Fashion | The Varsity Jacket Has Become An Essential For Street Stylers The Varsity Jacket Has Become An Essential For Street Stylers

The Varsity Jacket Has Become An Essential For Street Stylers

Daniel Zuchnik

Collegiate Americana style has infiltrated wardrobes across the globe. Varsity jackets are the latest preppy item to hold influence beyond the soccer pitch, as seen on show-goers in Copenhagen and on the catwalks in Paris. 

Claudio Lavenia
Edward Berthelot

Varsity jackets were out in full force at the autumn/winter 2022 shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris – models and attendees favoured colourful vintage styles, adorned with playful badges and appliqués. 

The styles on rotation aren’t exactly a departure from the green and grey Philadelphia Eagles jacket that Diana, Princess of Wales sported on several occasions in the ’90s. It was reportedly a gift from Jack Edelstein – a friend of Grace Kelly’s and, crucially, a long-standing statistician for the American football team.

Daniel Zuchnik
Melodie Jeng

Long before the recent hype, the late Virgil Abloh made eye-catching varsity bombers his signature. The designer’s final autumn/winter 2022 show for Off-White was shown posthumously at Paris Fashion Week, and the team staged an emotional tribute that celebrated Abloh’s ingenious design approach and unique ability to combine streetwear and couture gowns in perfect harmony. 

The collection riffed on collegiate style, epitomised by a red and cream varsity jacket – look 68 – that was worn with a voluminous ombré pleated skirt, a corseted bodice and trainers, while the model carried a skateboard as they walked. A poppy blue version also featured, styled with a fuzzy coat and trousers. 

Diana, Princess of Wales wore a green and grey Philadelphia Eagles jacket on several outings in the ’90s. Julian Parker

Abloh explored collegiate references during his tenure at Louis Vuitton, too. Varsity jacket styles from his previous LV collections fetch impressive resale prices on sites like Grailed and Stock X: a racer green jacket from autumn/winter 2021 is available for upwards of £8,000 and his blue “Wizard of Oz” style is listed at £11,000 and above.

Louis Vuitton menswear autumn/winter 2022.
A$AP Rocky wearing a bomber from the collection in February 2022. Mike Coppola

Several varsity jackets featured at Abloh’s final autumn/winter 2022 menswear show for the house: look 51 comprised a bright red and cream bomber emblazoned with illustrations, while look 16 comprised a bright purple varsity bomber adorned with LV patches and logos. The latter was worn by A$AP Rocky, a friend of Abloh’s, for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch in February. (Rihanna herself is a varsity jacket enthusiast and wore a longline Raf Simons style last summer.)

Off-White autumn/winter 2022.
Off-White autumn/winter 2022.

Matty Bovan cited the States as the inspiration behind his autumn/winter 2022 collection, which made for punkish takes on classic varsity bombers; seen spliced and knotted. Elsewhere, Vetements and Versace reimagined varsity jackets for spring/summer 2022 and Burberry and Givenchy debuted styles for Resort 2022.

Matty Bovan autumn/winter 2022.
Versace spring/summer 2022.

Wondering where to source a varsity bomber? Vogue’s global network lead and European deputy editor Sarah Harris welcomed a camel-hue style from Alex Eagle into her wardrobe last autumn, which is the perfect balance of preppy and elegant.

Sarah Harris wearing a varsity jacket from Alex Eagle Sporting Club to the spring/summer 2022 shows. Daniel Zuchnik

Gen-Z-ers have bookmarked buzzy bombers from East London-based House of Sunny, available in purple, chocolate brown, electric blue and charcoal.

Instagram houseofsunny

Whether you’ve got a college to rep or you’re in the market to borrow team colours from a brand, consider investing in a varsity jacket this spring. 

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