As you may or may not have guessed, I as a writer/fashion enthusiast I have a lot of love for preppy and traditional trends. So while doing research for articles and one particular piece of clothing continuously popped up, a varsity light bulb went off in my head. Quite frankly the surprise still remains at not spotting this sooner as it seems so obvious now, but the varsity jacket is back for autumn and it is back in a big way.
A Little History…
Traditionally an American style, the varsity jacket was initially known as a letterman jacket, in which a college sporting participant would be awarded a cloth letter, which is usually the schools initial for placement on a letter jacket. This is intended for the display of some form of award or athletic achievement, so that its wearer is recognised as being part of a school or sporting association. Nowadays we wear them just for the sole purpose of looking good and working a new trend.
Originally, letterman jackets are almost never purchased before a student has earned a letter. In schools where only varsity letters are awarded this is usually in a student’s junior or senior year. Recently, however, many student athletes have been awarded letters during their sophomore and sometimes freshman year. But the actual jacket isn’t usually purchased until the sophomore year at least. In schools where junior varsity letters are awarded, the jacket may be purchased by junior varsity letter recipients, though the letter is placed just above the left pocket, leaving space for a future varsity letter.
However we look at things from a more fashion perspective as opposed to an American school/athletic one. The ‘Varsity’ jacket has been cropping up in the collections of designers such as Marc Jacobs, Gant and Saint Laurent so it is clear that this traditional piece of American college heritage is now a huge fashion staple for this autumn season. As opposed to a school letter we are now seeing designer logos, prints, and other fashionable icons and designs featured on the front of these jackets.
There is still some focus on traditional colours and designs but as always some designers are taking this old school design to a whole new level. Mixing fabrics, colours and prints is a huge deal this season and the varsity jacket is definitely not left out of the mix. Saint Laurent have incorporated leather trims and wool fabric mixes, while Armani have added a denim twist and Blood Brother have embraced the previously documented trend of dark and edgy by sticking to a black palette, and using leather sleeves in their designs.
Even the high street is getting in on the act with retailers such as Topman and River Island jumping the varsity band wagon with their own take on a more diluted version of some of the more high end designer pieces.
Here at MFM we love to have plenty of choice so we can find the perfect piece to fit in with our current style, or to take how we normally dress to the next level. So we have scoured all over to find you some of the best, and some of our favourite varsity jackets to share with you, our fellow fashion minded readers. There are high end pieces as well as high street items, so you are pretty much guaranteed to find something to suit your taste and price bracket. If the varsity jacket is something you are drawn to, just wait until you see the fantastic pieces below.
As you can see the variation in style, trend and price bracket is vast; proving that this must be one of the top go to pieces this season. This style may not be for everyone as with any trend but at least you get the chance to see how this cool piece of varsity equipment can fit in with any style you choose to wear. Tradition is a great thing but so are contemporary styles, so when the two get a cool fashionable mix then you know you are on to a good thing. Regardless of how this piece is reworked, it seems to work every time and who doesn’t want something cool and interesting in their wardrobe? So remember, it is getting a little colder so why not stay warm in style.