The packable down jacket from Uniqlo has been around for a while, but I hadn't really thought of it as a necessity. I own a couple winter coats, some with down in them, but they're both pretty casual. The Uniqlo compact down jacket allows me to wear my thinner top coats all the way through winter, by layering it under and snapping it closed.
The thin, breathable design of the jacket makes it look like it does next to nothing, but don't judge a book (or jacket) by its cover. Any time I wear it under my top coat, I end up not just warm, but almost too warm. And the fact that it's waterproof means that when it does start to snow, you can throw this on without worrying about feeling overly bulky and still stay dry.
By far, the best part is that it's a dream to travel with. It's small enough to be packed into the small carry bag it comes with and tucked into any bag, even a purse. I've brought mine with me any time I've traveled home to visit my parents for Christmas, because it takes up basically no room but still offers the warmth I need.
Uniqlo's down collection comes in a multitude of colors and styles, but the best one in my opinion is the compact jacket. It's collarless and is the perfect layering piece, or just a short coat on its own.
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