Six ways to look a knobhead in… a puffer coat

THE Season of the Puffer is on us, and everywhere humans are swaddled in so many inflated compartments they look like they’ve pulled the string on a fucking liferaft. 

Warm, ubiquitous, and making everyone look exactly the same, they’re fashion in its purest form. But how should you wear yours?

On public transport

Resembling boxes of ornaments bubble-wrapped by professional movers, buses full of puffas snake through Leeds. They could collide head-on at full speed and all the passengers would be fine. Plus, want two feet of personal space between you and everyone else? That’s how thick your coat is, girl!

On city streets

Bouncing around like soft little pinballs, the zip of nylon against nylon the only sound, all snug in their own personal pockets of insulation, refusing to even share their body heat with others, could there be anything more London? These metaphors are alive!

On a country walk

Nothing sets the amateur apart from the pro more than tramping through the woods with a takeaway coffee and a rose-gold ankle length puffer! Best teamed with white trainers and you’re giving everyone serious Lockdown II vibes.

With noise-cancelling headphones

‘Fuck off world,’ your puffer is telling everyone, and ‘yeah, go on, fuck off’ your high-end headphones sneer from behind its bulk. Why, you’re barely more than a cocoon from which come summer a transcendent butterfly will emerge, still in the fuck-off headphones!

With ten extra pounds

What’s the point of being thick if you ain’t getting thicc? The classic puffer dwarfs turns even the most powerfully built into slim wrists and ankles poking out of a sleeping bag, so add an extra insulating layer of pure fat underneath and revel in it. Nobody will ever know!

With another puffer underneath

If a thing’s worth doing well, it’s worth going beserk with until all utility has been systematically removed and replaced with style, so double and triple up! Wear a casual gilet over a thigh-length puffer, and a natty puffer jacket under that. You won’t be able to fit through doors! They’ll be rolling you home!

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Mash Blind Date: 'I've never forgotten him. For 20 years I've thought he was The One. He doesn't remember me at all'

WE reunite Carrie Ryan and the one who got away who she’s been trying to find for decades, Will McKay, who has no idea who she is. Is the magic still there? 

Carrie on Will

First impression?

The first impression was made 20 years ago. I was in upstate New York working at a kids camp. He was one of the counsellors. We loved each other that summer and swore we’d always be together, but the Atlantic came between us. Now those years and that distance have melted away.

How was conversation? 

A lot of time has passed, and against our will we’ve spent it apart. So there was a huge amount of catching up to do. He’s been married, I’ve had a number of long-term relationships, he’s now divorced, I had to give a dog away because it was out of control, etcetera.

Memorable moments?

When his eyes lit up and he said ‘I remember you’ and my heart melted. He obviously knew who I was from the start, but he remembered my emotional reality. That’s what he meant.

Favourite thing about Will? 

He may not be a teenager anymore, but beneath that slightly older, a little bit battered exterior he’s still the man whose memory I’ve cherished for two decades.

A capsule description? 

Still gorgeous, still glamorous and American, still holds the key to my heart.

Was there a spark? 

A flame which may have burned low this last 20 years but has never once been extinguished.

What happened afterwards? 

Arm in arm, walking to the car park, he casually dropped that he only remembered who I was during the sweet course. Then he said ‘Weren’t you Swedish?’

What would you change about the evening? 

I loved most of it. But the bit at the end, when he still had no idea who the fuck I was after a whole fucking night sharing memories and gazing into each others’ eyes? I could do without that bit.

Will you see each other again?  

Would he have any bloody idea if we did? I thought we were going to get married.

Will on Carrie

First impression?

Really nice looking, beautiful eyes, just my type actually. Hugged me straight away which I liked, though maybe for a little too long, and then quite a bit longer after that. And seemed to be breathing in my scent.

How was conversation? 

Apparently we’ve met before? Not since 2003 she tells me, and I forget people I met last week but it seems really important to her so I play along. Don’t want to be rude! The English are all about manners!

Memorable moments?

When I finally manage to trace her in my memory, and realise she was the Swedish girl I had a brief fling with back in summer camp. I was fooled because she hasn’t got the accent anymore. Delighted to see her again. She was way hot.

Favourite thing about Carrie? 

That there’s no expectations and no strings attached, just a couple of late 30s singles hooking up like they did back in the day.

A capsule description? 

Life brings together New Yorker and a girl he knew from 20 years ago for a good time, not a long time, that will hopefully heal the pain of his divorce.

Was there a spark? 

For sure. Goes to show that even just a casual attraction can bridge the decades.

What happened afterwards? 

Yeah. She wasn’t the Swedish girl? And was this other chick who I got with subsequent to the Swedish girl? And a bunch of other shit about how the thought of me has ruined every relationship she’s had in 20 years, and how hard it was to find me, and what an asshole I am? Which brought back the divorce and started me crying and then she was crying and that’s a whole lot of drama for a Nando’s parking lot.

What would you change about the evening? 

I would not end it comforting a woman I do not know about the heartbreak caused by me not knowing her.

Will you see each other again?  

There are women out there who don’t hate me yet. I would prefer to date them.