“Hey, does this puffy coat make me look fat?” Well, not if you go for today’s shaped puffers, quilted vests and coats with tapered sides and waist-nipping belts.

Figure-flattering shapes and details such as shawl collars on Canadian labels Joe Fresh and Mackage, and piping and bold buttons à la also-Canadian company Soia & Kyo forever banish unflattering comparisons to the Michelin Man.

As for colour, black’s a basic and often-chic choice, but a vibrant hue makes the long drab days of winter shine a little brighter.

Down puffers will keep you warmest, and while big-city slickers might do fine with a short jacket through winter, longer cuts will keep you cozier in a deep freeze. Either way, you may still want to stock up on your thermal-underwear tights -— narrow straight-leg or skinny pants look best with puffy toppers.

Now rephrase that question: “Hey, does this puffy coat make me look hot?”