NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

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THE BEST VARSITY JACKETS TO MATCH YOUR STYLE: NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

The high-school movie stereotype of sport-crazed meatheads versus brainy bookworms is a tale as old as tertiary education itself. Jocks and nerds have their differences, but one thing these campus subcultures have in common is an excellent sense of style.

We’ve written about how dressing like a nerd became cool, and while the preppy uniform of the jocks may not be under the fashion spotlight in quite the same way, the look (like the people who sport it) is always popular.

If there’s one garment that sums this up perfectly, it’s the varsity jacket. This collegiate classic is rooted in Ivy League cool and, when styled correctly, can make a powerful teammate: an all-American testament to colourful, confident youth culture.

Here we delve into the minutiae of college culture’s most iconic piece of outerwear. Including where it came from, how to style it and which brands are worth handing your hard-earned cash over to

WHAT IS A VARSITY JACKET? – NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

Also referred to as a “letterman jacket”, this button-through outerwear essential is so-called for the large cloth letter traditionally sewn to the chest. These letters were/are indicative of the wearer having played a sport for a varsity team, and would typically be the first initial of the player’s school. NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

This dates back to 1865, when jackets and sweaters bearing the letter ‘H’ were first awarded to Harvard University’s school baseball team. It has remained a tradition ever since.

The varsity is commonly confused with some other jacket styles, particularly the bomber jacket and the souvenir jacket. This is due to it sharing a collarless design and elasticated hem. However, the varsity jacket differs from the other two in that it has a button-through front as opposed to a zip, usually features two or more contrasting colours, and is traditionally made up of a wool body with leather sleeves.

Today, however, the term “varsity jacket” is used more loosely to describe any sporty, button-up, collarless jacket, and can be made of anything from jersey cotton to suede. Traditional college examples also tend to have an oversized, unflattering fit, where more recent designs boast a slimmer, more shapely cut.

WHY YOU NEED ONE. NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

Well, it’s a bona fide classic. The varsity jacket is a piece of outerwear with a rich history and good looks on its side, making it an easy sell for anyone looking to expand their jacket collection (most men, in our experience).

Provided the colours aren’t too garish, it’s also surprisingly versatile. Remember, this isn’t so much sportswear as it is formalwear for students. The varsity jacket wasn’t designed for diving around on a muddy field – more for attending award ceremonies and team functions.

Yes, there’s an argument that it’s a young man’s game. You might find it more difficult to wear once you hit your mid-thirties, but Jeff Goldblum and Jay-Z don’t seem to struggle, especially in muted black-and-white versions.

NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

Those who work in the corporate wear either smart as usual or business/ formal attire on a regular work day.

Clothes and fashion are not that important to me. I always prefer comfortable clothes but making sure that I’d look presentable and clean. I am more of being practical in choosing what I wear.

Well, I can say that there hasn’t been much change with the clothes I wear now with that of about 10 years ago. I still wear the regular jeans and shirt for casual days or formal clothes on business events.

NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

But, I think since the trend has changed, the kind of these basic clothing has also changed for me, especially when it comes to the style of the jeans and shirts. I used to wear straight-cut jeans but nowadays, I wear contemporary style such as slim-fit clothes.

At times, I think the clothes we wear may show part of our personality or status. For example, clothing may determine the kind of job a person has. For some, it may be a tool for expression. Some could be stylish and fashionable which may reflect their personality as being creative.

HOW TO WEAR A VARSITY JACKET. NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

That brings us to our next point. One thing that seems to put a lot of men off investing in a varsity jacket is how seemingly tricky it can be to style in a way that doesn’t leave you looking like an extra from American Pie.

NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

First and foremost, fit is crucial when it comes to making a varsity jacket look good. It should be slim, while leaving enough room underneath for a hoodie or crewneck, and the hem should sit no higher than the hips – another detail that sets it apart from its cropped cousin, the bomber jacket.

It’s always best to err on the right side of classic when experimenting with a new look, so go for a throwback two-tone style with a solid body and contrasting sleeves, or just full block colour. Stick to monochrome to play it safe, but feel free to go more colourful, provided the rest of your outfit is nice and subtle.

THE BEST BRANDS FOR NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket VARSITY JACKETS

From the best of the high-street courtesy of Zara to the streetwear stylings of Supreme – these are the best labels to check out when it comes to buying a varsity jacket.

NHL National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings Baseball Varsity Jacket

For the streetwear connoisseurs among you, there is no better place to purchase a varsity jacket from than transcendent skate brand Supreme.

This youth-culture staple has become something of a cornerstone in the label’s seasonal drops, having been reimagined countless times and often with the input of high-profile collaborators. But, while that’s all well and good, getting your hands on one isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Resale prices are par for the course, but if you’re dead set then websites like StockX and Grailed can help you in finding the best deal.

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