The “Return” of the Varsity Jacket

January 16th, 2012

All the magazines are telling you “the varsity jacket is back!”.

Where did it go? I’ve been wearing varisty jackets since my freshman year of high school. In my opinion they have always been a great option for a sporty and masculine casual jacket. Athletes wear them with pride, preppy types love them, hell, there’s even a good chance your dad still has one in the back of his closet.

The good news is, their current popularity means there’s a good selection on the market. I tried a handful of different designers before finding this number from The Brookyn Circus.

The slim-but-not-snug fit, the quality of the wool and leather, the clean button closure, the iconic “concrete-jungle” symbol, the taller ribbed collar, and the fact that it’s Made in USA had me sold as soon as I put it on.

Here’s how I’ve been rocking it.

    1. Collegiate Prep



    Sometimes I get nostalgic and channel my Ivy League days.

    Varsity jackets have a great collegiate appeal, which means you can pair them with a retro preppy look. In this outfit that means a tweed vest, oxford shirt, rep tie, collar pin, penny loafs, etc.

    • Navy varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus
    • Washed jeans by Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply
    • Brown wool blend socks by JCrew
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Silver collar pin by WANT
    • Brown donegal tweed vest
    • Burgundy penny loafers by Bass
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
    • Blue oxford shirt by Thom Browne

    2. Weekend Chillin


    On a weekend with nothing to do, which sounds great right about now, this is what you can find me in.

    Simple, masculine, put-together, but not over the top.

    Take a look at your go-to casual pieces for a laidback day, it might be time to upgrade. A well rounded wardrobe has you ready for any occasion, even if there isn’t really an occasion at all.

    Also, there’s those boots again. Been really breaking ’em in lately.

    • Tortoise shades by Matsuda Eyewear
    • Navy varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus
    • Leather wingtip boots by Allen Edmonds
    • Denim shirt by RRL
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Slate chinos by Helmut Lang
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc

    3. Tweed Dandy



    Since men have been wearing them for so long, it works with a tweedy vintage-inspired look as well.

    Vintage stores can be a decent place to find an inexpensive varsity jacket, just make sure the fit isn’t too loose or boxy and it’s not branded with someone else’s name and athletic achievements – that’s just weird.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford and Westley Dimagiba.

    • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

      Hey Dan I was wondering if varsity jackets could be tailored. I don’t really have the funds to splurge on a BKC jacket such as the one featured, but if I thrift one I was thinking of getting it tailored. What are your thoughts on this? Great outfit ideas as well.

    • kredyty bez bik pod

      This is the perfect site for anyone who wants to
      find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost
      tough to argue with you (not that I personally would
      want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject
      that’s been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

    • Uisdean

      First off, I think this a really cool article and I love the jacket.
      I love nearly all of the looks the only one I dislike is the “Tweedy Gent” solely because I think it looks off (maybe being British I’m used to a certain type of “Tweedy Gent” in the sense you seem to be channelling”.
      But that’s beside the point so forgive me of my rambling, but as I mentioned I’m British and as I also said, I love that jacket.
      This brings me to a bit of internal strife, would it be safe (or more accurately, sartorially sound) or me to wear one over here?
      Also, I’m envious of whatever you do as you have some very nice clothes (and appear to have a large quantity of said clothes) while I have what some would deem a “capsule wardrobe”.

    • PRL

      this is siiiickk. taking notes…

    • Souly25

      Thought these were buffalo varsitys when I 1 st saw one it caught my eye,

    • Mantis Toboggan

      I love the Cognac/Navy blue color schematic, and being born and raised in Brooklyn I feel a kindred spirit w/ the brand I just wish Ouigi would put a little less emphasis on his logos. I’ve grappled with pieces like the above because of the in your face branding.

    • itsamazing

      Great post! Varsity jacket is such a classic timeless piece.

    • Jake

      I know this blog is about the CLOTHES mostly but I just have to say the amount of gel in this man’s hair is just wrong. Did we forget about Axe’s TV-commercial campaign against sticky, shiny hair? Otherwise great post.

      • SB


        There is no gel in my hair, just a little pomade (Crew fiber), which keeps the hair soft (and not sticky).

        I’d be careful taking advice from tv commercials, although I agree against over gelling the doo.

        Thanks for reading,

    • Jeroen

      Loving the tweedy gent!
      Also, it reminded me that I should get myself some socks like that!

    • Chastity

      Speaking as a woman from Chicago I must say that I absolutely love your style ideas for myself. I’ve been into men-inspired looks lately. Thanks SB!

    • Marcel

      Hey great feature.. And one small thing I really like how you wrote this article just sentences in a story form and not bonus tips 1 bonus tip 2 .. Much nicer to read this way!
      Keep it up :)

      • SB

        Agreed. Always evolving ;)

        Thanks for reading Marcel.

        All the best,

    • sebastian

      hey tsb.
      i have a custome destroyer and a whitesville. do you think all my patch work would be to much to pull off with these looks?

    • Neil

      Love the looks man! Definitely thinking about getting on from TBC! Are they sizes pretty standard…as in can I order from the site? Or should I head down to NYC and try one on?

      • SB

        If you’re on the border of two sizes, I would size up. I’d say the jacket runs about a half size small.

        You can order from the site here:

        Thx for reading,

        • Neil

          Thanks for the info! I’ll try the L and see if I like it!


    • Ambyr

      Of course I love your Ivy Inspired look, it’s classic and chic. But this White Tee, White Kicks look is really fresh. The cranberry colored sweater pulls it all together really well.


    • Justin K

      Love the looks, Dan. The more outerwear options, the better, IMO. And as an English instructor, I love your misspelling (or perhaps your conscious playfulness?) in the first sentence following the first photo. Style has hold of you hard, friend! ;)

      • SB

        Haha. It seams :)

        Thanks for reading Justin.

        All the best,

    • Lena

      The jacket is dope. I like the first look the best and #3 but without folding the pants. Fantastic taste though.

    • TO

      I remember seeing you wear that varsity jacket back in the day, ha

      Look 4 is killer. Really put-together casual with the jacket on top.
      Love that oatmeal sweater. I have a finer-knit navy blue CM sweater in that style and I wore an turtleneck underneath to try something different the other day.

      Socks are superb in look 5!

    • Windsorite

      Not really a fan of all the looks with the “hiked” up pants. I feel it distracts me from the good top half of the outfit. Plus you have an athletic body, I think this look is best for lanky and skinny dudes – Look 2 is badass though! Love the dark denim and white sneakers look – Do you ever wear those baby’s? They still look brand new!! hahah

    • Lothar

      It’s a nice looking jacket, and you wear it well. But isn’t there something very inauthentic about it? It seems like one of those things that should be real, should have been earned, and should have some sentimental value, or it shouldn’t be worn at all. When you write about military-style clothing, you often stress the importance of authenticity. Why the inconsistent standards?

      • SB

        Excellent comment.

        I thought about this as well. I think it comes down to pure fabrication (pattern-making, fit, fabric quality, finishing…overall style).

        Authentic military clothing was very well designed (think of the classic peacoat, trench, cargo, etc) and very well-made (It had to be tough enough to withstand war, after all).

        I would love to wear my highschool hoops varsity jacket, but it’s bright royal blue, size XXL, and made of a cheap wool/poly blend. Even if I had the reconstructive-surgery alterations, it wouldn’t be near the same fit and quality as a piece like this one.

        Thx for reading,

    • Plain T-Shirt

      Awesome post man, this is exactly what people need to look at for ideas. Always quality posts.

    • Mr. Andy

      Look five as a whole exhibits a BKCircus aura about it — very boyish-sauvite. Thanks for inspiring one man at a time. (url=”)AvenueToStyle(/url)

    • GameRecognizeGame

      Another great post SB, Just curious how would you wear a varsity jacket in warmer climates?

    • Rick

      Love it!

    • cam

      this jacket would be so nice w/o the patch. i just feel the patch makes it only wearable by a younger set. thanks for the post dan!

    • Emanuel Iuhas

      Hey Dan, I’m seriously thinking of buying a “college” jacket…
      Thank you for inspiring!

    • vjm.

      Is that Brooklyn Circus’ “Shelby Blues” or “Charlie Brown” jacket?

    • Kevin

      Hey Dan, a fan of your blog here.

      Just read your blog on varsity jackets. I love them. Do you think this is piece where the “age appropriate” factor might hinder it’s success for some men?

      I’m 33, and was concerned that it might not be too age appropriate for me.


    • Mr. Vancouver


      I loved every look ! When is your 3 piece tweed suit being released?