The 10 Best Men’s Varsity Jackets for Preppy Style

Best Varsity Jackets 0 Hero
Photo: Dehen 1920 Varsity Bomber Jacket

If you have yet to notice, varsity jackets are as popular as ever before, with countless high-end brands worldwide putting their own unique spin on the ever-so-preppy piece of outerwear. Whether you’re in the market for a satin-shelled, team-dedicated classic or an envy-inducing option from one of the world’s grandest fashion houses, the silhouette has never been more prominent, albeit sticking to the traditional design we’ve come to know and love.

Our Five Favorite Varsity Jackets

Is It a Varsity or a Bomber?

Know the Difference

While there are few contrasts between the two, you should know the differences between a varsity jacket and a prototypical bomber jacket are scarce. More often than not, the most notable distinction is some form of collegiate-inspired lettering; most of all, though, the major giveaway in case there’s no form of school-associated embroidery is a button-snap closure. In essence, this means not every bomber jacket is a varsity jacket, but each varsity jacket can be labeled a bomber.

What To Consider

Make the Leap

The Material: More affordable options in this space will often be made of a satin-like nylon material, while premium, upscale picks are typically constructed of sturdy wool, supple leather, or bits and pieces of both. Keep this in mind based on your preference between a more lightweight or weather-ready top layer.

The Look: Do you want something bombastic? Or do you prefer something more subtle? Regardless, this space has something to offer no matter what our style is, as you could pick up a gimmick-less, logo-less piece or try and make a fashion statement with loads of embroidery and appliqued labels. That said, in adherence to keeping things simple, we’ve opted for more options leaning toward the former, but we still have something for everyone.

Abercrombie and Fitch Varsity Bomber Jacket 

Abercrombie and Fitch Varsity Bomber Jacket
Photo: Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Heavier than you’d expect
  • Eight colors to choose from
  • Avoid the store’s smell by shopping online
  • Shopping mall brand

The Starter: If you’re hoping to buy a varsity jacket on the low, odds are you won’t find a promising one for less than $100, deeming this traditional pick from the famed shopping mall staple a worthy option that’s somewhat wallet-friendly. Like the J.Crews and Banana Republics of the world, Abercrombie’s catalog has practically served as the epitome of casual back to its century-old conception, and this supple faux suede piece is a fan favorite among the shop’s slew of loyal jocks. It is finished with a set of roomy side pockets, varsity-inspired details, and more than a handful of subtle colors ready for any wardrobe. 

Starter Varsity Satin Full-Snap Jacket

Starter Satin Jacket
Photo: Starter
  • A testament to ’90s fashion
  • Your favorite team definitely has one
  • Steer clear if you don’t care for sports

The Actual Starter: Does anything scream the ‘90s more than a Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket? If so, we’d beg to differ, albeit we can’t argue against rolling with your team of choice. It’d be a genuine disservice to the jacket’s athletic history if we didn’t include any option from the famous sporting brand, as its roots are deeply embedded in hip-hop fashion, which undeniably led to the dawn of streetwear. And while we stay loyal to our L.A.-based roots, odds are your hometown favorite has a similar satin-crafted piece with its logo appliquéd at the chest.

Stewart and Strauss Varsity Letterman Jacket

Stewart and Strauss Varsity Letterman Jacket
Photo: Stewart and Strauss
  • 24-ounce wool makeup
  • Can be personalized to your liking
  • None at this price

The Safest Bet: This heavy-duty take on the matter is one of the most well-featured in film and television history, deeming it as big a star as any fictional athlete who wore it. Courtesy of American-bred manufacturer Stewart and Strauss, this classic letterman jacket boasts all the elements you’d expect to find from a top-tier option for a surprisingly affordable price, including a sturdy, 24-ounce wool construction and cowhide leather sleeves. Best of all, the jacket is available in countless colors and can be personalized with your initials or favorite patches.

Dehen 1920 Leather and Wool-Blend Varsity Bomber Jacket 

Dehen 1920 Varsity Bomber Jacket
Photo: Dehen 1920
  • Handmade in Portland
  • Pendleton melton wool construction
  • Quilted lining for extra warmth
  • Pretty pricey, but it could be worse — you’ll see in a second

The Upgrade: As its name suggests, Dehen 1920 has been doing things the right way for precisely three years over a century. While the brand started by pumping out varsity sweaters, it began handcrafting the iconic Varsity Bomber Jacket in the early ‘50s, and it oozes timeless style to this day. While it boasts a similar 24-ounce construction as the previous pick, this one is composed of Pendleton melton wool and finished with a quilted lining to deliver all-around warmth. Best of all, it’s made in the good ol’ U.S. of A, just like it’s always been.

Saint Laurent Teddy Leather-Trimmed Wool-Blend Bomber Jacket

Saint Laurent Teddy Slim Fit Leather Trimmed Wool Blend Bomber Jacket
Photo: Saint Laurent
  • A game-changing silhouette
  • Made in Italy using recycled wool
  • The mind-boggling price tag

The Premium Pick: In case you’re unfamiliar with Saint Laurent’s mid-aughts rebranding, much of that is thanks to Hedi Slimane. While the famed creative director currently sits at the helm of Celine, his iconic Teddy silhouette has been referred to repeatedly as the archetypal example that assisted the varsity jacket’s meteoric, runway-ready rise. While it’s adorned by virtually every stylish celebrity over the past decade, the Teddy jacket garners influence from the ‘50s-era Teddy Boys, a British youth subculture whose wardrobes embraced both Savile Row tailoring and, most of all, rock and roll. This particular one boasts lambskin sleeves, cozy recycled wool construction, warm lining, and all the style points you could ask for.

Best of the Rest

Some Other Great Pieces

American Trench Varsity Jacket

American Trench Varsity Jacket
Photo: American Trench

This relatively affordable locally-made option is courtesy of American Trench. The trustworthy brand sources its materials from all across the states, with this particular piece entirely crafted by Portland-bred factory Settlemiers Jackets, who started crafting these beauties in a basement over 30 years ago. If you haven’t picked up on the common theme here, this piece is made of 24-ounce Virgin Melton wool and a pair of buttery smooth cowhide leather sleeves.

J.Press Varsity Jacket

J Press Varsity Jacket
Photo: J.Press

Who better to trust than J.Press to craft a piece as preppy as this? The timeless brand’s collegiate roots make them one of the most worthy of garnering a spot on our list, as it only makes sense that the Ivy League clothier crafts a stylish, minimalist take on the varsity jacket. Like most premium options throughout our guide, it is based around a traditional wool blend construction and features leather sleeves to finish it all off.

Todd Snyder x Champion Varsity Bomber Jacket

Todd Snyder x Champion Varsity Bomber Jacket
Photo: Todd Snyder | Champion

Virtually every garment in Todd Snyder’s boundless partnership with Champion is a sure-fire win, but this satin-shelled varsity jacket is one of the finest; that said, it’s also one of the priciest, but we told you to expect that. The collaborative piece is constructed from a blend of plush cotton and nylon satin, equipped with raglan sleeves for freedom of movement, fully-lined for unrelinquishing warmth, and, above all else, a much-needed locker loop at the interior neck; after all, how else are you going to hang this bad boy up come game day?

Reigning Champ x Golden Bear Albany Varsity Jacket

Reigning Champ x Golden Bear Albany Varsity Jacket
Photo: Reigning Champ

California-bred heritage brand Golden Bear’s iconic varsity jacket practically defines the silhouette, making this voguish joint effort with Reigning Champ all the more notable. Even if the latter didn’t already serve as one of our favorite athleisure brands, the ever-so-stylish Albany jacket is one of the most versatile options thanks to its subtle pair of color options, classic fit, and buttery smooth leather cuff protectors. Above all else, the wool-crafted piece is handcrafted in the heart of the states, which is no surprise considering Golden Bear’s adherence to meticulousness and, most of all, tradition.


The Real McCoys Wool Varsity Jacket
Photo: The Real McCoy’s

Adept at making anything rooted in Americana look as sumptuous as ever, The Real McCoy’s Japanese-crafted spin on this legendary silhouette is hard to overlook. The brand takes direct inspiration from ’60s-era designs, much like the option from Dehen 1920, and refines to a tee. Using an in-house developed brand of Melton wool fabric and horsehide sleeves, this upscale option deviates from the typical piece, albeit sticking to tradition through and through.

The Best Men’s Bomber Jackets

Best Bomber Jackets 0 Hero
Photo: Brixton Dillinger Reserve Suede Bomber

Now that you know the difference, maybe you were looking for a bomber jacket all along. Our guide to the scene’s best has got your back.