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Varsity Jacket

Varsity Jacket also known as the letterman, baseball or jock jacket, the varsity jacket is an effortlessly cool piece of outerwear, which is sportier than the bomber jacket but preppier than the track jacket.

The Varsity Jacket History and Evolution

The iconic varsity jacket’s origins trace all the way back to Harvard University in the year 1865.

Harvard’s baseball team at the time was the first known group of students to sew large old English “H” patches onto their uniforms.

But these uniforms weren’t varsity jackets, so to speak. Not yet, at least.

The Harvard uniform was basically a thick-knitted gray flannel pullover and, with the giant “H” sewn right onto the center, these soon came to be known as “letterman” sweaters.

Modern Varsity Jacket

Soon, different teams from different schools, from all over the nation, had lettered sweaters and eventually high schools started to walk in the steps of their collegiate predecessors.

By 1930, the varsity jacket finally took on the form we’re so familiar with – wool jackets, leather sleeves and chenille lettering.

Modern varsity jackets, like the ones offered by United Sport Apparel, even have cell phone pockets.

Varsity jackets have changed a lot over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that varsity jackets are a sign of achievement. You’ve earned your varsity jacket and now, with the ability to customize jackets with different colors, patches, designs and so on, each jacket can be as unique as the student wearing it.

Check out Aura Outfits selection of letterman jackets for men and varsity-inspired fashion. From sporty to preppy, retro to classic, we have the top pieces to pull off this season’s coolest trend.

Varsity Jacket Buying Considerations

Traditionally, varsity jackets are cut on the more relaxed end of the spectrum. So, if you’re seeking an authentic vintage example, expect it to have dropped shoulders, a roomy waist, and wide arms. For a more tailored fit, it might be worth sizing down when going the retro route.

The other alternative is, of course, to opt for something new. Varsity jackets are now available in more contemporary fits, with slimmer bodies and more tapered arms. This arguably makes the style more flattering, slightly smarter, and easier to dress up with tailored trousers.

Whether you go for a baggier fit or something more streamlined largely depends on how you intend to wear it. For a more laid-back, streetwear-inspired look, go the relaxed route; whereas for a style cut more like a contemporary bomber jacket, opt for a slim, cropped cut.


The varsity jacket has always been an easy way to inject a bit of color into your wardrobe. The style was originally dreamt up to promote a particular team or university, meaning big logos and bright, contrasting shades.

So, if you’re bored of wearing the same tonal blue, grey, and black outfits, a varsity jacket might be the piece you need to bring some vibrancy to your style. How colorful you want to go is largely down to you, but the best varsity jackets are made up of one or two complementary shades. Think deep forest green with cream accents; or dark navy with sunshine yellow.


Today, varsity jackets come in many different fabric combinations. Expect to find anything from Fleece, leather to polyester blends as well as woven satin. However, for a timeless look, there’s only one combination you should consider: a Melton wool body with leather arms.

Although they tend to be at the higher end of the price spectrum, they’re likely to last the longest. Traditionally, varsity jackets were heavy and designed to take a beating, so if you’re after an investment piece that will stand the test of time, this is the way to go.