Historically, my puffer coats have always epitomized the necessity-laden bent of getting dressed in the winter: heavy on the utility, lacking in aesthetic personality. An enormous, puffy coat is also often the very thing that denies the remainder of my outfits their opportunity to express a modicum of personality, because it covers everything up! I am thus forced to waddle to and fro in a giant, unmemorable duvet with arms, looking like every other frozen human on the street.

But this winter, I vowed to show my puffer coat who’s boss. Instead of letting it wear me, I challenged myself to figure out how to do things the other way around. My ultimate goal? To prove to myself, and the world, that a puffer can be more than just a practical necessity; it can actually be a stylistic enhancement that works in tandem with the rest of an outfit.

I enlisted THE one and only Crystal Shawnté…