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Preppy style is seeing a resurgence and we know what you’re thinking: Does this mean we’re going back to layering 3 pastel polos and waltzing into a cloud of Tommy Girl? We’re relieved to report that no, that’s not the case (yet). Call it the Gossip Girl effect, Olympic fervor or Academia escapism, but collegiate looks are on the rise.
While preppy staples like tailored blazers and cable knits have floated down runways for fall, others, like tennis skirts and argyle vests, have been propped up by Gen Z’s fashion crowd on TikTok. The latest sporty trend we can’t get enough of: varsity jackets.
With a 125% spike in Pinterest searches this summer and a 13% increase in searches on Lyst since the start of the month, it’s safe to say letterman styles will be everywhere this season. And while we saw cropped baseball jackets dominating a few years ago, the 2021 iterations are decidedly oversized and vintage-inspired. Whether you’re snapping up a new coat or thrifting one from 1987, here are 7 ways to wear a varsity jacket like a pro.
RELATED: 4 Cardigan Style Hacks We Learned on TikTok
To balance out the heavy wool outerwear, we’re seeing trend-lovers team the jackets up with sports bras or snug crop tops underneath. To build a cohesive look, stick to a simple color pallete, like blacks and whites or earthy hues. The unexpected cherry on top: a pair of luxe strappy heels.
Shop similar styles: Cross Colours jacket ($500), Halogen joggers ($49), Kurt Geiger strap heeled sandals ($141), Rebecca Minkoff crossbody bag ($248)
Letterman jackets are sprinkled across our Instagram feeds along with another beloved fall trend: printed pants. Tuck a crisp white tank into a plaid pair and you’re ready for orientation at the prep school of your dreams (or, you know, a coffee run down the street).
Shop similar styles: ASOS varsity jacket ($171), Fiorucci Angels tank top ($85), ASOS tapered boy pant ($46), Chinese Laundry Yanti sandals ($69.95)
Think biker shorts are reserved for steamy July days? Gossip Girl character Julien Calloway (portrayed by Jordan Alexander) proves the stretchy trend thrives in fall when coupled with a varsity jacket and sweatshirt combo. Another way to shield yourself from autumn’s chilly days: knee-high boots.
Shop similar styles: GUESS varsity jacket ($148), Weekday Alissa hoodie ($48), Zella bike shorts ($49), Coach camera bag ($295), Wandler boots ($386)
Floral, checkerboard, fruit-festooned—patterned skirts make these bomber coats feel more playful. Add formal touches, like your favorite heels and statement jewelry to take the trend into dinner and drinks territory.
Shop similar styles: BDG Faye jacket ($119), Champion sweatshirt ($50), Samsøe Samsøe Adina midi skirt ($170), Kate Spade Lilah sandals ($188), Rosie baguette bag ($39)
If you’re an avid TikTok scroller, you’ve probably noticed influencers sporting pleated skirts all over the app. But we’ll admit, wearing one feels kind of daunting. Fear not: Coterie member Amanda Stewart shows us how it’s done by combining the mini skirt with a roomy collegiate jacket, nameplate necklace and wrap-around pumps. To dress it down (or to give your feet a break) go for combat boots or trendy clogs.
Shop similar styles: Stadium Goods jacket ($410), Free People tank top (38.60), iets frans…skirt ($49), Melanie Marie necklace ($90), UO Kendal sandals ($49)
Varsity jackets drum up memories of football players strutting down the halls on game day. But high school is over (thankfully), so why not make peace among cliques via your outfit? Pull from punk fashion and throw on some faux leather pants, chain jewelry and platform footwear to toughen up the look. Then queue up The Breakfast Club.
Shop similar styles: Diesel varsity jacket ($487), 1.State top ($29.40), Halogen faux leather pants ($89), Vagabond loafers ($160, Stella McCartney micro bag (198)
The best part about varsity jackets is you can easily pull them from your Dad’s closet or local consignment shop. But why stop there? Gather more inspo from Pop’s wardrobe and opt for oversized denim, thick white socks and old-school sneaks to tie the look together. Now go forth and remind loved ones to get their oil changed.
Shop similar styles: H&M jacket ($49.99), ASOS jeans ($51), VEJA trainers ($100)
RELATED: Why is Mom and Dad Fashion So In Right Now?
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