Mar
7
2014
By
for Valet.

The Varsity Spectrum

  •  
    Varsity jackets replaced the letterman sweater in the mid-1930s.

Whether you were a letterman or not, chances are you're familiar with the athlete's favorite: the varsity jacket. With beginnings in Ivy League academia, the jacket has progressed far beyond high school hallways and football fields and is enjoying a resurgence lately because it's an easy, all-American outerwear choice. Traditionally, the jacket is constructed with a wool body, contrasting leather sleeves and snap closures; crested with a large letter or logo on the chest. Contemporary varsities are little more experimental—forgoing the large letters and bulky construction for lighter wools, canvas or leather. And fortunately, these varsity jackets have a more flattering fit so you don't have to be built like a linebacker to fill one out. Here are six of the best, in a range of price points.

 

American
Giant
, $99

A modern style with a heavyweight fleece body, elbow patches and contrast sleeves (and a home run of a price).

 

American
Apparel
, $245

A true OG style with cowhide leather sleeves and a wool torso, it comes in five colors (including an all-black version).

 

Odd Fellow Company for Draught Dry Goods, $385

This all-weather style jacket is cut from a breathable water resistant waxed canvas with a polka dot lining and brass buttons.

$$$
$
 

Publish,
$170

The heaviest of the bunch, crafted in soft herringbone wool with a brushed fleece lining and roll over collar.

 

Golden Bear
for Unionmade
, $275

A more unconventional black-and-blue take with a canvas body, zip closure and a slim fit that's made in America.

 

Saint
Laurent
, $1,790

Hedi Slimane's monochromatic version, with a wool-twill body and soft leather trim makes for a jacket with some edge.

 

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