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The puffer jacket, for years languishing in the fashion wilderness, has slowly gained popularity to the point that it now is an essential in everybody's fall and winter wardrobe.

Me and Amelia, my Italian puffer jacket.
Me and Amelia, my Italian puffer jacket, looking polished with brown faux leather pants and a Kelly green sweater.

I met my Herno puffer jacket by accident on a sunny fall day in pre-pandemic Rome. We were in an old-school clothing store, where Mr Swinging was having a classic Italian blue blazer precision-fitted by a maestro salesperson. This haberdasher was straight out of central casting — "Mister, look at the fit, how it flatters your waist and takes advantage of your height."

I was hanging in the background, watching while Mr Swinging was fitted first with the blazer, then a beautiful blue wool winter coat, then a classic Italian leather jacket. As each new piece arrived I registered a mental chi-ching on next month's credit card bill.

My reverie was broken when Maestro disappeared once again, this time returning with a Herno Iconico, shiny, taupe-brown puffer jacket. "Madame, please look, it's just right for you, yes?". He insisted it was the perfect colour, so I slipped into it. The Roman sartorial sage was right.

Herno is a luxury Italian coat brand based in Lesa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, on the border of Piedmont and Lombardy and in sight of the Alps. In 1948 Herno founder Giuseppe Marenzi applied castor oil to cotton outerwear to improve its water repellency. Boom! Technical sportswear was born out of the necessity of braving the cold winter months in Northern Italy.

The family company, now led by son Claudio Marenzi, prides itself on its rigorous sourcing of high-performance nylons from Japan, fine merino wool from Piedmont, and Italian craftsmanship at their factory in Sicily.

My Herno Iconico puffer is named Amelia, after one of the villas that looks onto Lake Maggiore. It looks polished with faux brown leather pants and a Kelly green, soft sweater. The A-shape is universally flattering with style details like a funnel neck and welt pockets; the nylon and ultra-fine goose down combination is as light as a cloud.

The Herno Amelia puffer jacket in navy
Here's what the Herno Amelia puffer jacket looks like in navy

Maestro assured me that Amelia could brave temperatures to minus ten degrees centigrade. He was right. Again.

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