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Fashion trends come and go, but some pieces manage to remain popular year after year. One such item is the varsity jacket, also known as a letterman jacket or baseball jacket. Originally designed for high school and college athletes, this iconic piece has become a staple of casual streetwear, favored by both men and women. Here’s why varsity jackets are still in style and how to wear them.

A Brief History of Varsity Jackets

The history of varsity jackets dates back to the 1860s when Harvard University’s baseball team began to wear matching sweaters with the letter “H” on them. Over time, other sports teams, such as football and basketball, adopted the practice of awarding their players with varsity letters, indicating their level of achievement. The bape jacket with the letter patches soon followed, becoming a symbol of school pride and athleticism.

Today, varsity jackets are still associated with sports, but they have evolved to fit a more diverse range of styles and occasions. From high-end fashion brands to streetwear labels, everyone seems to have their take on the classic jacket.

How to Style a Varsity Jacket

Whether you’re a sports fan, a fashion lover, or both, a varsity jacket can be a versatile piece in your wardrobe. Here are some ways to wear it:

With jeans and sneakers

This is the classic casual look that never goes out of style. Pair your varsity jacket with slim or straight-leg jeans, a plain T-shirt or hoodie, and white or black sneakers. This outfit is perfect for running errands, hanging out with friends, or attending a sporting event.

With a dress or skirt

For a more feminine take on the varsity jacket, try layering it over a dress or skirt. A simple shift or A-line dress in a solid color or a floral print can balance out the sporty vibe of the jacket. You can also wear a midi or maxi skirt with a high-waisted varsity jacket to create a retro-inspired look.

With leather or denim

If you want to add some edge to your varsity jacket, pair it with leather or denim bottoms. Black leather pants or a leather mini skirt can create a bold contrast with the jacket’s wool and leather fabrics. Alternatively, you can wear ripped or distressed jeans with a vintage-looking varsity jacket to achieve a grunge or punk aesthetic.

Varsity Jackets A Classic Icon of American Culture

The varsity jacket has a long-standing history and cultural significance in America. These jackets are not only a fashion statement but also an emblem of pride and achievement in high school and college sports.


Varsity jackets originated in the late 1800s at Harvard University. The Harvard baseball team added an “H” to their gray wool sweaters. Later, other colleges and high schools followed suit. These jackets became popular in the 1930s and 1940s as American high schools expanded their athletic programs.

Design and Materials:

Varsity jackets are often made from wool and leather, with the team’s colors, school emblem, and the player’s number embroidered or chenille-patched on the jacket’s back. The sleeves feature contrasting colors, with stripes at the cuffs, collar, and waistband. The letterman jacket’s unique design makes it a timeless classic, which has not changed significantly over the years.

Symbolism and Significance:

The varsity jacket has come to symbolize a student’s athletic achievements, often earning them respect and recognition from their peers. It is a way to demonstrate school spirit and a sense of belonging to a team or group. These jackets are often presented as awards, signifying accomplishments in sports, academics, or other extracurricular activities. The wearer can take pride in their jacket, as it is a representation of their hard work and dedication.

Popularity and Influence:

The varsity jacket has transcended the world of sports and has been adopted by the fashion industry. The iconic design of the varsity jacket has inspired clothing lines, fashion designers, and celebrities. It has also influenced the creation of other items such as varsity-style sweaters, hoodies, and caps.


Varsity jackets have become an essential piece of American culture. These jackets represent pride, achievement, and a sense of belonging. They are a symbol of hard work and dedication and continue to be an iconic fashion statement.



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