LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Keeping That School Spirit

Let's Hear it for the Boys

Going back to school is not nearly as hard as the last few weeks of it. With mountains of papers due and the looming spectre of finals, these last few weeks can seem like an eternal hurdle race. A great way I find release from stress is to keep expressing myself through fashion so I remember not to take myself too seriously. While everyone else shrinks into sweatpants in class and at the library, why not defy the status quo and keep your enthusiasm bubbling by styling it up? Today's Fashionisto did just that by making a statement in a fall piece that evolved from the sublime combination of academia and school spirit: the varsity jacket.

The varsity or letterman jacket originated just across the Charles River from us at Harvard University in 1865. Back then varsity jackets weren't really jackets, but sweaters with the bold “H” letter front and center. It was only in the '30s, however, that the varsity jackets with a wool body and leather sleeves were introduced. Since then, these jackets have slowly seeped into mainstream fashion; to avoid looking like a collegiate has-been, take a few styling tips from today's Fashionisto.

This film student contrasted the Air Force blue color of his varsity jacket with the inky blues of his denim button-down and chinos. This pairing keeps the varsity jacket contemporary, but the simplicity puts the emphasis on the jacket. Though the color spectrum is the same, he has given a variety of material and textures that give a clean separation between the different items he is wearing. It is important not to let statement pieces, like a varsity jacket, stand starkly alone, otherwise they could be overwhelming. By layering his vintage jacket over a bold denim button-down, this Fashionisto has worn the varsity jacket and not let it wear him.

Letterman jackets are versatile and easily customized, leading fashion designers to take it upon themselves to make this iconic piece accessible to everyone. Thom Brown, True Religion and Brooks Brothers have decidedly more traditional letterman jackets, but Gant Rugger, Homerun Jacket and Comme Des Garcons have some revamped takes on it. If you want to sport one of these jackets in their traditional aesthetic, why not try this Forever 21 jacket? Alternatively, for a subtler varsity jacket, try this Obey one in tweed.

This Fashionisto polished his look off with lace-up boots in moccasin, which have ocre hues that complement the yellow stripes on his jacket. He also effused an '80s Tom Cruise charm by accessorizing with wayfarers, though you can also try some classic aviators to accessorize your letterman jacket. For today's tip, remember when choosing a varsity jacket, make sure it fits well. You can check this by making sure the ribbed cuffs stop at your wrists without the sleeves bunching up and the ribbed trim sits on your hips without the main body of the jacket billowing out.

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