The puffer jacket trend has made a comeback with Gorpcore fashion gradually penetrating the streetwear scene. Companies are investing in high-tech textiles to create different versions of outdoor apparel that people can’t seem to get enough of. Because of this, modern puffer jackets are now becoming more fashionable and versatile. People are embracing outerwear as the new streetwear accessory and luxury companies are also jumping into the new puffer jacket trend.
The History of Puffer Jackets
The first-ever puffer jacket was invented by Eddie Bauer in the 1930s. Initially, it was made of wrapped quilted fabric that was personally made for him after his near-death experience from hypothermia while ice fishing. He originally called it the “Skyliner” and received a patent for the invention in 1940. Since then, it has been well received in the fashion industry and the puffer jacket trend began to take off.
Around the same time, American fashion designer Charles James created a similar kind of jacket for haute couture. Though his version was originally made of satin, it resembled a similar quilted pattern. He dubbed his version as the “pneumatic jacket” and the structure was quite difficult to imitate. The thick lining within the garment restricted mobility but this was shortly corrected after minimizing the insulation around the neckline and armholes.
After these events in the 1940s, it began to adopt a more utilitarian design and was sold to the wealthy as a type of evening clothing. By the 1970s, however, another American fashion designer Norma Kamali reimagined the design as a type of sports jacket specifically for women. She named her version the “sleeping bag jacket” and was insulated using synthetic down. Today, the puffer jacket trend continues to be popular especially among many winter sports athletes.
The puffer jacket has become somewhat of a cornerstone in winter fashion. In the 1980s, bright neon-colored puffers were a fashion staple and in the 1990s the trend began to sweep the younger generation who enjoyed the party scene since it can keep them warm throughout the night. Today, the puffer jacket trend maintains its grip on streetwear especially with Gorpcore fashion making a comeback in recent years.
The Rise of Gorpcore
Gorpcore is a subgenre of streetwear that evolved from comfort and functionality. It is characterized by the essential elements of outerwear that people would usually wear during extreme outdoor excursions. The term was coined by Jason Chen in 2017, meaning “good old raisins and peanuts”, a common food source for those who consider themselves outdoorsmen. Although this kind of aesthetic existed before, it has only begun to come to the fore as a subgenre of streetwear recently.
Gorpcore strikes the perfect balance between street and outdoor clothing. It combines the casual look of typical streetwear with the comfort and functionality of high-tech apparel. Much like in the 80s, Gorpcore is embodied by bright neon-colored puffer jackets. The big and bulky aesthetic is something that most streetwear enthusiasts enjoy and hiking footwear or utility backpacks are usually used as forms of accessories. This is why today, the puffer jacket trend continues to be a vital part of modern streetwear fashion, especially in the winter season.