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 Spring. 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 rich green wool construction. This is about as good as they come.
Casablanca Embroidered Souvenir Jacket
Casablanca keeps things smooth and silky, just as we expect. Embroidery to the reverse of this pure silk jacket sets it apart from the crowd with the help of striped cuffs, neckline, and hem.
Nike Paris Saint-Germain Varsity Jacket
Jordan brand's most recent collaboration with football team Paris Saint-Germain took the form of a pared-back varsity jacket. While football hasn't ever really bought into the varsity jacket, this is as good a sign as any that it's missing a trick.
Brain Dead Jacquard Patchwork Letterman Jacket
Patchwork is going crazy right now and we can see why. It’s a great way to bring a bunch of eye-catching colors and textures into your fits. This Brain Dead letterman jacket keeps things surprisingly toned-down with green, navy, black, and green corduroy.
NOON GOONS Elysian Crystal Logo Satin Varsity Jacket
Forget sports teams, rep your favorite LA brand instead with the Noon Goons Elysian Jacket. The satin build is highlighted by a crystal-embellished logo text across the chest.
Billionaire Boys Club Astro Logo Appliqué Jersey Varsity Jacket
Astro Logo Appliqué Jersey Varsity Jacket
Billionaire Boys Club
Billionaire Boys Club is no stranger to the varsity jacket and this neutral number shows the label’s experience. Cut from heavier wool than the rest of today’s selections, this one’s ideal as a top layer for spring.
Kapital Appliquéd Faux Leather and Wool-Blend Tweed Varsity Jacket
Kapital always looks to step things up when it comes to quality. This wool and faux-leather varsity jacket also boasts a fire color palette, pitting baby blue against grey-green for smooth impact.
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