats

I understand Helmut Lang is a very prestigious designer. This $600 coat, however, looks like a big ugly sack. Who wants to spend all that time at the gym if your new-found size 4 looks like a 16?

If you're going to wear white -- which looks uber-chic in winter -- at least make it a crisp white with pretty accents and a tailored fit. This Juicy Couture Angel Button Puffer Coat ($400) is a fine example. For budget-chic, check out this longer-length Mossimo look-alike at Target ($50).