Originally a trophy item, varsity jacket is now coveted by fashion-forward shoppers looking for old-school cool. Whether you choose leather sleeves or a denim body, this trend transcends high school associations and celebrates a sense of accomplishment.
A plain jacket offers flexibility, while decals or letters can add school spirit and personal meaning to a look. Consider the fabric, closure type, and additional details before making a purchase.
A varsity jacket also called a letterman jacket, is a coveted piece that’s traditionally earned for participating in a school sport. Now the style has conquered runways as a symbol of prep-chic fashion. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an athlete or have a high-school uniform lying around to partake in the trend—the jackets are widely available at affordable prices. Plus, you can shop the look from designers like Louis Vuitton and Celine who’ve designed pieces that are reminiscent of the classic sportswear staple.
If you’re shopping for a modern letterman jacket, consider opting for a design with contrasting materials, like a wool body and leather sleeves, for a more polished look, recommends Levy Vigneron. The designer also recommends a lightweight jacket, which is easy to layer under a coat.
Those with a vintage sensibility should check out the designs from Brooklyn Circus, which have taken cues from the original letter sweaters but with modern silhouettes and fabrics (like denim). The resulting outerwear is “the perfect blend of old-school characteristics with contemporary styles,” says Vigneron.
Before buying, weigh the material, closure type and additional details against your lifestyle, recommends Everett-Ratcliffe. For example, some traditional letter jackets don’t have zippers, but Leitz-Aslaksen notes that zips add a sleek finish and can be more durable against the elements. In addition, if you choose a jacket made from natural fibers like wool, blot any spilled liquid immediately to sop up the moisture and avoid rubbing, which can cause the garment to pill or stain.
As spring arrives, varsity jackets are the perfect choice for transitional dressing. Look for styles with contrasting sleeves and cuffs to add interest to your look. “If you want to keep the overall look sleek, opt for a fitted jacket and minimize your accessories,” says commerce writer-slash-former style and beauty editor Leah Groth. “This will let the jacket really take center stage.”
Embrace the 90s trend and choose a wool-bodied piece to add warmth to your look. Then customize it with your own embroidered patches. Choose your name or a school mascot to show your pride and bring your unique style to the next level.
Although the varsity jacket has its roots in streetwear, it can also stray into preppy territory when worn with tailored pants and a shirt and tie, as seen on the runway at Kenzo for fall 2022. Look for a slim-cut, two-tone version in lighter cotton, silk or technical fabric to bridge the gap between bomber and prep styles.
For a contemporary take on the classic letter jacket, consider one with zero emblems from LA-based Nahmias. “This style will come in handy on chilly spring mornings, breezy summer eves and early autumn days,” says stylist Lauren Rae Levy Vigneron. A contrasting denim body and leather sleeves lend a stylish edge to the versatile new season layer.
Designers like Supreme, Kenzo and Philipp Plein continue to bolster the varsity jacket’s streetwear roots with a variety of cultural references. For a fun pop of personality, try a piece emblazoned with cartoon patches or decorated with a sports team’s logo. Then, layer over a T-shirt and jeans for an authentic look that’s perfect for a casual day out and about.
Alternatively, a more pared-back design is ideal for those who prefer to keep it simple and polished. “A plain jacket offers greater adaptability and understated styling, while lettered decals or patches add school spirit or personal significance,” explains Leitz-Aslaksen. Sleeve materials can also affect the overall look; for instance, leather sleeves lend a high-end feel, while wool or synthetic fabrics provide a more casual look.
Whether you’re going for retro style or a more contemporary take, it’s important to weigh the fabric choice and additional details against your lifestyle. “Button closure is the traditional choice for a full nostalgic experience, but zips can deliver a clean, contemporary finish,” says Everett-Ratcliffe. In addition, a jacket’s color and size will also influence its versatility. “An oversized fit is trendy, but consider a cropped or fitted option for a more versatile, sleek look,” she advises. Finally, consider if you want the jacket to be dry-clean only or machine washable.
When the chilly weather of fall comes around, varsity jackets are the perfect choice for a classic preppy look. They pair well with khaki pants and can be worn to give you a polished casual outfit. These jackets are also great for those who want to keep their looks stylish and fresh.
The letterman mens jacket is a popular trend that never seems to go out of style. This style of jacket is typically made of leather and has patches that represent different sports. The ribbed collar, cuffs and hem of this jacket provide a snug fit that traps heat inside. They also have front snaps for easy access to the pockets of the jacket.
This jacket is a popular option for high school students who participate in different sports. It is often a reward for their hard work. You can find this type of jacket at many stores, but you should buy a custom varsity jacket from a company that offers the best quality for the price. Avoid companies that offer low-end jackets that will not last a season.
The varsity jacket is the ultimate prep piece for any wardrobe. It has been seen on runways and in the closets of tastemakers. The trend has become so popular that even a fashion-forward brand like Louis Vuitton has designed its own version of the jacket. Whether you’re in the market for a new varsity jacket or have a vintage one from your high school days, the options are endless.