How to dress in Style with a Varsity Jacket in 2020?


From high school to high fashion – varsity jackets are one of those items of clothing that not only made it to the 21st century but have also become a stylish element of numerous outfits. In 2020 a letterman jacket is a must-have for both men and women and here’s how to dress to impress.

A Brief History of Varsity Jackets

Few are aware that this ‘voguish’ gear originated in the US in 1865 when Ivy League football team players decided to stand out from other students. After all, they were considered more prestigious representing the school in all sporting events. We are talking about Harvard University students. Nevertheless, they sewed letter H in the center of their uniform jackets. That’s why we also call them letterman jackets.

But back at those times, they weren’t even jackets but jerseys. The letter H was strictly reserved for the best players in the team and if you didn’t perform well enough, you ended up wearing a plain sweater. A few years later other schools picked this trend up and started designing their own jackets with an appropriate letter on the chest. There were various concepts concerning where the letter should be placed but most agreed it looked best on the left breast.

It wasn’t until the 30s when they started to look like jackets. Traditionally they had a woolen body and leather sleeves. Those two parts were always of contrasting colors. Additionally, they had matching waistband, cuffs, and collar. Today varsity jackets come in countless styles, and fabrics. They slowly ‘left school premises’ and became more accessible for everyone to finally enter the high fashion market.

How to Wear a Varsity Jacket?

Varsity jackets have been long associated with urban fashion and a more sporty style. There was no question of putting one on and showing up at a formal event. In the last couple of years, however, a lot of designers have changed their way of seeing letterman jackets as strictly casual gear. In fact, you can mix and match your varsity jacket with anything providing you have a little sense of aesthetics. Make use of our tips and become a fashion pro.

Tips for Women

Sporty Look For Women

There are various reasons why a woman should be wearing sporty clothes from time to time. And we’ll give you one more – a varsity jacket! It can look a little boyish but with a proper choice of accessories, you can look very feminine. For a sporty look, you will have to go for a T-shirt, either plain or patterned. Remember to match your jackets coloristically. A pair of boyfriend style jeans or shorts will complete the outfit well. Your shoes need to be comfortable so go for sneakers, and choose a cute small backpack instead of a purse.

More Than A Casual Look

For a more casual vibe, we suggest choosing a classic jacket, e.g. red/white/black. If you add a plain tee and a pair of tight jeans, you’ll rock the streets. You’re not limited to sports shoes, so feel free to wear a pair of nice flats or even platforms. Here a casual bag is a must to complete the look.

Some women, however, prefer plain colors. If this is you, why don’t you stick to grey, white and black? You can wear a white pair of trousers, a grey tee or a blouse and a black varsity jacket perhaps with some shiny accessories. Don’t forget about a black purse and plain shoes.

Prim and Proper Elegant Look

You can look elegant and glamour too. All you need is a proper varsity jacket, smart accessories, and of course,  high heels. One option is for the skirts lovers, the other one is for more of Coco Chanel kind of girl.

Varsity jackets come in many styles so go for an elegant one such as white with leather sleeves or a gun club check one. If you don’t like wearing trousers, choose a pencil skirt instead, either grey, black or white. A smart blouse and a pair of sexy high heels is a must too. In another case, go for a pair of smart looking trousers (even jeans) and complete your outfit with a stylish jewelry and perhaps a hat.

Tips for Men

Sporty Look for Men

Perhaps one of the easiest and most obvious stylings would be wearing your varsity jacket to get the sporty vibe out of your outfit. After all, this is what it was meant for in the first place. Go for a classic casual jacket with two contrasting colors of your choice. Add a pair of plain joggers (black or grey work best). Your T-shirt should also be plain if you’re wearing dark joggers and a bright-colored jacket. In another case, you can let that inner child loose and top it up with a patterned T-shirt. Don’t forget about sneakers and perhaps a cap if you like wearing them.

More Than A Casual Look

Varsity jackets by VarsityBase go with anything,  so building your casual outfit from scratch shouldn’t be a problem. Men usually choose a plain jacket if their T-shirt is bold, and the other way around. Remember about the balance – one bright-colored item is fine providing the rest of your outfit is low-key. In this case, you’re going to wear a nice pair of jeans, a casual T-shirt and a dark varsity jacket. The best colors are navy blue and burgundy.

Prim and Proper Elegant Look

Here’s a grabber for all skeptics. You can achieve a nice smart look with a varsity jacket. Just follow a few simple rules. Firstly, your jacket should be a classic, and that means going back to the 30s – woolen body, leather sleeves, and a big letter on your left breast. The good news is you’re not limited to plain colors. In fact, you can go for brighter ones that represent certain college taints. Complete the outfit with a pair of smart trousers such as chinos and a nice smart T-shirt or a shirt.


Varsity jackets can be worn by anyone despite their age, sense of style or gender. In 2019 they come in numerous variations and it’s highly doubtful you won’t find the one you love. While a lot of other items of clothing are usually dedicated to a specific need, varsity jackets are versatile. Language pun or a coincidence? 

Author Bio: Maria has been writing articles for 5 years. She specializes in business and fashion. On her free time she loves to read and write about her travel experiences. You can find her doing this by the beach.

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