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10 of the Best Varsity Jackets in Film History

While you may style your varsity in any number of ways, it’s probably more likely that it’s seen more bars, clubs and restaurants than it has been anywhere near a University or college hall. However, varsity jackets a.k.a college, sophomore or letterman jackets (depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on) are actually meant to represent a college or sports team.

The original varsity jacket has its roots in the mid 19th century at Harvard University, when in 1865 the campus baseball team was looking for a way to highlight the team’s star players. Some bright spark came up with the idea of sewing the old English letter “H” onto the team’s grey flannel uniform and voila; a new style icon was born.

The stylish varsity hit the small screen almost from television’s earliest beginnings and it has remained there ever since. Virtually omnipresent in US TV college dramas, where would the likes of Beverley Hills 90210, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Glee, The OC and Dawson’s Creek have ever been without them?

However, it’s the big screen where the varsity has made the biggest sartorial impact and so we decided to look at 10 of the best varsity jackets in film history.

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10. THE MIGHTY DUCKS
In 1992’s The Mighty Ducks Emilio Estevez plays a lawyer sentenced to community service coaching a youth hockey team. (insert quip concerning ever growing varsity collection)

SEAN ASTIN

9. RUDY
1993’s brilliant film Rudy, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, played by Sean Astin, overcomes his inadequacies to beat the odds and fulfill his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. He and the cast do so in a variety of classic college jackets. Rudy also sees Vince Vaughn make his screen debut, so there’s another good reason to see it.

TEEN WOLF

8. TEEN WOLF
Teen Wolf is the 1985 comedy starring Michael J Fox as the unfortunate Scott Howard who discovers his family have a rather quirky genetic heritage which sees them turn into werewolves. You will be hard pressed to find a more stylish werewolf anywhere – although Michael Jackson might have had something to say about that when he appeared in his Thriller video wearing the classic yellow and red letterman jacket.

SHE'S ALL THAT

7. SHE’S ALL THAT
Who could forget this classic? In She’s All That, Freddie Prinze Jr played high school jock Zack Siler who made a bet with friends that he could turn a high school geek into a prom queen. Zack sets about wooing Laney Boggs, played by Rachel Leigh Cook, in a classic black and white lette rman. Swoon!

APPROVED BY - K. Hart

6. GET HARD
Everyone loves Kevin Hart anyway but when you put him alongside Will Ferrell in Get Hard he becomes irresistible. Hart plays car washer Darnell Williams in this hilarious comedy romp and is hardly ever seen without his varsity jacket. In fact the jacket was so cool it even made it onto the film’s poster.

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5. LEATHAL WEAPON
In the second instalment of the Lethal Weapon trilogy, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is hot on the trail of (dodgy South African diplomats), and looking super cool in the process donning his blue, white and yellow letterman. Who knew varsities could look so threatening?

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4. BEVERLY HILLS COP
You won’t find many funnier cops in movie history than Beverly Hills Cop’s, Axel Foley played by comedy god Eddie Murphy. His entire look for the film pretty much centres around his classic black and white letterman jacket.

ferris bueller

3. FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
The 1986 Cult classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off seems to continue to build on its already legendary status. A college film of this stature wouldn’t be complete without a varsity of some sort and in fact the original jacket worn by Matthew Broderick in the film has become a cult classic in its own right, with the very one from the film recently selling for £18k.

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2. KINGSMAN – THE SECRET SERVICE
This film is without doubt in our minds’ the coolest secret agent movie ever made, starring the coolest, secret agent Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin, played by the coolest young actor on the planet, Taron Egerton. It will be no surprise then to know that Eggsy is rocking a great modern twist on the varsity during key scenes in the film.

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1. THE BREAKFAST CLUB
When The Breakfast Club came out in 1985, the coming of age drama based around a weekend college detention group, the careers of everyone involved were also simultaneously launched into superstardom. Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy went on to become part of the elite group of young Hollywodd actors known as ‘the brat pack’.
Emilio Estevez played the part of college athlete Andrew Clark and was rarely on screen without his college letterman jacket, and seeing as The Breakfast Club is just about as cool and as cult as films get – it’s only appropriate that Estevez and his varsity make it to the top spot of our collection!