Photo by Ashley Kim / North by Northwestern
Photo taken by Ashley Kim / North by Northwestern

Super Puff jackets are everywhere on campus. I’ve spotted dozens of them resting on the backs of chairs in lecture halls and sported in all lengths, shades and finishes on my daily treks up and down Sheridan Road.

Having spent time in Canada growing up, Aritzia — a Canadian women’s fashion brand — has been on my radar since I was old enough to recognize name brands in shopping malls. But in the U.S., Aritzia’s ubiquity is fairly recent – and is largely due to viral products like the iconic Super Puff.

The Super Puff is a puffer coat made from 100% responsibly sourced goose down. Each jacket offers zipper and button enclosures as well as a detachable hood with a cinch feature to keep wearers warm. Plus, it’s machine washable.

Image courtesy of Aritzia

Curious to see if the Super Puff lives up to its hype, I gauged Northwestern students’ approval of its practicality, style and affordability.

Is it warm enough?

The general consensus is that length matters.

Those with the Super Puff Long style say they’ve been warm enough on days with temperatures in the negatives.

“I like how long it is since I don’t like doubling up on pants,” Medill first-year Ashley Xue, whose Super Puff is her first ever winter jacket investment, said.

Those with the Original and Shorty styles, however, seem to agree that their Super Puffs are better suited for milder winter days.

“It’s warm enough for most days,” Medill first-year Zoe Chao, who owns the Super Puff in the Original length, said. “It’s a great purchase, but I definitely need a full-length Canada Goose to combat the wind.”

Medill first-year Dina Drogin, who also owns the Original length, agrees.

“Longer coats are definitely a necessity for days when the temperature is below twenty degrees,” Drogin said.

Still, Dina is a strong proponent of the coat because of its level of warmth despite how lightweight it is.

While the Super Puff’s construction is key to its lightness, the Original and Shorty styles are less bulky than the Long, making it a more popular choice among NU students. With strategic layering and practical bottoms, shorter lengths can still be warm. After all, every length offers the same interior lining as well as storm cuffs with thumbholes.

Is it easy to style?

Photo courtesy of Forbes

Yes! With varying colors and finishes to customize one’s look, the Super Puff offers endless options for individual aesthetics.

“Whether your coat is shiny, matte, or glossy, it can completely change your look,” Medill first-year Ava Paulsen said.

Paulsen owns an Aerial Blue Super Puff Shorty in Hi-Gloss and an Oakwood Super Puff vest in Liquid Shine. On warmer winter days, Paulsen says her Shorty is a go-to.

“Since the vest doesn’t have sleeves, I consider it more of a fall or spring piece,” she said.

First-year Ava Cabellon is another fan of the Super Puff. She owns three: a Black Original in cliMATTE, a Modern Taupe Shorty in Hi-Gloss and a Marble Grey Long in Rainstop.

“I think it’s so fun that there are so many different colors to get and collect!” she said.

Similar to Paulsen, Cabello appreciates the different stylistic and functional purposes of each of her Super Puffs.

While neutral color Super Puffs offer everyday versatility, bold color Super Puffs are statement pieces. Every season, Aritzia offers collectible, limited edition shades like Modern Magenta, Gloss Green and Sunset Orange. I’m personally obsessed with the new Kasha Taupe shade, which would complement several pieces in my wardrobe while offering a contrast to my typical black winter jacket.

Knowing certain one-of-a-kind colors and finishes may not be available in the future increases the thrill of purchasing a Super Puff. Despite how popular the jacket is, nothing about the Super Puff feels generic thanks to the variety of customizable features offered.

Is it affordable?

Super Puffs aren’t cheap. A full-sleeved jacket starts at $250. Among the NU students I talked to, many received their Super Puffs as birthday and holiday gifts. Others referred to the jacket as a necessary investment to survive Midwest winters.

However, Super Puffs aren’t quite as expensive as other winter jackets. A North Face parka typically costs between $350 and $500. A Canada Goose puffer starts at $750 – about three times the cost of a Super Puff – with parkas costing well over $1000.

Even with the practical warmth and styling variety of the Super Puff, the jacket may not be affordable. But, it’s certainly worth every penny – especially compared to other options on the market.

Screenshot by Ashley Kim / Design by Aritzia

With students at NU hailing from all over the country and world, people have picked up their Super Puffs everywhere from the Super World pop-up in New York City to the Aritzia website and their local malls. For those looking to check out the Super Puffs in person, there’s an Aritzia in Westfield Old Orchard Mall, a 15-minute CTA ride from campus.