Nothing is better in the fashion business than a style with strong roots in functional, accepted street fashion. That certainly is true of the quilted coats and jackets that clearly spin off from down parkas and sleeping bags. Anyone who has tried either knows there is nothing warmer.

It's no surprise, in a season that promises less fuel, more people waiting at bus stops and more walking instead of driving, that quilting is a favorite theme. Designers have quilted everything in sight, from furs to leather to silk, and filled them with honest-to-goodness goose down as well as synthetic filling.

Quilted jackets of the Chinese style have already started to show up in Washington streets as a lightweight coverup for dresses and with skirts or pants, and will no doubt be an evening favorite when the indoor temperatures drop to a steady 65 degrees.

And there's some consolation for those who feel they look huge in a quilted coat. Everyone else does, too.

Bill Blass' circular down quilted evening jacket in electric blue with hot pink lining in iridescent nylon. From Raleigh's and Woodies, $150.

The reversible quilted coat turns from black to olive green or beige to tomato red in polyester and cotton fabric filled with polyester fiberfill. From Sears, $65.

Great coat over suits as well as for sports, Canadian-made coats with polyester and cotton shell is insulated with down. Made in Canada for Sporting Life in men's and women's sizes, $157.

Zipfront three-quarter length polyester fiberfill quilted coat by Carol Cohen for Braefair in blue or orange is at Saks Fifth Avenue, $104.