The varsity jacket may have seen its glory days in your high-school prime, when you wore the team colors with pride — or at least fantasized about the jacket’s formidable cachet as you traversed those hallowed locker-lined halls. Lucky for you, it’s time to relive those moments. No longer relegated to the football studs and cheerleading squad, the new bomber coat has graduated with honors into a style staple that will be the next MVP in your fall wardrobe.
Sartorially speaking, the semi-outerwear piece is the epitome of function and form, which is why it continually remains a trending item in the urban fashion vocabulary. The retro, street-style favorite is a sporty player but can adapt well to just about any type of look when styled correctly, seamlessly moving from casual coffee dates to way up the corporate ladder.
But don’t dig out that old, rah-rah pep rally letterman jacket from the archives of your closet just yet (yes, we know you still have it). The Fall 2015 runways saw a rush of new athleisue statements that were juxtaposed with a dose of effortless tailoring and a bit of bad-boy edge. The next era of letterman jackets is now all grown up with a fresh lease on life, boasting a modern, too-cool-for-school spirit.
So, whether you pair them with a polished button-up shirt and tie or a T-shirt and distressed jeans, here are five options for wearing the new varsity stripes for this season.
1. Saint Laurent Leather-Trimmed Varsity Jacket
Tried and true, this Saint Laurent leather-trimmed wool varsity jacket delivers classically iconic appeal and contemporary styling, making it a shoo-in on any field. From Little League practice to the big-league boardroom, channel the ultimate team spirit with this intersection of sport and fashion, no matter where your style game takes you. Just make sure to change into a dress shirt and a pair of tailored trousers before that business meeting.
2. Welcome Stranger Stadium Jacket
More of a stadium sweater, this lightweight rendition from Welcome Stranger is something of an all-season miracle, easily allowing you to skip “class” early and head straight from the office to happy hour in no time flat. Just toss the tie to the side and unbutton your collar for a more relaxed, off-duty impression to go right along with that cocktail.
3. Golden Bear Men’s Classic Varsity Jacket
It’s only fitting that Detroit-based Shinola, a company dedicated to the return of American manufacturing, has a take on the American classic. Updated in a slim-fit body style, its Golden Bear varsity jacket’s black and brandy color option and custom-embroidered logo create an upgraded luxe vibe, while the snap-front buttons, leather trimmed slash pockets, and a ribbed knit collar, cuffs, and hem provide all the standard varsity flair.
4. Neighborhood Printed Shell Varsity Jacket
This varsity jacket by Tokyo-based Neighborhood speaks for itself. Rise to the Number One spot with this prepster-cool coat that was designed exclusively for the men’s online retail destination, Mr Porter. The retailer recommend wearing it with a T-shirt and chinos for a new and improved take on collegiate style. We can just as easily see the streetwear-sophisticated jacket with a dress shirt and tie for an unexpected spin on casual Friday.
5. Ralph Lauren Wakefield Corduroy Jacket
Oozing with true Americana spirit, Ralph Lauren’s Wakefield corduroy jacket was inspired by looks seen in archival images from the ’50s of the Bonneville Salt Flats. Featuring contrasting leather sleeves, the design sings a vintage fight song and we’re all too ready to hum along — especially with the reintroduction of the patch detail, this one a winged piston motif. Best paired with cuffed, distressed denim, the jacket may be better relegated to off-duty weekend attire, but the particularly savvy may find cause to dress up this retro moment with a tailored pair of black pants.