The varsity jacket — otherwise know as the letterman — is a staple in any man's closet. Similar in shape to the bomber, the preppy piece returns season after season from streetwear brands and high fashion alike.
As the name suggests, varsity jackets can trace their origin back to American college varsity teams. The first-ever iteration came from Harvard University in 1865, worn by its esteemed baseball team. Determined to distinguish their star player from the rest of the team, a fabric letter was embroidered onto the jacket (hence the name Letterman).
But you don't have to be an Ivy League jock to rock a varsity jacket. With the years, the piece became less elitist and filtered into casualwear, with all kinds of brands embracing the style and releasing their own versions of the varsity jacket. Right after bomber jackets, the piece is now a staple in men's streetwear, with brands like Stüssy, Supreme, BAPE, and more, regularly including them in their collections.
Luxury fashion also embraces this classic piece, releasing elevated versions of the jacket. Using higher quality materials and slick designs, these pricier varsity jackets make for the perfect transitional outerwear this Fall. As such, we've rounded up the very best of those at the higher end of the varsity offering.
Shop some of the best luxury varsity jackets below.
Saint Laurent Wool-Blend Bomber Jacket
Saint Laurent keeps things classic with a simple two-tone palette. Leather bands to each shoulder offer a break to the black wool construction. This is about as good as they come.
MKI Paneled Bomber Jacket
British label MKI Miyuki Zoku began life as a retailer but has grown to encompass a range of high-quality, affordable pieces. A real highlight from the label is their selection of jackets.
Billionaire Boys Club Astro-Patch Varsity Jacket
Billionaire Boys Club is no stranger to the varsity jacket and this classic two-tone number shows the label’s experience. Cut from heavy wool, this one’s ideal as a top layer for the coming season.
Burberry Epping Embroidered Cotton Varsity Jacket
This Burberry varsity jacket combines a workwear feeling with a classic varsity jacket build. A heavy drill canvas and collar feel close to the construction of a chore jacket while band detailing to the hem and shoulders offers a preppy finish.
Wales Bonner Brixton Varsity Jacket
Wales Bonner can do no wrong in our eyes. The designer's takes on luxury sportswear are unparalleled and the Brixton Varsity Jacket is proof. Leather trims against a classic denim backdrop are understated yet eye-catching.
Celine Embroidered Varsity Jacket
If we're talking true luxury, it doesn't get much better than the shiny satin work of Celine. Complete with traditional lettering to the reverse, this one's a true classic.
Louis Vuitton Embroidered Varsity Jacket
The Louis Vuitton Aloha Jacket is hard to place, but we love that about it. The top half is classic varsity jacket styling, but a loose bottom hem is anything but.
Givenchy Logo Varsity Jacket
Leather arms and a relaxed-fit woolen body in timeless two-tone monochrome. What can go wrong?
Nike Tune Squad Varsity jacket
Do not take our inclusion of this Space Jam varsity jacket as an endorsement of the film. We just can't stop looking at the super-bold reversible interior.
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