Despite the fact that the Sundance Film Festival occurs in a climate reminiscent of Frozen, nobody wants to look like the Michelin Man. Yet far too often, the ever-utilitarian, down-filled puffer jacket, spotted on snow-bound celebrities, filmmakers and executives, abounds.
Puffers don't need to be pedestrian, however. Ask Jennifer Hudson, Amanda Seyfried, Leslie Bibb and Naomi Watts, whose colorful, stylish jackets rocked the fest in 2013. Their secret? It comes down to function, silhouette and accompanying pieces. According to stylist Jeanann Williams, who styled Watts in a Theory Aspen Classic Puffer: First, "look for something that keeps you warm. I love a touch of fur on the hood -- faux or real."
The next consideration is cut, for which Williams suggests something belted, a la Burberry's peplum puffer, or one of Moncler's slim-cut pieces: "It's fashion and function at their best," she says. Stylist Ilaria Urbinati, who works with Nina Dobrev and Krysten Ritter, couldn't agree more, this year favoring Moncler's Safran Women's Parka. "It's more flattering. The patent sheen makes it girlier, but since it's black, it's still sleek and cool."
London stylist Cher Coulter -- who kept Kate Bosworth toasty in Uniqlo x Theory's classic puffer vest last year -- upholds an opposing school of thought. "Puffer coats should look cool before they look womanly. I don't like it when someone gets a puffer jacket and nips it in the waist and puts a weird belt around it," she says. "It looks old and fuddy-duddy." Coulter's prediction for this year's festival includes plenty of cozy Penfield and Canada Goose jackets with fur-trimmed hoods, ideally paired with skinny pants and the ultimate get: last season's Chanel hiking boots. "The vibe I get from Sundance is that nobody wants to look 'done,' " she says. "It's relaxed, so that's why I'd go for the Kate Moss-in-London look."
BOOTS ON THE (COLD) GROUND
Sundance at the tail end of a polar vortex? There certainly will be trekking through snow, and these sturdy but stylish boots will keep men's feet warm and dry. John Varvatos' Raw Edge dark-brown leather boots (above, bottom center; $898, johnvarvatos.com) are handmade from Italy for slush-free days, while black Fred boots by Grenson (above, bottom right; $505, grenson.co.uk) have a massive but lightweight white wedge sole for traction. Other sound picks: Alden's leather boots with a tough waxy finish ($545, epauletnewyork.com) and Helm's no-nonsense, calfskin-lined Ben boots ($399, helmboots.com). -- BRANDON KIRBY
This story first appeared in the Jan. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.