With celebrities like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber bringing back varsity jackets in a big way, this nostalgic style has become an instant staple. However, the trend can be quite expensive when buying designer pieces.
For a more affordable option, Everett-Ratcliffe recommends Golden Goose’s varsity bomber jacket. The neutral piece is machine washable and oversized for a chic look.
Also known as letter jackets or baseball jackets, this enduring outerwear staple is one of America’s best-loved fashion exports. Originally worn by high school and college athletes, varsity jackets boast a nostalgic appeal and have been embraced by a number of style tribes over the years. Traditionally constructed from wool with contrasting leather sleeves, the classic design typically features a front slip pocket and striped elasticated cuffs, hem and stand-up collar. This season, brands including Amiri and Alexander McQueen offer a pared-back approach that ‘allows for versatile styling with appeal across many different style tribes,’ explains Luke Raymond, FARFETCH’s senior menswear editor.
A cropped version of the jacket offers a feminine look and is an excellent choice for layering over a simple white T-shirt or tank. Team it with a pair of black skinny jeans or casual chinos and top the look with a leather baseball cap and sneakers for a sporty outfit that’s perfect for running errands.
The late Virgil Abloh made eye-catching varsity bomber jackets his signature, and the trend continues to dominate this season. Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin are among the stars spotted wearing the look, which looks perfect with a pair of wide-leg cargo pants and neutral shoes. The look can also be dressed up for a night out with the right dress pants and a tuxedo shirt.
The material used to make a varsity jacket can influence its appearance. For example, a varsity jacket with shearling sleeves can be made from sheep leather. This material is known for its softness, warmth, and resistance to dirt. It also has a good breathability, which is important for a garment that will be worn in cold weather. Another option is melton wool fabric, which is a natural material that has been used for a long time to make varsity jackets.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a varsity jacket is its fit. While most varsity jackets are designed to be fitted, it is important to choose a size that is comfortable for you. A varsity jacket that is too tight will feel uncomfortable and restrict your movement. In addition, a varsity jacket that is too loose may be sloppy and look untidy.
The sleeve length of a varsity jacket is also important to consider. It should be about the same length as your arm. The sleeve should also not overlap the elastic cuff of your shirt. Ideally, the cuff should end at the root of your thumb for a comfortable and stylish fit.
A bomber jacket is a versatile piece, offering both smart and casual looks. Ideally, the fit should be close without being tight or restrictive, while the elastic at the cuffs and hem should hug your wrist and thigh while still leaving room for movement. This ensures the jacket can be worn over a tee and jeans, or even a hoodie or sweatshirt, while keeping your arms warm.
Varsity jackets (also known as letterman jackets) are a popular variation on the silhouette and boast embroidered letters or insignia, giving the look an academic or mid-century sportswear vibe. Wear this style with tailored shirts and chinos for an office-appropriate look or with sneakers or joggers to channel a modern, activewear aesthetic.
Originally designed for athletes, the varsity jacket has transitioned into a prominent fashion statement that appeals to students and non-students alike. With a wide range of customization options, including applique patches, logo embroidery, chains and more, the jacket is a great way to show off your personality and express yourself through your clothing choices.
Leather and satin takes on the varsity jacket provide an extra edge of cool, particularly when teamed with slim-fitting coloured or patterned trousers. Think Alex Turner’s rockabilly look, or Ryan Gosling’s quilted satin take on the style in 2011’s ‘Drive’. Finish off the look with leather shoes in the same color as your jacket, or choose a more formal option such as work boots or brogues to complement the functional-cool aesthetic of this versatile silhouette.
Bomber jackets are generally more affordable than blazers and a great way to add a casual touch to your outfit without breaking the bank. You can opt for a lightweight nylon or cotton bomber that won't keep you as warm, and switch to insulated options with a quilted lining as the weather turns colder.
Many brands embrace the varsity coat, jacket's sporty streetwear origins with letterman applique details and a stand-up collar, but Kenzo, Versace, and Tommy Hilfiger have refreshed the style in a more preppy way to pair with tailored trousers and a tie, too. If you're looking to dress up the look, try a bomber with a faux fur collar from ASOS.
If you want to keep it a bit more subtle, consider a black bomber from Bonobos. Unlike most varsity jackets, this one has minimal embellishments and is made from wool to help you stay warm on your commute or blustery days out and about.
Another option is this striped bomber jacket from Z Supply, which features zero emblems and a classic silhouette for under $130. It's a good fit for men and women alike, according to Amazon reviewers, and would work well with skinny jeans and leather sneakers for a balanced urban look. Levy Vigneron loves the slightly oversized yet fitted shape and striped cuffs and collar, which she thinks will stand out with biker shorts and a slim tee.
In conclusion, the varsity bomber jacket's timeless appeal, cultural significance, and versatility make it a compelling choice for many. However, its suitability for you depends on personal style preferences, body shape, and lifestyle considerations. By weighing these factors, you can confidently decide whether a varsity bomber jacket is the right choice to elevate your wardrobe and express your unique sense of style.