What is it:
The varsity jacket is a classic garment worn by American college jocks. It was also known as a “letterman” jacket in the 1930s. The jacket is a classic sports uniform. It has been reintroduced to fashion with its distinctive appliqued symbols. The jacket has been featured in pop culture throughout the years. It was worn in movies like Grease and The Breakfast Club, as well as in celebrity wardrobes, such as Tyler, The Creator. The look typically consists of a panelled, contrast-coloured body with sleeves, and embroidered patches that reference schools or brands. The item can be matched with matching striped collars or sleeve sleeves, and in tones that compliment the overall colour scheme.
It’s why you’ll love it:
As the style is back in fashion, Varsity jackets are a staple in consumer wardrobes. Partly, the popularity of the jacket is due to its cultural appearances in recent months on popular TV shows like Gossip Girl and Netflix’s Sex Education. The popularity seems to be growing. The Gazette reports that searches for varsity jackets have increased by 648 percent, from 12,100 in August 2020 to 90,500 August 2021. The jacket’s versatility extends beyond gender lines, making it appealing to all customers who want to wear the look. Many designers have incorporated the design into their SS22 collections. It seems that the jacket’s popularity will continue to rise as an appealing outerwear piece.
We’ve seen it everywhere:
The varsity was a major trend for the 2021 fall/winter season. It also featured on multiple runways during SS22. Burberry and Y/Project both presented their own versions of the style, but a host of designers offered a variety of varsity inspiration for SS22. Dolce & Gabbana adorned the jacket with their signature bright prints, but Hermes opted for a more relaxed approach and presented a retro-inspired look in subdued colours. Moschino, Dior and Dior opted for more traditional college designs with large patches and varsity details in their design notes. Louis Vuitton, too, stuck to the varsity details by presenting a bold yellow piece featuring large appliques. It was designed by the late Virgil Abloh for their menswear line.
How to style it
The varsity jacket is a versatile outerwear piece that can be worn as a sleeveless piece. For a casual look, pair the jacket with jeans and a hoodie to keep it casual and simple. The jacket can also be layered. A customer could wear the jacket with loose-fit chinos or a knitted sweater vest and shirt, taking cues from Tyler The Creator. This would be a unique take on the preppy style the jacket is commonly associated with. Pair it with a shorter dress in a similar colour to the jacket for a feminine look. Converse can be paired with this outfit to keep in line with retro college roots. Or, you can add a touch of grunge with lace-up ankle boots.
It is hard to deny the popularity of the varsity coat. The jacket’s popularity continues to rise, as evidenced by its regular appearances on television and seasonal runway features. This makes it an influential piece that continues influencing retailers’ offerings. Its appeal to all genders makes it a versatile addition to a line that will remain relevant for many years.