Monday, 1 December 2014

The Evolution Of Varsity Jackets

Also known as the Letterman jackets, varsity jackets are a popular trend in American high schools. In fact, it is almost a rite of passage for American teenagers to get one of these fashionable identity jackets. 

Once a garment reserved for certain people in high schools, today, both men and women wear varsity jackets as part of their everyday ensemble. You can now buy affordable varsity jackets from a wide range of retailers, such as Fire Label.


Dating back as far as 1865, the first jackets were worn by the captains of Harvard’s sports teams. The initial jacket had a “H“ printed on it, which was a symbol for the Ivy League university, Harvard. It started with the baseball team which had the letter “H“ embroidered on their grey flannel uniforms. The letter was, and often still is, printed on the left chest side of the jacket and is the reason as to why it got the name the Letterman jacket. During this time, only the best players got the opportunity to keep their letters. Lack of participation or failing to play well resulted in returning your jersey at the end of the season, with the hope of enhancing the player’s performance during the game. 

Mainstream popularity 

These jackets gained a lot of popularity in the 1930s. During this time, the jacket evolved from being a simple piece of clothing to become a wool jacket with leather sleeves - a style that is still popular today. 

Initially, the jackets were handed out to upperclass men, both old and young. At some point in the 1950s, girls were spotted wearing these jackets which were usually reserved for men. This was used as a symbol to show that they were a girlfriend of one of the school’s team captains.


The varsity jackets are still in fashion today. However, present day sports jackets are now likely to include much more details, such as the school name. An athlete can get his Letterman during the first year of participation, and pins are given every subsequent year that the player participates in the game. The back includes the player’s name as it is usually kept by the owner.

Contrary to their name, these jackets have moved away from being worn just in high schools and colleges and can now be spotted anywhere. They offer a great, casual piece of clothing that can worn all year round for a variety of occasions. Both men and women, boys and girls can wear these timeless jackets.  Whether you're looking for leisure wear or sports gear, varsity jackets are the perfect fit. 

What do you think of this style of jacket? 

Would you like to live in a time where you could wear your boyfriends jacket?

Let me know

Big Fashionista x x 

*This post is in collaboration with Fire Label

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