The One Jacket Trend Everyone Will Be Wearing This Fall (& 7 Ways to Style It)

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Preppy style—think tennis skirts and equestrian chic—continues to trend, and varsity jackets are at the forefront. We know what you’re thinking: Does this mean we’re going back to college days, when we threw one on over baggy sweats? We’re relieved to report that no, that’s not the case (yet). Instead, the varsity jacket is a casual alternative to a blazer or cardigan, with a little extra warming mojo.

With a steady climb in Pinterest searches since spring, when varsity jackets appeared both on the runways and on the backs of the tastemakers attending the shows, it’s safe to say letterman styles will be everywhere this coming fall. And while we saw cropped baseball jackets dominating a few years ago, the 2022 iterations are decidedly oversized and vintage-inspired. Whether you’re snapping up a new coat or thrifting one from 1987, here are seven ways to wear a varsity jacket like a pro.

We Tested 3 Fashion TikTok Hacks to See If They're Worth the Hype

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

1. Opt For A Crop Top

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 palete, like black, white or earthy hues. The unexpected cherry on top: a pair of luxe strappy heels.

Shop similar styles: Scotch & Soda Jacket ($248); Uniqlo Joggers ($25); Kurt Geiger Strap Heeled Sandals ($170); Jacquemus Shoulder Bag ($975)

MEGA/Getty Images

2. Pair With Plaid

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: Superdry Vintage Varsity Jacket ($90); Everlane Tank Top ($40; $30); & Other Stories Wide Leg Pants ($122); Chinese Laundry Yanti Sandals ($70)

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Jose Perez Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

3. Transition Bike Shorts To Fall

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: ASOS Design Oversize Varsity Jacket ($80); Weekday Alissa Hoodie ($52); Zella Rib Bike Shorts ($55); Coach Pillow Tabby Bag ($395); Wandler Boots ($536)

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

4. Play With A Printed Skirt

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: Frankie Shop Satin Bomber Jacket ($406); Champion Sweatshirt ($26); Open Edit Midi Skirt ($55); Kate Spade Gazebo Sandals ($198); Vince Camuto Baguette Bag ($128)

5. Or A Tennis Style

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 ($588); Topshop Tank Top ($26); GapFit Tennis Skort ($34); Melanie Marie Necklace ($90); UO Strappy Sandals ($69)

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

6. Channel Your Inner Punk

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: Parosen Jacket ($34); Good American T-shirt ($49; $29); Blank NYC Vegan Leather Pants ($98); Vagabond Loafers ($175); Ganni Mini Crossbody Bag ($149)

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

7. Shop Dad's Wardrobe

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 ($65; $55); ASOS 90s Dad Jeans ($51); Koio Trainers ($295)

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purewow author
Michaela Magliochetti

Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.
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dana dickey
Dana Dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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