Thrifty Thursday: Varsity jacket

Ever since my friend Daniel told me that he and Ryan Plett picked up the Gant Rugger Homerun jacket, I've wanted to get my hands on one. (Red option or blue option, either would do.)
"But Jeff, didn't you have a varsity jacket in high school?"
The answer: No, I didn't. I didn't take myself seriously in high school athletics to merit awards that could be worn on my jacket at Friday night football games. Womp, womp. When the Jostens mafia came to my school to sell class rings, I opted for a class ring like any other kid who hated the weight room, lacked any athletic finesse or "swagger."
Moving forward, I finally got my varsity jacket in Lawrence after a tip from Katy of Kansas Couture at Wild Man Vintage. I walked in and went straight to the jacket rack and found this beaut sitting right at the end beckoning my name.

$18 for a size 36, wool and leather varsity jacket. No tag. It fits so damn well, and it's in fairly good shape. A little short, but hey, I'm 6'2.

I haven't taken it to the dry cleaner yet, although I probably should before I skip town...
Oh, and get this: It was 50 percent off jackets that day since they are trying to flush through their overstock of winter apparel, so I picked this guy up for 9 bones. That's just more than a Chipotle burrito, friends. The jacket boasts a slim cut made of wool and leather, much like the Gant Rugger.

I wanted to mix up the look and throw on my chambray pants instead of a chino or denim. I've also been trying to find a way to wear these pants differently. My chambray pants are my dress-up sweat pants: They feel comfortable but look sharp. The sizing is a little off since they are from American Apparel with one inseam (31) and have a high rise, which is surprisingly flattering, gentlemen.

Wool and leather varsity jacket (thrifted, $9); White oxford button-down (retail, $50) by American Apparel, size small; Blue and yellow repp tie (thrifted, $1); Chambray Welt Pocket Pant (retail, $69) by American Apparel, size 31; Cap-toe shoes size 11 (thrifted, $5.99) by Bass; Women's "Boyfriend" gold watch (Target, $30?) by Merona.

Oh yeah, and then there was that one time I came home with a gold watch from Target only to discover that my dear friends Emily and Molly had purchased the same "boyfriend" watch the week before. Whatever.

Photography by Jarred Donalson


  1. great find with the jacket. it's good you found one that was fitted, any bigger and it would've looked too high school.


  2. $18! What a find. I bought a vintage varsity jacket a few years back which fit me perfectly. I was ecstatic, you don't find gems like that too often. It was only a few days later that I noticed the patch on the arm said "Denise", which to be honest made me love the jacket even more.


  3. Clotheshunger - Agreed, I'm pretty stoked about, along with being able to wear it year round hence the Midwest weather changes every 5 minutes.

  4. 3 Column Grid - Actually, I snagged for 9, but I was planning on paying 18 for it. Good story. The watch is womens, so I'm not above wearing something if it fits well, regardless of the item's "intended" gender.

  5. Awesome, the provenance and price make it about a thousand times better than the Rugger version.

  6. Great jacket. Can you tell us what's on the back of it? Any sport listed or decals? I also found a great looking one but it had the varsity debate team across the back of it, I decided against it in fear someone might approach me to debate...

  7. for some reason every time i find a nice varsity jacket in a thrift/vintage store everything fits perfect but the length, don't know what it is- i'm only 5'9"!

  8. I think this blog is so cool—love that its for men. Linds and I are reading from Paris and cheering you guys on! -Lindsey and Andy

  9. Mr. Andy —

    Thanks, my friend. That means a lot. Have enjoyed keeping up with your traveling adventures. Hope all's well.

  10. The length of these pants is genius! I love the no socks look too. Dressy, but still keeping it casual.

  11. Obessessed with this jacket! My actual varisty jacket is waaaayyy too big for me now, and I'm looking to find one like that.

    What's on the back? Is it an actual varsity jacket or just stylized?

  12. The jacket makes this guy look so dapper, but the fact you gauge frugality in terms of burritos and not dollars and cents is even better.


  13. i've been noticing a lot of guys and gals in london wearing letterman jackets lately. probably saw it on here first and then followed suit.

  14. just came across this website, www.varsityapparel.com.au

    there varsity jackets look awesome!!!

  15. I’m enligtened about something new every time I come here. look into your gorgeous brand name promotion


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