It’s probably the single item of clothing that has come to symbolize American college culture more powerfully than any other and it’s also become a staple piece in our wardrobes in recent years. After earning its status as a genuine US icon, the varsity jacket is the all-conquering jacket of our time.
But the big question is, are you making the most out of this true design classic? It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and end up wearing your varsity jacket with the same old things over and over again, a sure-fire way to make any look, no matter how great, old and tired. So, why not follow our guide, to get the most of this piece of genuine American classic fashion and achieve a number of great looks, with the varsity jacket at the heart of them all?
History of the Varsity Jacket
The longevity of the varsity jacket, originally called a letterman jacket, just goes to demonstrate the elevated status that it’s earned, a trend which is still going strong after 150 years. The first-ever varsity jacket came about at one of the world’s most famous and revered universities, Harvard when the 1865 baseball team wanted to find a way to make their star players stand out from the crowd on campus. In what proved to be a stroke of genius, they sewed the letter H on to their grey flannel uniforms to make them identifiable as the university’s sporting heroes.
The key players from the baseball team from that season were then allowed the privilege of keeping the letterman jackets, meaning they were instantly recognizable as the sporting heroes of one of the greatest universities on earth. The original varsity jacket was a sign of status and only those players who had made a significant contribution to the baseball team’s success were given permission to continue to wear theirs in the off-season.
While the first incarnation of the jackets was more like a sweatshirt, by the 1930’s the varsity jacket as we know it today was born. Boiled wool jackets with leather sleeves, banded cuffs, and waistband and the letter of the university or high school embroidered on to the chest, were being widely worn across the US, by school and college sports teams.
In recent years, the jacket has been tweaked and adapted by numerous designers, experimenting with all sorts of materials and styles, while maintaining all the elements that make it a design classic. Some of the key reasons the varsity jacket has managed to last the course are its amazing flexibility and how the basic design while maintaining its integrity, has been adapted to suit a whole range of styles.
Try Some New Looks
With such a proud and illustrious history for this item of clothing to follow, it’s almost our duty to make sure that we make the most of the varsity jacket.
Luckily, as well as being a fashion icon, the varsity jacket is also blessed with the good fortune of being one of the most versatile pieces of clothing out there and perfect for donning multiple looks and suitable for various styles. So whether you’re bored of wearing yours the same way or thinking of investing in your first one, follow these three tips to style your varsity jacket.
After all, the original incarnation of the varsity jacket was for college athletes, so don’t be afraid to go back to its roots and style your jacket with these Publish Brant Joggers. The rise in sportswear muscling in on the fashion industry is set to keep on growing and so this look hits the spot.
Pair your jacket and joggers with a crew neck tee and trainers like these Converse Jack Purcell’s to finish the look perfectly. This is ideal for relaxing or for a less formal occasion and is definitely not a look you should try to pull off when you’re expected to be dressing on the smarter end of the scale, at the office, or on a date.
Don the jacket with a classic crew neck jumper, some well-fitted jeans, and box-fresh trainers to achieve a look that is versatile enough to suit so many situations. This look is perfect for activities of all kinds, cool and relaxed, treading the line of not being too smart or too rugged, the perfect way to wear and get very beat out of the classic varsity jacket.
Dress It Up
Just to underline the sheer adaptability of the varsity, you can also pair it with this grey shirt from yours truly, and Nudie Jeans Original Dry Navy Grim Tim, to offer a smarter, more sophisticated look. Add these brogue boots to finish the look off to a tee.
This is a great outfit when you need to look a bit smarter while maintaining the look and comfort achieved with the varsity jacket, perfect for a date or big night out.
And On That Note
The varsity jacket is something that every man can wear this season. From less formal occasions to a more dressed updo, you can easily pull off this American classic with style. Try the Majestic Athletic limited edition number with a pair of joggers and a simple tee for a spot on casual look this season. Or, if you want to dress it up a little bit then why not try wearing a black varsity jacket with a shirt and smart jeans for a look that will take you from day to night with ease. Either way, you’ll be looking stylish.
Feature image from Pinterest