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Would You Wear… a Varsity Jacket?


Varsity Jackets
Varsity jackets in high-fashion editorials, on the street and in stores (at ASOS). Photo Credits: 1, 2

Even if you weren’t a star athlete in high school, you can now look like one, thanks to the latest trend in fall outerwear. Varsity jackets are the hot new thing and you don’t have to go back to HS to wear one.

I started noticing letterman jackets in fast fashion shops like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, then saw them popping up on street style blogs and being mentioned in comments from CF readers. It appears that us college girls aren’t the only ones interested in the trend – luxury retailers have sent expensive versions of their own down the runway! (See photos below.)

Although this trend doesn’t fit my personal style, I think that it can look fantastic on the right person, like the girl rocking the street style look above. I also love seeing them styled in unexpected ways, like with a skirt and tights, or with colored denim as seen below. Despite the fact that they aren’t for me, I’m anticipating seeing these jackets everywhere come fall.

Varsity Jackets on the runway
Letterman jackets spotted at Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, and Alexander Wang in recent seasons.
All photos courtesy of

Will you be rocking a varsity jacket this fall?

Leave a comment below and let me know! How would you wear a varsity jacket? Are these jackets high-school-chic or just a sad blast from the past? Would you wear one from your own high school or buy one at a store like Urban Outfitters?

Posted on on September 6, 2011 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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44 Responses to “Would You Wear… a Varsity Jacket?”

  1. 1
    September 6th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I think some of them are cute and I really like what the girl wearing the skirt did with hers, but I probably wouldn’t wear one. I think in my 4 years oh high school, I wore mine maybe 5 or 6 times, so it will probably just remain in my closet :)

  2. 2
    September 6th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Personally, I think wearing a high school jacket in college is a faux paux. Wearing your HS letterman is a little dorky, and buying a generic letterman from a store is just silly.

  3. 3
    September 6th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I tried one on recently and decided that the trend wasn’t for me. It made me feel like an old person trying to fit in with the younger kids.

  4. 4
    September 6th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I tried varsity jackets and they didn’t work but then tried a girly letterman’s sweater and loveeee it!

  5. 5
    September 6th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Although I loved wearing my letter jacket in high school, I think the only place I would feel okay wearing it now that I’m in college is if I went back to my school for Homecoming or another sporting event. Otherwise, it’s probably going to stay in my closet.

    I do, however, love the varsity cardigans you see sometimes. I know my university bookstore has school-themed ones, and I’ve seen them in catalogs like Delias and Alloy. I feel like varsity cardigans are a lot less high schooler looking and are far easier to work into a college girl’s wardrobe.

  6. 6
    September 6th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I don’t think this trend would work for me either. I am a high school math teacher and I look about 15 years old. So I’m going to pass on anything that will help me blend in with my students even more.

  7. 7
    September 6th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    we didn”t have vasity jackets in our school (the football guys just get red windbreakers with our mascot on it) but i still wouldn’t want to wear this trend. i definitely agree with Emily ^ on the fact that varsity cardigans work better for everyday life. i’ve seen these jackets everywhere and i’m actually sick of it.

  8. 8
    September 6th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Where is jacket in the third pic on the right from?

  9. 9
    September 6th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I’ve been rocking the trend for the past year, it came to Spain (and Europe as well I guess) in fall 2010. Since at least in Spain we don’t have anything like this, clothign wise (no varsity or anything like that here), it doesn’t feel like we’re trying for something. To us, it’s a very college look, and also quite casual.

    Usually, I wear it with dark wash jeans, turtle neck and boots. Never sneakers, as it would be too sporty for my liking.

  10. 10
    September 6th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Like Lorraine said, I saw this trend last fall while living in France. Only in magazines though, no one actually wore it in real life. I recently saw an article in Foam Magazine that styled a varsity jacket really well that gave it almost an outdoorsy, mountain girl sort look rather than preppy school girl. It was really cute! I think that is the only way I could ever wear such a jacket. Still have not purchased one though!

    Driftwood and Daydreams

  11. 11
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I live in Paris and these were in in the spring of 2010. Funny how the rest of the world cartches on :)

  12. 12
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I really like my varsity jacket, I bought it in the shops a few months back and wear it quite often. It doesn’t have any lettering on and as we don’t wear them in English high schools so I don’t have to worry about looking young. I like the American vibe it has.

  13. 13
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I loved my varsity jacket in high school, but I would feel weird wearing it now.

  14. 14
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    not really my style…i’m currently a senior in high school and never once considered buying one

  15. 15
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I hated letterman jackets in high school. So I really don’t want to buy a generic one for college.

  16. 16
    September 6th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    i think this jacket would look good with a pair of thigh socks maybe jeans shorts and a tank top, keeping the jacket open for more femininity :) i think i would try wearing one of these, it looks comfy and i love experimenting

  17. 17
    September 6th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    The girl in the varsity jacket and skirt (aka the street-style girl) is Andy Torres from Style Scrapbook.

  18. 18
    September 6th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I love preppy school-boy style cardigans and blazers, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to dig the letterman jacket. It’s just too costume-y for me.

  19. 19
    September 6th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I actually think varsity jackets are cute. A few months ago, though, I saw a picture of this girl on wearing one. And I just said, “Oh that’s nice!” But when I read where she got it from, it just said, “Badger High School letter jacket, my dad’s.”
    I think the reason why I would never actually buy a varsity jacket from H&M or Forever 21 is because they’re just not genuine. I think it’s kind of like wearing an obviously fake designer bag.
    I still think they’re pretty, but to me, wearing your brother’s/dad’s/boyfriend’s varsity jacket has so much more purpose, or reason.

  20. 20
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I agree with Isa, a real one is cool, a fake one is just, well, fake. I lettered in soccer in high school, but didn’t buy the jacket. Maybe I’ll just pin the letter to a sweater :)

  21. 21
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I just bought a fabulous varsity jacket at kohls so thanks for all the idea pictures so I can rock it!

  22. 22
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:42 am

    oh, and that blue and yellow one looks just like my school jacket!

  23. 23
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I went out yesterday and you see those jackets everywhere here. And by everywhere I mean 10 people in half an hour :/ That’s just way too much for me…

  24. 24
    September 7th, 2011 at 1:57 am

    I actually just bought one a few weeks ago. I LOVE it.

  25. 25
    September 7th, 2011 at 2:18 am

    I’m really liking the street style look, but the varsity jacket just doesnt fit with my wardrobe – I tend to try all different kinds of looks, but preppy is just really not my thing!

  26. 26
    September 7th, 2011 at 2:36 am

    I like the idea, but I think I personally like letterman and rugby cardigans much more. They aren’t as in your face as the letterman’s jackets are.

  27. 27
    September 7th, 2011 at 5:32 am

    I tried one on today and it just wasn’t me…
    I mean it was comfy but naaah.

  28. 28
    September 7th, 2011 at 6:30 am

    i’ve always wondered why varsity jackets were never mentioned on CF since they`ve been a big thing in europe for a while now…it’s funny cause normally somethings ist a trend in the us first and then comes to europe i think

  29. 29
    September 7th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I’m not really into it. Wow, I was just about to post about this on my blog!

  30. 30
    September 7th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I really like letterman jackets. the trick is to find the perfect one.
    I reignited my love from them when i start trending them on Proenza Schouler fall 2010 rtw last year. worn with a white button up , pleated leather mini skirt,loafer heels, and black thigh high socks–it is the perfect mix of preppy and badass. the varsity jacket is a total preppy staple , so fits alot with my style.
    I agree with is a in regards to functionality.I want one like in the first picture top left. its so perfect! I like that it has lapels and non metal buttons. it mixed the classiness of a blazer with the edginess of a varsity jacket. Or the ideal jacket could have black leather sleeves and navy suede torso. OR it could have ivory cable kit sleeves. it can be boyfriend or shrunken I like .Isabel Marant styled it, so fresh.

  31. 31
    September 7th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I really would love to try this trend. I think it’s cool to bring the letterman/varsity jacket back. However, I would never ever wear one from my own high school I think that is a little lame to be perfectly honest.

  32. 32
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Varsity jackets have been big here (UK) for ages. :)
    We don’t have Letterman jackets at all over here so it’s a bit different.

  33. 33
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I still have mine from high school and I still wear it during the winter time when it gets super chilly…plus brings back fond memories :)

  34. 34
    September 7th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Save your money. This too shall pass… quickly.

  35. 35
    September 7th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    This trend was popular in the UK last autumn / winter, although I think it was more of a tween / younger teen thing. Personally I found it way too costumey, especially since schools here don’t even have varsity jackets. However, I think a vintage version could be a good look in the right circumstances.

  36. 36
    September 7th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I did this trend a couple years ago I was a fan but now if i had to do it again sure. I love going to sporting events so maybe

  37. 37
    September 7th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    It’s in fashion here in England (where I don’t believe we get REAL varsity jackets!) so lots of people wear them to college and uni, etc :) I wear them too !

  38. 38
    September 7th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I had a varsity sweater I picked up at Bluenotes two years ago. I donated it last week because I wore it a total of twice since buying it; really don’t dig this trend much.

  39. 39
    September 7th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I absolutely love this trend, but have a hard time finding cute jackets! I would LOVEEE it if you could post some cute jackets or sites so I could buy one? :)

  40. 40
    September 9th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Personally, I got my fill of high school jackets when I was in high school…

  41. 41
    August 25th, 2012 at 1:29 am

    i found a cute red on e from Delias. I would wear it with a navy pleated skirt, converse, and a white tee

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