Letterman jackets (also referred to as letter jackets or varsity jackets) conjure up images of high school, college, and sports teams. Why is this? Today we’ll dive into the origin of the Letterman Jacket, what it means culturally, and why it’s still relevant today!
The Letterman jacket gets its name from the practice of awarding a “letter” to students who played on a varsity team for their school. Although this is usually associated with high schools the practice actually goes as far back as the mid 1800’s and was initially a practice of
Harvard’s “H” was sewn into the jackets and sweaters of the Harvard baseball team. This was done to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and the practice was eventually adopted by the Harvard football team. The Harvard Football team was in the practice of awarding the “H” exclusively to player they deemed important. Typically, these “important” players were those who played against Harvard's fiercest rivals.
This is considered to be the beginning of the tradition of awarding letters to distinguished athletes.
It is not completely clear when this tradition was co-opted by high schools, however it is speculated that it was probably in the early 1900s. These early Letterman jackets were traditionally more of a cardigan style. It wasn’t until the 1930s that we saw the induction of the wool jacket we use today.
Today Letterman jackets are ingrained in our culture. They are a fashionable way to show your support for your school, athletic accomplishments, or just look great.
Perhaps the best thing about Letterman jackets is how customizable they are. With limitless combinations of designs, colors, and logos you can make your Letterman completely your own.
Although Lettermans never really went out of style, in today’s culture of retro-fashion and nostalgia a Letterman is especially fashionable. It’s a great way to distinguish yourself and keep warm during the fall and winter months.
Check out our website to create your own Letterman today!