Free Associations: The Varsity Jacket

Many designers featured varsity-inspired jacket on their Fall 2011 runways. According to our observations, the varsity jacket is already in pre-season training.

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: A model walks the runway at the Rag & Bone Women's Collection Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at 82 Mercer on February 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images)
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Many designers featured varsity-inspired jacket on their Fall 2011 runways, but Liv Tyler (shown here with Patrick Demarchelier before Stella McCartney's show) pushed the season and threw one over her shoulders as an early Spring topper.
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Traditionally, the letterman's jacket was a style made for men, usually with a wool body, leather sleeves, and chenille letters representing achievement in athletics - all in a player's team colors, of course. Here, a modern version of the traditional style takes to the runway at Rag & Bone.
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Patrik Ervell's version for Fall 2011 was more baseball inspired -- with contrast coming from simple ribbing at the neck and cuffs, rather than color-blocked leather sleeves.
Kyle Ancheta, snapped here at the Hewes stop on the J-Train, shows how to rock the sporty look on the street in a version from Ralph Lauren Rugby.
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Rag & Bone demonstrated that this look isn't just for the boys. They showed letterman's jackets on both their men's and women's runways for Fall 2011, and told The New York Times that the look was inspired by one of their female employees.
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Philip Lim worked the contrasting leather sleeves into more trim, feminine shapes and less athletic colors, like the cognac and indigo combination here.
Jenni Avins
Dossier Journal Managing Editor Erin Dixon wears an Italian translation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She brought her all-black Maria Francesca Pepe wool and leather jacket back from a recent trip to Milan.
At the very high end, French house Balmain offers this all-leather version of the All-American classic for $10,435. Image from Net-a-Porter
naughtymess' Etsy store
The varsity jackets from Balmain and Rag & Bone are inspiring, to be sure. But we think rather than waiting for Fall and blowing our budgets, we'll trawl eBay and Etsy for vintage versions like this little red number for just $46. Score!
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