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Varsity Jackets – A Walk Down The Memory Lane

Imagine yourself as a young kid playing sports and enjoying those carefree days where you had no expenses to bear and no bills to pay. Life was simple and understanding. You had the support of your loving parents, and all you ever wondered about was completing your school projects, practicing for any sport and sleeping early.

We all want to re-live those carefree moments again; especially now when we are all grown up and living lives on our own. Being independent surely racks up a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, but it has its certain advantages.

For instance, back in your early days, you had to complete a chore or a task to get allowance from your father, but now, you earn and live for yourself. While comparing both of the eras will rack up a lot of space, today, we will talk about the rise and popularity of varsity jackets.

That being said, if you have ever played a sport in your school days, there is a possibility that you know about varsity jackets. And if you owned one in your school days, then you were officially the coolest person in your school.

Yes, that is absolutely true. Its amazing how powerful these jackets were in the days. Surprisingly, they are still that much powerful. But these jackets have a long and deep-rooted history. While the design and crafting elements have not been changed, have you ever wondered how these jackets came into existence? Let us find out today.

Harvard University – The Rise of Varsity Jackets

It was the year 1866 when the sports management and coaches at Harvard thought of bringing a change into their sports system. Their approach towards the sport had always been of a credible factor but they were missing out on ideas to ignite passion among the students.

So to offer more to the students, the coaches thought of segregating the passionate ones with the not-so-passionate ones. It was the first time we saw reward system in the field of sports. Players who performed well were rewarded with custom varsity jackets.

The coaches, however, called these jackets as letterman at first and for the sake of getting these sweaters, everyone started performing well for the team. Safe to say, we agree that these jackets were surely a game changer in the sports market.

Varsity Jackets & Football – A Romance To Remember

Ten years after the varsity jackets were introduced in sports at Harvard, their popularity and fame was heard loud and clear by the individuals across the country. It was then in 1876 when the professional football team at Harvard included varsity jackets into their official uniforms.

These jackets were introduced to appreciate the effort players were putting on the field. Something which was pretty common back then. Just like baseball, the highest performers were awarded with a special type of varsity jacket containing the finest embroidery work and customization.

These rewards uplifted the morale of the players and encouraged them to perform even better.

Sweater or a Jacket? Why Not a Swacket?

In the earliest years of 1900, the pride and integrity of varsity sweaters remained intact. People enjoyed wearing them for picnics, parties, social gatherings, and even to religious events. But with more fashion brands opening and introducing their version of varsity sweaters, a change was needed.

Instead of being a conventional sweater cardigan, designers introduced varsity jackets. These jackets were made from sturdy leather fabrics and were more important than the conventional letterman sweaters.

Sports teams and coaches loved the idea of these jackets and started ordering these for their teams.

The Time When Varsity Jackets Became Political

Remember when varsity jackets were considered as sweet symbol of love, a beacon of fashion, and a charm for sports fanatics? In 1973, United States congress approved a bill named as Title IX, a law that forbids the discrimination of female athletes in sports.

This iconic movement became a symbol of hope for women in sports, and to commemorate the victory, many sports personalities, TV anchors, news channels, politicians, actors, etc. showed solidarity by outfitting in varsity jackets with Title IX monogram.

This was also the time when varsity jackets rose to its highest prominence, so much to what we observe and see today.

Varsity Jackets Are Still Very Much Popular

After crossing paths for so many years, from one college and sport to another, varsity jackets are still important in today’s market. All the IVY League universities offer varsity jackets to uplift their pride and spirit while sports enthusiasts still wear it to show their dominance in the game.

What started as a reward for the players became a fashion sensation around the world, and this is an achievement on its own. And will still continue to thrive in the future.


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