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A Gentleman’s Guide

Seven Ways To Wear A Down Jacket

Big, warm and full of feathers. As winter arrives, it’s time to wrap up

  • Photograph by Ms Melanie Galea/

As the clement October weather turns, stepping beyond the threshold of the front door turns into a grimly Game Of Thrones-esque, north-of-the-Wall-style scenario, down jackets are a failsafe fallback. They come with the swamping security of a newborn being happily swaddled, and look suitably action-ready and outdoorsy in the right setting. But for every Mr Daniel Craig as James Bond, dashing nimbly through the Alps in padded TOM FORD, there’s a South Park’s Kenny McCormick in a cumbersome number that is so archly functional it looks as if you’re about to go beaver trapping in North Dakota. This roundup shows the strongest contenders to see you through winter in both style and heavy-duty substance.

Make light work

  • Photograph by Mr Marc Richardson

Even if your daily endeavours are more anodyne than Action Man, a lightweight padded jacket is an informed investment. Easy to shrug on during interchangeable weather, it’s also become something of a cult item among the hipster fraternity thanks to its workwear-utilitarian aesthetic. Just add some turned-up jeans, a flat white and a frosty Brooklyn Bridge backdrop.

Get the look

  • Craig Green Quilted Shell Jacket

  • Thom Browne Slim-Fit Button-Down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt


Get the blues

  • Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding/Trunk Archive

Glacial tones work harmoniously in winter, and blue is something of a standard baseline shade in men’s clothing. Rich, jewel-like midnight blue or icy cobalt are the kind of sombre shades that seem fitting as the nights draw in; leave the sky blues and azure tones for summers in Montauk as opposed to darkest December in Montana. Some dark or jet-black denim will set the mood nicely.

Get the look

  • Junya Watanabe + North Face Canyon Cotton-Blend Down Jacket

  • Fabric-Brand & Co Fleece-Back Cotton Deck Jacket


Be on red alert

  • Photograph by Frenchy Style/

The large-scale shape of a down jacket means you can’t help but be noticed, and for a full take-no-prisoners effect, opt for traffic-light red for maximum impact. Bold Crayola colours have been a mainstay of functional outerwear and ski attire for decades – easy to spot on snowy tundra or caught amid a whiteout. But for a bit of added urban edge, layer yours with similar tones for an ensemble that’s far too street to be relegated to the mountain.

Get the look

  • Moncler Pascal Quilted Shell Down Jacket

  • Bogner Dany Stretch-Jersey Half-Zip Base Layer


Set the tone

  • Photograph by Ms Suzanne Middlemass

The tech fabrics and breezy nylons employed in down jackets more often than not come with a subtle sheen, which means the colours can be more nuanced. Enhance this effect by dressing in tonal hues that effortlessly complement one another: slate, anthracite and cobalt shades against the greys of a city Metropolis perhaps; or rust, caramel and fawn tones in a nod to this season’s top colour trend: brown.

Get the look

  • Herno Laminar Slim-Fit Padded GORE-TEX Hooded Down Jacket

  • Barena Mélange Checked Woven Drawstring Trousers


Team with jeans

  • Photograph by Ms Melanie Galea/

There’s a rustic appeal to down jackets that makes them a natural fit with denim; both strike a casual mood and nod to the traditions of American workwear. Combine different textures for some subtle surface play and elevate the everyday: a padded jacket with love-worn denim and some chunky knitwear or nubbly woollens. A sleek leather accessory will keep things pin sharp.

Get the look

  • Aspesi Quilted Shell Hooded Down Jacket

  • A.P.C. Denim Jacket


Follow suit

  • Photograph by Mr Tommy Ton

A solid tone – inky indigo or classic navy – will look masculine and discreet when paired with formal tailoring. The outdoorsy nature of down jackets doesn’t mean they can’t sit happily alongside formalwear; in fact, they can act as a unique counterbalance. Combine with a sleek, lightweight suit jacket (it’s important to avoid any extra bulk) to look polished enough for professional environs, but warm enough to face the chill.

Get the look

  • Ermenegildo Zegna Slim-Fit Leather-Trimmed Quilted Wool Down Jacket

  • Canali Grey Kei Slim-Fit Unstructured Slub Herringbone Wool-Blend Blazer


Blame Canada

  • Photograph by Jason Jean/

The grandaddy of the down jacket, Canada Goose has specialised in this particular sort of outerwear since 1957, beginning life in Toronto as outfitter for the country’s arctic winters. Its plump, heavy-duty jackets – which veer from the classic parkas to sportier, niftier models – are made using feathers from Hutterite farmers in rural Alberta. They are so trusted for their warmth that they are issued to scientists at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station and helped mountaineer Mr Laurie Skreslet stay frost-bite free while summiting Everest. In line with YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s anti-fur policy, MR PORTER doesn’t stock the brand’s coyote-fur trimmed Chateau coats, but we have the same jackets in black and navy without the trim.

Get the look

  • Canada Goose Chateau Shell Hooded Down Parka

  • Canada Goose Lodge Packable Shell Hooded Down Jacket

We’ve got this down

  • Junya Watanabe + North Face Canyon Cotton-Blend Down Jacket

  • Canada Goose Macmillan Camouflage-Print Quilted Shell Hooded Down Parka

  • Canada Goose Maitland Shell Hooded Down Parka

  • Filson Cruiser Quilted Water-Repellent Cotton-Canvas Down Jacket

  • Loro Piana Shearling-Trimmed Quilted Nylon Down Jacket

  • Canada Goose Black Label Macmillan Quilted Shell Hooded Down Parka