Stella McCartney boasted feather-free wadding puffer jackets in quilted black and burnt orange for autumn/winter 2016 / Getty Images

It’s been a swaddling hit on the runway but can the puffer hold its own on the Great British High Street? Sarah Young investigates the new season’s anticipated IT coat

There may not be an arctic chill in the air just yet but trust us, it’s well on its way and for many of us autumn is as good a time as any to start searching for the ultimate winter coat.

When it comes to choosing ‘the one’, function often subsides in favour of style as we convince ourselves that a classic trench will suffice, but thanks to a recent spate of designer fixation with off-duty cool, winter’s must-have coat could mean we get the very best of both worlds.  

Marques Almeida opted for an XXL floor length version (Getty Images)

Looking for a super-comfy coat that will answer all your winter woes? Then you’ll be glad to hear that the puffer has made a surprisingly chic comeback. So what’s changed?

Designers are finally starting to get to grips with our casual lifestyles that demand inherently functional fashion, leading to a reimagining of items that were once considered a no-no. Lo and behold, the autumn/winter 2016 runways were awash with swaddling cover-ups that elevated the puffer from faux pas to fashion forward.  

Alexander McQueen showed a rose-colour blanket coat on his autumn/winter 2016 runway (AFP/Getty Images)

At Alexander McQueen it was a rose-colour blanket coat that stole the show while over at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld presented lux, cropped styles in frosty pale pink.

Stella McCartney had her feather-free wadding puffer jackets that came down to the knee in quilted black and burnt orange, and Balenciaga took theirs off the shoulder.

But it was Marques Almeida’s XXL floor length and accompanying shocking pink crop versions that really caught our attention; Could the puffer really be the It coat next winter? We think so.

Finally a coat that you can reach for when the temperature dips below freezing that won’t completely rescind you style credentials.

Luckily, the High Street is fully on board with a host of styles, sizes and colours available. If you’re not afraid of a little extra volume go full length for added dimension but if you’re petite, or want to maintain some feminine appeal opt for a standard or cropped length that’s cinched at the waist for a sleeker silhouette.