Do Colleges Have Varsity Jackets?

Varsity jackets are a staple in American culture, particularly in the world of sports. These jackets, also known as letterman jackets, are often worn by high school and college athletes to represent their school and team spirit. Let us know ‘Do Colleges Have Varsity Jackets?’.

Do Colleges Have Varsity Jackets?

Do colleges have varsity jackets?

In this article, we will explore the history and significance of varsity jackets, their presence in college sports, and the variations of varsity jackets in different colleges.

Colleges are known for a wide range of traditions, from the unique mascots to the school colors that unite alumni for years after graduation. Among the most iconic collegiate traditions is the varsity jacket. These jackets have a long and storied history in American culture, dating back to the early 1900s.

Do colleges still have varsity jackets today?

In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the varsity jacket, its place in college culture, and whether or not colleges still offer them.

Before we dive into whether colleges still offer varsity jackets, it’s important to define what they are. A varsity jacket is a type of jacket that typically has a wool body and leather sleeves. The jacket is often decorated with patches, letters, and other symbols that represent the school or team that the wearer belongs to. The most common symbols are the school’s initials or mascots.

Varsity jackets are most commonly associated with high school sports teams, but they have a long history in collegiate sports as well. The jackets were originally worn by members of college sports teams to signify their status as varsity athletes. 

History of Varsity Jackets

Varsity jackets have a long and rich history that can be traced back to the early 1900s. The first varsity jacket was created by the Harvard University baseball team in 1865, and it featured a simple design with the letter “H” sewn onto the chest. The jacket was made from wool and leather, which provided warmth and durability.

The popularity of varsity jackets grew throughout the 20th century, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. These jackets became a symbol of school pride and team spirit, and they were often worn by high school and college athletes to represent their school and team.

In addition to athletes, varsity jackets were also worn by members of high school and college marching bands, debate teams, and other extracurricular groups. These jackets served as a way for students to show their school pride and to feel like they were a part of something bigger than themselves.

Today, varsity jackets continue to be a popular item of clothing, particularly in the world of sports. While the design of varsity jackets has evolved over the years, they remain a symbol of school pride and team spirit.

Varsity Jackets in College Sports

While varsity jackets are most commonly associated with high school sports, they are also worn by college athletes. Varsity jackets are an important part of college sports culture and are often worn by athletes to represent their school and team.

Unlike high school varsity jackets, which are typically only awarded to athletes who have lettered in a sport, college varsity jackets are available for purchase by any student, regardless of whether they are an athlete or not. This means that anyone can show their school spirit by wearing a college varsity jacket.

College varsity jackets typically feature the school’s colors and logo, as well as the student’s name and/or sport. They are often made from high-quality materials, such as wool and leather, and can be customized to include patches, embroidery, and other embellishments.

In addition to being a fashion statement, college varsity jackets are also a way for athletes to bond with their teammates and show their commitment to their sport. Many college athletes wear their varsity jackets with pride, both on and off the field.

Variations of Varsity Jackets in Different Colleges

While varsity jackets are a common sight in college sports, the design of these jackets can vary from school to school. In some cases, the design of a school’s varsity jacket is deeply rooted in tradition, while in other cases, the design may be more modern and unique.

For example, at Notre Dame University, the varsity jacket is a tradition that dates back to the 1920s. The jacket features the school’s colors (blue and gold), as well as the student’s year they graduated. The back of the jacket features the school’s famous leprechaun logo, along with the words “Notre Dame.”


In conclusion, varsity jackets have a rich history in American culture and have been an important part of college traditions for decades. Despite this decline, many colleges still offer varsity jackets to their athletes as a commemorative item and a reward for exceptional performance on the playing field. Varsity jackets remain an important symbol of the strong bonds that are formed between students and their schools, and they continue to be worn by alumni as a way to stay connected to their alma mater.