What style of bag looks good with a puffer coat?

Thistle's bag post this morning raised a question for me. 

In this miserable winter (there's a blizzard out my window...AGAIN...as I write...) I have hardly worn my wool coats at all. The last time I got to wear my red wool coat was December. It's been my grey puffer coat Every. Single. Day. Along with some grey Kamik snow boots. 

I'd hoped to purchase a new bag this fall, and I did get one -- a light taupe Tiganello shopper. It's okay. I don't hate it. But it hardly sets my world on fire with its beauty. It was available, practical, a good neutral for me and the right size in a good price. So I snapped it up, hoping I'd find something more inspiring later on. 

That hasn't happened. Meanwhile, the light taupe looks sort of awful with my puffer coat (which is blue-grey) and isn't all the easy to carry with the coat, either. 

But when I stop to think about it, I don't even know what kind of bag DOES look good with a  puffer coat. Do you? What do you think works with what is basically a big knee-length parka? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 8 years ago

    Hmm... tricky, I'm tempted to say a cross-body satchel style maybe? I'd love to know what others say.

  • ironkurtin replied 8 years ago

    I think anything that's too dainty or cuts into the puffiness is a no.  I'd go for a more primitive-style leather sling bag. Although TBH when it's cold enough for a puffer anyone judging my physical appearance can bite me if they don't like my bag.

  • ramya replied 8 years ago

    I want a crossbody satchel in winter were in I can stuff my gloves and beanie when I shop. But stays put on my shoulder outside.

  • Diana replied 8 years ago

    Haha, like i mentioned on Thistle's post, I am too vain to wear a puffer and this is one reason.  

    Every other girl here seems to be carrying a Longchamp Le Pliage though, and it does look decent with the puffer.  Because it's nylon, it's not so incongruously dressy that it looks odd with the puffer, and the longer straps make it easy to get over your shoulder.  Also, it's waterproof and has a full zipper closure, which you're going to want if it's puffer weather.  (ETA: I lost my Le Pliage in Athens, but I replaced it with a Planetes, which is the same but all black, and it is indeed very useful.)

    An MZ Wallace bag would also be nice, I think.  I have one of these too, although mine is a hobo style with a shorter strap (it does have a crossbody strap too though).  I think the tote styles might look better with a puffer.

    Basically, I think a tote style, on the large side, not too dressy.  

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Diana, that's brilliant! A Longchamp. I love that idea. My bag is actually a tote (well, it's a shopper, but for me, shoppers are tote sized) and it's not too dressy, but the colour does nothing with my puffer. Maybe a fuchsia Longchamp or something....I love that. 

    Thank you for all the ideas, oh wise women. And Dana, I am laughing so hard..that's basically how I feel, too. But my winters = your summers. A girl's gotta do what she's gotta do to get through them in some semblance of style. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    I totally sympathize with the ongoing winter/coat issues Suz. We're in the same boat here with the crappy weather.

    When I wear my puffer, I use one of my structured handbags, to offset the puffiness and softness of the jacket. With those puffs you need a handbag that has "presence" IMHO. I think a satchel or tote style works best.

  • Helena replied 8 years ago

    I feel your pain ... I too am in blizzard-ville - after having to shovel my snowbank yesterday so I could see to back out of my driveway!!!

    Love the suggestions; don't have a better one but will try some of these - thanks for raising! Very helpful!

  • merwoman replied 8 years ago

     I hear you Suz - am so sick of my puffer, but it does keep me warm!.
    I've treated myself to a few Danier handbags (#2 is twinned with Shannon) and love how they look with my gunmetal (almost aubergine) puffer.
    Keep warm!!

  • Thistle replied 8 years ago

    Love the idea of a fushia bag!

    I have a big black LE puffer I have been wearign All. Winter. I am going to buy a second puffer this year if this is any indication of the new winter normal!

    I also want a tote big enough to carry booties, my lunch, etc. that looks nice with the puffer. Not needed as I drive to work rather than take public transit, but a single bag would be nice!  Or maybe a tote and coordinating bag.

  • Sarah A replied 8 years ago

    I always use a crossbody with my puffer... (oh wait... it seems i always use a cross body always ;) )... Id say that or some bag shape that is easily done in the crook of the elbow or held by hand. I have yet to find a shoulder strap shape such that it doesnt slide off the slippery nylon of the puffers shoulder.

  • Ornella replied 8 years ago

    I wear my crossbody bag and I like how the straps (in my mind at least) de-puff the puffer.

  • Ariadne replied 8 years ago

    I was just thinking about this today as I crankily put on my black puffer (hopefully to be replaced later this week if any of my US orders work out) yet again.  I have no answers, but I'll be taking notes.  

    My one concern with the Le Pliage bag is that the handles are cognac.  Too warm for your wardrobe (and mine, now), yes?

  • Diana replied 8 years ago

    Ariadne and Suz, I have the Planetes, which is exactly like the Le Pliage except the handles are the same color as the bag. I have the black, and there is also a lovely plum.


  • Catnip replied 8 years ago

    I've been wearing my black puffer everyday with my black waterproof nylon Tumi Q-tote.  The Q-tote is very durable.  I've had it for several years and the corners don't wear out as they did on my Longchamp Le Pliage.  It's fully lined and has several pockets inside and outside.  The straps are leather.  It comes in several different colors, and I'm thinking of getting another one.  Tumi also has several other nylon bags in different styles and colors.

  • Kt replied 8 years ago

    I tend to prefer a smaller crossbody satchel....fuschia is a great bright for the neutral puffer. I'm a petite, so I don't like to be swallowed up tooooo much by coat AND bag!

  • gryffin replied 8 years ago

    I still love my coach annabelle with pretty much everything.  I dont' think that's what you are going for Suz.  But I've got the crossbody and top handle and since my puffer is black it blends in.  I thought Diana's suggestion was a great one especially if you need a tote size!!  Also you could keep a small day bag inside if you needed something more formal. 

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    I wear a bag with a very long strap, otherwise it will not stay on my arm with a puffer coat.  The photo is old, but the brown/black bag on the far right is my winter bag since it has a long strap and is very wide.  It doesn't get lost against my black puffer coat.

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    I feel your weather frustration as I look out at 1 foot of snow over ice and highs in the single digits. I didn't buy it for puffer pairing, but I've liked using my big grey ostrich skin textured tote from Target (MaryK has one, maybe in tan). The handles fit over a puffer-clad arm and it's big enough to function as a small shopper for me. They had one in navy that I wish I'd bought.

  • Ariadne replied 8 years ago

    Ooh.  Love the plum Planetes.

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    I have a black puffer, and have been using a red leather purse, with one long shoulder strap.  I got it at Costco, but it's very similar to styles that Roots would have.  So leather, but casual leather.  I have a scarf that is red and white, to bookend the colour.  Heck if I know if it's stylish, but it's what I do...  :)

  • deb replied 8 years ago

    Something like this with a zipper, a more rounded shape to accent the plumpness of the puffer, and a cross body option. The ink would look beautiful with the grey coat.


  • Vicki replied 8 years ago

    Oh, I feel for you, Suz, and sense you are ready for some better weather.  Wish I could send you some.

    If warmer days are not around the corner, purse shopping seems like just the ticket and I agree with Diana on the Lonchamp.  I had a black leather Longchamp tote, which I adored, for many years.  A cross-body satchel could work, as well, and what about a pretty deep charcoal color to go with the blue-grey?  Or, a cobalt blue or teal, perhaps?

    Stay warm and I'll send some sun your way.

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    Black Puffer Coat Every Single Solitary Day!!! I call it my Big Gun coat - it is the warmest coat I own. Last night the zipper failed and I was mortified. I got it working again thanks goodness, because I am in the same snow corridor as the lovely Suz!
    We are also boot twins with the grey Kamiks. 
    I have worn my wool peacoat maybe one time. There is no room for vanity in a polar vortex! Hahaha.
    Ok to the purse question: I am switching between 2 purses: a Roots black leather cross body, and a Le Sak black leather hobo style purse. Whatever you wear must be washable due to the salt and grime that gets everywhere. For me, I switched to the Roots because I needed my hands free for sports with children. The first purse Merwoman showed I also have and it is fabulous.

  • pil replied 8 years ago

    I don't know anything about style of bags, but vote for fuchsia color!

  • PamelaK replied 8 years ago

    I second Diana's suggestion of the Planetes. I love mine (so practical and yet not without a nod to style) and actually feel quite happy carrying it with my puffers.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Something large and pretty casual. I would head over to Zara and look at their collection of shoppers. Zara's bags are excellent. 

  • Debora replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I usually carry a satchel with my puffer. I'm visiting NYC and I switched out to my Longchamp Le Pliage on Monday after a morning run to the coffee shop soaked my leather bag. The Longchamp tote is waterproof and it served me well the rest of the day as I trekked through snowy Manhattan.

  • Dee replied 8 years ago

    I'm not a big fan of cross-body bags with puffers. I always manage to catch them on the collar or hood and end up doing this bizarre dance to get it off! But that could just be due to my own lack of coordination. I like totes with big enough shoulder straps to sit comfortably and sturdy enough to stay in place.

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    I feel the only thing that looks remotely not silly with my Canada Goose is the smallest, flattest leather cross body (almost like a wallet on a strap, really). 

    One drawback: you must think of putting the hood on before you out the cross body on, then lower the hood. Sounds silly to mention this, but actually, once you have done this gesture several times in a day, it's a bit of a drag.

    Or a banana shaped puffer purse! Yes, you can get those in Outdoor Gear stores. 

  • Aubergine replied 8 years ago

    I've been using a black nylon Steve Madden cross-body I bought for traveling. It's not the most elegant or exciting bag, but it fits easily over the puffer and looks innocuous enough.


    Dee reminded me that I do get annoyed because the hood keeps getting caught under the straps and I have to lift the bag up before I can pull it up. But I figure something's going to be annoying no matter what if it's that cold.

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    Not a dilemma I've had to face, so far, she says sheepishly :)

  • shiny replied 8 years ago

    This winter I am wearing the Bernardo packable puffer in Ocean Pearl:

    ... without the belt (DH said "YIKES that belt is ghastly" and it hasn't been seen since)....

    with this Coach cross body in black:


    And I'm really *loving* how the two look together! 

    That said, there's no room to stuff gloves, hat and mittens into this bag. Major drawback. I am used to doing that in the winter, when I peel stuff off indoors, and don't want to lose anything. 

  • Jaime replied 8 years ago

    Well I am no puffer expert but I like the idea of the Longchamp Planetes or something along those lines. Something that looks like it can withstand snow! Although I will add I am a recent convert to Zara bags.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks so much, everybody. I really like these suggestions and I'm also grateful for the sympathy and commiseration. It does help to know that others are going through the same ordeal -- and also to know that some lucky souls are escaping it!! 

     I am pretty set on getting a Planetes bag or similar -- loved that plum one, Diana. I'll do a search. I also found a pretty nice looking bag at Danier.  But not waterproof and maybe a bit dressy. Still, it looks like a bag that could work well with my red wool coat also (should I ever get a chance to wear that again, ha ha) and might also transition quite well into spring. 

  • Beth Ann replied 8 years ago

    Sigh.  I so feel you.

    I've been wearing my grey Nine West crossbody with my puffer.  It's largish for a crossbody -- which works to balance the big puffer and my frame.  I do find "wrassling" with the strap and hood to be a bit of a pain, so I like the idea of a tote, as long as I could wear it on my shoulder.

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    Suz, just empathizing here...

    I can't tell you how many times I've "run into" my salty car with my bag this winter. Ugh. But I sure am enjoying my toasty warm feet in my new Kamiks!

    That Planetes bag looks like a great option.

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    P.S. And I'm chuckling at all of the descriptions of cross-body + puffer hood = disaster. That is my life!

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I know for sure that thin, flat, olive green waist pack from the Japanese dollar store does not look good with a dark brown puffer...

  • deb replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I like that bag and yes it will look nice with your red coat.

  • Ariadne replied 8 years ago

    That Danier bag looks like it was made especially for you.

  • April replied 8 years ago

    By this time in the winter, Suz, I'm tempted to vote for one of these.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Hahahaha!! April, that is too funny. And pretty much TRUE. 

  • April replied 8 years ago

    Shake briskly to open, insert puffer, pull drawstring, kick to curb, walk back to the house IN REGULAR SHOES.

    I can dream, can't I?

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Yeah, no kidding. The shoes are the true dream right now. I have taken to petting mine every day just so I don't forget I have them. 

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