I’m cold all the time, so there’s not much in my closet that gets more wear than my coats. I’ve been slowly expanding my outerwear repertoire, so I decided to add this silver puffer from Alala this season. The package arrived just a couple of days before I left for my recent trip, and I decided to stuff it in my suitcase at the last minute. I’m so glad I did, because I wore this jacket literally almost every single day. Although the price seemed high at first, it really proved its worth after several weeks of some intense field testing. Alala’s office is based in NYC, so their people clearly know cold. They’ve proven their chill-fighting design prowess with this puffer.
This jacket has some serious stylish-Antarctic-explorer kinda vibes. I love the silver color, which is unique while still being neutral enough to go with everything in my closet. Besides being a nice topper for my workout outfits, it looks fabulous with skinny jeans and boots, aka my daily non-workout uniform.
The first thing I noticed about the city puffer is how warm it is. As I wore it day after day, I was continually impressed by how cozy and comfortable it was. It’s noticeably thicker and warmer than my other puffers, including my lululemon jacket. If you live in a mild climate, this jacket will almost certainly be too heavy for you (although there is a vest version that might work). But for those of us who deal with serious chill, it holds up to the challenge. The only way it doesn’t bring ultimate warmth is the length. While this jacket is a champ for chilly days, the short length means I’d switch to a knee-length coat for truly frigid temps that dip below freezing.
Besides keeping me warm, I noticed that it does well in wind and rain as well. I wore this on some pretty windy days and it cut the chill extremely well. I also wore it numerous times in light to moderate rain and noticed that water beaded on the fabric rather than soaking in easily. If I was outside in a torrential downpour for hours, I imagine it would eventually soak through, but for walking around the city, it was perfect.
This jacket has quite a few details that I love in terms of both function and style. In addition to the excellent warmth, the details are a big part of what makes it worth the price.
One of my favorite details is the inner zip. It’s made of a thick, sturdy material and zips all the way up to your chin. I wore this jacket to a rugby match and when it started getting chilly, zipping the inner lining all the way up made a huge difference in warmth. It’s like having a scarf wherever you go.
The jacket also has cuffs (including thumbholes) made of a similarly thick material. It’s a thick and stretchy ribbed material, so it fits closely to your wrist to lock out cold air. Yes, these cuffs are part of the jacket and not my shirt underneath.
Another wonderfully warm detail is the pocket lining. The inside of the pockets is soft and fleecy that feels so nice on cold hands. Speaking of pockets, besides the outer zip pockets, there’s a third inner pocket at the chest with a magnet closure. While I was traveling, I slipped my phone, passport, and credit card into this pocket for purse-free roaming. It was the perfect solution since it was large enough to fit everything I needed, and that meant I didn’t have to worry about anything falling out (or getting stolen!).
The huge oversized hood is really warm, and has adjustable drawcords on it so that you can tighten it up when you need to. I like that the hood is extra-large, because it helps the loose fit to look balanced and intentional. Likewise, the oversized zipper details also help bring the whole look together.
I love the contrasting faux leather details and the stamped Alala emblem on the sleeve. I was a little worried the faux leather details would be damaged from carrying my camera bag, which has a fairly coarse strap. Thankfully, it still looks good as new!
In terms of fit, I’m wearing my usual XS, and it fits with plenty of room to spare. It’s intended to be a relaxed fit, so going with your normal size is still a good option in my opinion. If you are between sizes, it’s probably safe to go with either your larger or smaller size. If you have very broad shoulders, though, I would not size down, since the jacket does not have much stretch to it.
You should also know that this jacket does run slightly short through the body. Being petite, the proportions work well for me, but if you’re fairly tall and/or have a long torso, it could end up looking a little too cropped on you. That said, I would also assume that larger sizes are cut with slightly longer length, so your mileage may vary.
Overall, this jacket is one of my favorite purchases in a while. After two weeks of intense testing, it held up to everything I threw at it. It was worth every penny.
And before I go: a quick word about my pants! I’m wearing another version of the liquid captain tights I reviewed previously, this time in liquid burgundy. This hue is exclusive to Neiman Marcus and it’s so lovely. Take note that despite my best efforts to correct it, the color isn’t 100% accurate in the pics. The shade isn’t quite as purple as it looks in my photos, but actually a slightly more earthy, almost brownish-red, a true burgundy, and not a plum-red shade. They are fully opaque with medium compression. The liquid fabric fits a little slimmer than Alala’s usual fabric, but I still got my usual Alala size of XS. If you are between sizes, I recommend going up.
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