The iconic varsity jacket has been welcomed and adopted by so many different subcultures over the years. From jocks to rock stars, this super stylish jacket has everyone’s attention. The varsity jacket, also known as letterman, has forever held its position as the iconic American athleticwear. But it is not bound just to the pitch anymore since we’ve seen it transition into a high fashion piece that has become a street style essential in recent years.
Even though the audience is changing from high schoolers to streetwear enthusiasts, the varsity jacket has undergone quite a few changes in terms of fabric, design, and proportions. But despite all the changes, the signature elements that represent its iconic style remain the same.
Varsity is the new big thing for this fall so we here at Brooklyn Cloth want to show you the best ways to wear the varsity trend. But first how did they become popular?
How Did Varsity Jackets Become Popular?
The first time a letterman jersey was ever worn was by the Harvard University baseball team in 1865. In the beginning, the varsity jacket had an enormous value and was very prestigious as well as elitist, in fact, it was given to all the members of the team but only the most deserving could keep it, the others, those who sat on the bench for example and played little, had to return it at the end of the season.
In 1930 what we know today as the varsity jacket was born. Athletes were demanding heavier clothing to combat the cold and leather sleeves and buttons were added to the wool jersey, with the letter moving to one side and the letterman jacket became a status item within universities. Not everyone could have the letter, you had to earn it through performance on the field. Once you got it you could sew it onto the jacket, it was very serious.
The varsity jacket exploded in the ‘80s thanks to American sports. The suppliers who produced the merchandising began to make a satin version of the varsity jacket in such a way as to contain costs and expand the catchment area. The Los Angeles Raiders in football, the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in basketball made their own versions of the varsity, achieving enormous success.
Even pop and mainstream culture became acquainted with the varsity jacket. Because Michael Jackson wore a red and gold one with an “M”, it became a sought-after item. It also became such a staple item in hip hop/rap culture as artists such as Run-D.M.C and N.W.A often wore them. The fashion and streetwear world that was emerging at the turn of the late ’80s and early ’90s did not miss the opportunity to “appropriate” that model of an extremely cool jacket.
Now that we know how this jacket became popular, here are some ways to style your varsity jackets.
Varsity Jacket with Jeans
This combo is such a classic look that you can never go wrong with any outfit you put together. But picking the right pair of jeans is important to make your outfit stand out. We think that when you wear a black pair of jeans with our Friends Not Foes Woven Bomber you will make a statement this fall. Jeans already give off a casual look, but elevating it with a varsity jacket will give you the street style look you need for the fall. This varsity bomber jacket has an embroidered patch large tiger on the front and the back of the jacket.
Here are some jeans that pair well with this varsity jacket:
- Slim Tapered Cropped Jeans from H&M
- Light Wash Ripped Slim Straight Jeans from Hollister
- Skinny Jean from Aeropostale
- Athletic Taper Built-In Flex Light-Wash Jeans for Men from Old Navy
Varsity Jacket with Plaid Pants
This unique look will make you sand out and really incorporate the preppy high school look. It gives you a casual but formal look to your outfit. Here are some plaid pants that will work well with our varsity jackets:
- Plaid Loose Cotton Cargo Pants from PacSun
- Skinny Windowpane Check Chino Pants from Hollister
- Smart Super Skinny Pants in Black Check from ASOS
Varsity Jacket with Khakis
Pairing khaki pants with a nice varsity jacket can really give a formal but casual look that is reminiscent of a classic preppy look with the intricate varsity designs on our Wasted Youth Woven Bomber Jacket. The charcoal color goes well with a pair of khakis. It can also give you a classic look while keeping you warm for the chilly fall weather.
Here are some khakis that will work with any varsity jacket:
- GapFlex Essential Khakis in Skinny Fit with Washwell from Gap
- Straight-fit flex khaki pant from J.Crew
Varsity Jacket with a Dress Shirt
This is another preppy style that will look good when you go back to school or to a classy party. This style can really give you a dash of polish into your look while looking casual. The Goat Woven Bomber Jacket gives you the pop of color to really make the outfit stand out. This inspired high school varsity bomber jacket is also super comfy and comes in multiple colors such as black, hunter green, red, and sand. So, if you don't like a big red bright statement jacket you can go for more subtle colors like sand, black or hunter green which will make your outfits a little more polished.
Here are some shirts that will work well with our varsity jackets:
- Slim Fit Easy-iron shirt from H&M
- Athletic-fit Dress Shirt from Banana Republic
- Men’s Steel Classic-Fit Non-Iron Performance Herringbone Spread Collar Dress Shirt from Macy’s
- Men’s Classic-Fit Wrinkle Free Flex Collar Stretch Solid Dress Shirt from Macy’s
Varsity Jacket with a Hoodie
This is so comfortable and easy to pull off for the fall. Layering is such a big part of keeping warm for the fall. The hoodie and varsity combo were always a go to because of the convenience of wearing the hoodie with the bomber. It was an easy thing to put on and it was a great look on celebrities as well. The hoodie and varsity combo are the go-to casual outfit to wear when hanging out with friends or going out to do an errand. But you must watch out for the volumes and lengths of your hoodies, so you don’t overheat in your outfit.
Here are some hoodies that we think you will enjoy:
Varsity Jacket with Cargos
Styling a varsity jacket with cargo pants and a cap forms the ideal casual aesthetic for daywear when you want a relatively low effort but high impact outfit. A varsity jacket and cargo pants are perfect as a look for weekend days. A varsity jacket and cargo pants work together smoothly. When it comes to shoes, complement your ensemble with a pair of white canvas low top sneakers.
Here are some cargos we think work well with our jackets:
- Khaki Cotton Baggy Cargo Pants from PacSun
- Jack & Jones Intelligence poly cargo pants in black from ASOS
- Skinny cargo pants in tobacco stretch cord from ASOS
- Tapered cargo pants in charcoal with toggles from ASOS
Different Shoe Styles
Shoes are important for every outfit. Shoes can either make or break an outfit if you wear them correctly or incorrectly. If you are having trouble figuring out how to complete your outfit with shoes, here are some of the trendiest shoes for fall this year that will complete your outfits.
Sneakers are a key for a street style outfit and give your feet absolute comfort. They add a coolness to any outfit because of how casual they are. The shoes that would look good with the Wasted Youth Fleece Bomber Jacket or any of our varsity jackets are the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classic. Converse are fall must-have shoe for the fall, so pairing that shoe with our warm fleece bomber jacket will embody the preppy look. You wouldn't even go wrong with a pair of Jordans or Air Force 1s. You can pair any sneaker with our varsity bomber jackets.
Street style isn’t just limited to sneakers. Since chunky soles are a trend in menswear, we think they will complete your outfit when you pair our varsity jackets with Chunky Chelsea calf boots in black faux leather from ASOS. If you want a certain edge, this boot will do just that. It gives off a chill vibe that is great for hanging out with friends or even an everyday look. These boots will pair well with your cargo pants or jeans.
Chelsea boots are such a perfect fit for your varsity look especially if you want a business casual look. It is another underrated pair of boots that really make you look classy but comfortable when you pair them with dress pants. Here are some Chelsea boots we think will make your outfit stand out:
- Mason Water Resistant Chelsea Boot from Nordstrom
- Skyview Waterproof Chelsea Boot from UGG
Archer Lug Chelsea Boot from Nordstrom
Loafers are a seriously underrated choice when it comes to streetwear and especially if you're going for a preppy look. Loafers are a classy but casual style to wear with a varsity jacket. These Adrian smooth leather tassel loafers from Doc Martens would look good with any of our varsity jackets but in particular our Goat Woven Bomber Jacket would really compliment the shoes well. Maybe even wide leg pants would look good with these shoes as well.
We think for the fall the best accessories that you could wear with our varsity jackets are beanies or baseball caps. These accessories help make the outfit a little more casual. So, if you want to put your own spin on an outfit these are the perfect accessories to do so.
Here are some caps and beanies that will help complete your look:
- UO Short Roll Knit Beanie from Urban Outfitters
- Knit Cuffed Beanie from Carhartt
- Embroidered Fine Art Dad Baseball Cap from Nordstrom
- Grey's Wool Blend Baseball Cap from Nordstrom
How to Take Care of Your Varsity Jacket
In order to keep your varsity jacket clean, we recommend that you get our jackets dry cleaned or wipe the stains with a damp cloth, so it stays in pristine shape. This is just so that the product will last for a really long time, and you can continue wearing it for years to come. Trends never seem to die so you never know when you might need to pull out that varsity bomber jacket again.
Whether it's poly twill or fleece it's very easy to take care of. You will never feel burdened when taking care of these materials.
Style However You Want
Styling is never easy, especially when it involves trends. There isn’t a right or wrong way to fashion. Style is what you make it not what is deemed to be stylish. Most of our recommendations are for casual outfits for when you hang out with friends or if you want to make your outfit more business casual. But it really is about creating your own personal style. We always want to help in any way possible so you can express yourself.
No matter who you are we hope that you feel at your best wearing our clothing. Remember that we enjoy seeing your outfits and how you style our pieces because it helps us create new pieces with #BKFam in mind.
We hope that our advice helped you decide what to wear with our bomber varsity jackets. We do all of this for you. You will definitely make a statement this fall! Send us your looks on Instagram by tagging us @brooklyncloth. We always love to see you wear our pieces, #BKFam!