The North Face is an iconic outdoor apparel brand that has been around since the 1960s. Their puffer jackets, often filled with down insulation, have been a popular cold weather style staple for decades. But in the fast moving world of fashion, some may wonder if North Face puffers are still considered stylish and on-trend.
The History of North Face Puffers
The North Face introduced their first down-filled jacket in the late 1970s. It was designed for serious mountaineers venturing into frigid environments. Over the next few decades, North Face continued to perfect their down insulation technology while expanding their puffer jacket lineup for both outdoor enthusiasts and everyday wear.
By the 1990s, North Face puffer jackets had gained mainstream appeal. Their rugged yet stylish look combined with lightweight warmth made them a staple on college campuses and city streets. As outdoor apparel continued to gain fashion credibility into the 2000s,North Face established itself as a go-to brand for quality puffer jackets in both performance and lifestyle categories.
Many credit the popularity of North Face puffers to their appearance on icons like the 90s hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Oversize and padded North Face jackets became part of the signature Wu-Tang streetstyle. By the late 2000s and 2010s, North Face puffers were everywhere from urban commuters to arctic explorers.
North Face Puffer Popularity Today
In 2023, the North Face puffer jacket remains one of the brands most recognizable and best selling items. The enduring popularity comes from key factors:
- High quality materials and construction – North Face continues to use premium down and fabrics for warmth, durability, and performance.
- Retro-inspired heritage styles – Classics like the Denali fleece jacket lining lends an old school, vintage vibe.
- Slim and short fitted silhouette – The cropped and less puffy fits work for modern streetstyle.
- Bold colors and prints – North Face offers pops of color and graphic prints for eye catching style, beyond just basics.
- Endorsements – Celebs like Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, and Steve Aoki have been spotted sporting North Face puffers recently.
Beyond celebrities, North Face puffers remain a staple on the streets from busy urban commuters to mountain enthusiasts. Their combination of fashion and function maintains broad appeal across demographics and regions.
Comparing Other Puffer Brands
North Face puffers may still reign supreme, but other brands like Canada Goose, Patagonia, and Moncler have gained ground in the puffer market. How do they compare?
|Down, coyote fur
|Down, recycled fabrics
|Nano Puff, Down Sweater
|Down, nylon, rayon
While other puffer brands may be increasing in popularity, the North Face remains a strong competitor when it comes to quality, performance, style, and even affordability. Their mid-range price point appeals to a wide consumer base.
Are North Face Puffers Still Fashionable?
Based on their continued presence both on city streets and mountain trails, North Face puffer jackets do still seem to be in vogue. Their familiar style conjures up a retro mood while updated colors, prints, and fits keep them feeling current. As an outdoor heritage brand, North Face will likely remain stylish for years to come. The puffer jacket has endured for decades already as a cold weather staple.
Of course, style trends come and go. Some years, slimmer fitted bomber jackets may eclipse puffers. Or technical shell jackets may take over as the performance outerwear of choice. But the puffer jacket and North Face have become such iconic pieces, it is hard to see them completely fading from relevance. Where function meets fashion, North Face puffers fill an important niche.
It is true that competing brands like Canada Goose and Moncler have cut into some of North Face’s market share, especially at luxury price points. However, at a more accessible mid-tier price, North Face puffers remain strong sellers. For the foreseeable future, North Face puffers will continue to make appearances in both urban and outdoor settings – and look right at home in either environment.
Caring for a North Face Puffer
Part of the enduing appeal of North Face puffer jackets is their durability and performance. With proper care, a quality down or synthetic insulated puffer can last for many years of cold weather wear.
- Hand wash or dry clean only – Take care when laundering to avoid damage to fabric and down fill.
- Tumble dry low – Use low heat to dry fully and re-fluff insulating fill.
- Avoid compressing – When storing, keep puffer loosely packed so the insulation loft is maintained.
- Spot clean stains – Use a damp cloth with mild detergent to gently clean surface dirt and stains.
- Apply DWR spray – Re-waterproof the outer fabric occasionally with a DWR (durable water repellent) spray.
- Patch holes – Professionally repair any rips, tears or holes to prevent leakage of fill.
With the proper care and maintenance, a North Face puffer can be enjoyed for many winter seasons before needing to be replaced. The high quality materials coupled with smart storage, washing, and waterproofing make them a long term investment.
After over 40 years on the market, the North Face puffer jacket remains a cold weather wardrobe staple. Their combination of performance, durability, and style has secured the North Face puffer as an enduring classic. While fashion trends come and go, this iconic piece remains perennially relevant and on-trend. With proper care, North Face puffers can deliver many more years of warmth and timeless outdoor style.