WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
Whether you’re a Xennial who grew up watching MJ’s Thriller ad nauseum, a Millennial who’s well acquainted with the High School Musical trilogy or a Riverdale-obsessed Gen-Z, you’ll be familiar with the varsity jacket. Also known as the letterman jacket, baseball jacket and college jacket, the varsity jacket is a throw-on-and-go hero piece that’s ageless, versatile and suitable for both wildcats and kittens.
Traditionally speaking, the varsity jacket is press-studded and constructed with wool and leather; however, designers have flipped the script on the jockboy layer manifold times across the years to conform to different modes. Here, we take a look at some of the cleanest, quirkiest and most timeless varsity jackets for Spring/Summer 2021 available on FARFETCH.
Men's Varsity Jackets
Ascend to the summit of style and you’ll be greeted by Virgil Abloh: the leading tastemaker in omnipresent streetwear. For his latest season, Abloh’s Off-White has released a soft-hued varsity jacket – adorned with larger-than-life graphics – that’s practically perfect for spring.
Billionaire Boys Club
Billionaire Boys Club’s Astronaut varsity jacket looks good enough to eat thanks to its creamy, indulgent colour palette. The delectable new-season layer – created with a wool-polyester blend – is sure to come in handy on chilly spring morns, breezy summer eves and the early days of Autumn. So, in short, it’s a stellar investment.
If there’s one brand that should be on your radar right now, it’s Nahmias. Founded in LA by self-taught designer Doni Nahmias, the label is just as cool, charismatic and characteristic as its namesake and birthplace. Plus, each piece is of utmost quality – just look at the brand’s 100% silk varsity jacket, for example.
Raf Simons is renowned for tearing up the blueprints and experimenting with wardrobe staples, and his take on the traditional varsity jacket blows things way out of proportion (in the best sense of the term). The Belgian designer has used a combination of leather and wool to transform the waist-length jacket into a handsome overcoat that's newfangled yet familiar – naturally, it’s sitting in our basket.
For SS21, AMIRI takes us back to the Golden Age of the USA: the 1950s. The LA-based label, heavily influenced by rock ‘n’ roll culture, has created a shamrock green varsity jacket adorned with racing stripe cuffs and an old-school typeface. As you can see from the image above, it’s dreamy.
Women’s Varsity Jackets
Luxury streetwear label Palm Angels has found a home in every tastemaker’s wardrobe, and their new-season varsity jacket is sure to be a must-have for many. The monochrome jacket is created with virgin wool, polyamide and cashmere and is finished with salient branding across the chest and the brand’s boyish teddy bear motif on the rear.
For his most recent Burberry season, Riccardo Tisci combines American archetypes, British insignia and the brand’s house codes to create looks that wouldn’t look amiss in Netflix’s Sex Education. A standout piece from the collection is the calf-leather and wool graphic varsity jacket – adorned with patches on the front and rear – that’s very now, very lavish and, most of all, very Tisci.
By injecting it with an ounce of rockstar chic, Givenchy – currently helmed by Matthew Williams – has spiced up the varsity jacket silhouette for SS21. The Parisian brand’s take on the collegiate look features conspicuous branding and is exclusively available in black. As you can imagine, it works with any ensemble.
It turns out that Golden Goose’s talents go beyond sneakers, as their latest varsity jacket is a contender for the best on the market. Beautified with a lipstick red hue and decorated with patches on the rear, the transitional layer is everything you need to keep up with the Joneses this year.
Once upon a time (Spring 2004 to be exact), Chanel created the ultimate varsity jacket – as a matter of course, we’re obsessing over the too-cool-for-school piece, once again. The Parisian label’s take on the varsity jacket is of a textbook design and is fashioned in a mouthwatering moody palette that’s sure to complement any savvy dresser’s style.
Trousers to Wear With Varsity Jackets
If you’re searching for a foolproof way to style your varsity jacket, we recommend sticking with denim jeans for an outright Americana look.
Lads, we recommend opting for a pair of Levi’s: Made & Crafted or Acne Studios jeans, ideally of a slim-fit or straight-leg cut. Ladies, we recommend purchasing a pair of high-rise, straight-leg jeans, preferably from Saint Laurent or Redone in either blue, black or grey.
Trainers to Wear With Varsity Jackets
If you’re going to dress like the cool kid on the block, it’s paramount that you know your Jordans from your Dunks, 550s from your 992s and collabs from your classics. For SS21, we’ve got four kicks in mind to pair with your varsity-jacket-and-jeans ensemble: University Blue AJ1 Highs, white and blue New Balance 550s, Coast Nike Dunk Lows and Telfar x Converse high tops.