Should you get a letterman jacket?

Should you get a letterman jacket?

Robert Butler and Lance Melching


By Lance Melching

I have worn my letterman jacket exactly once since I graduated more than 20 years ago, but I am glad I have it, and you might one day wish you had one too.

Among my most prized high school mementos, my letterman jacket ranks alongside my senior yearbook and a shoebox full of photos, ticket stubs and notes I passed when I should have been paying closer attention.

The jacket is a record of the most formative years of my life, from my first varsity letter–swimming in 7th grade–to my final patches–honor roll and three sports as a senior.

Even though I don’t wear it anymore, I cherish the jacket to this day because it is a welcome reminder of all of the activities I poured myself into, activities that laid the foundation for the person I became.

It’s true that the jackets are expensive, and many have to pay to have patches added each year, but buying the jacket as a freshman or sophomore provides plenty of opportunities to make the purchase worth the money.

I was fortunate to get mine as a Christmas gift in 10th grade, and I wore the jacket hundreds of times before I graduated.

I’ve only worn it once since, when my swimmers challenged me to wear it to a swim meet.

Wearing it was more fun than I thought it would be, and it reminded me of all the reasons I was glad I had it.

You might one day wish you had one too.


By Robert Butler

If you have the money or even an extra hangar to waste on a letterman jacket, by all means, buy one. I know I don’t. 

I have personally never seen the appeal of purchasing a letterman jacket, even for the sentimental value. Do you really need one, especially for $300+?

With how expensive senior year has become, getting my hands on an overpriced high school souvenir is the least of my worries. The day you cross that stage at graduation is the last day you’ll ever wear it anyways, so I don’t see the point. 

Letterman jackets collect dust in closets, basements, and attics everywhere you look. All the nostalgia sewed into that overpriced leather/melton wool is ultimately covered in dirt and cobwebs, never to see the light of day again. 

Unless you plan on getting a letterman jacket your freshman year and wearing it at least every other day until the end of the 12th grade, you shouldn’t consider buying one. You’d probably get a better return on investment buying a yearbook and some t-shirts from the spiridemic shop. 

The style is just lacking too. They’re about as fashionable as they are affordable, and that’s probably why you just don’t see people itching to buy them like they used to. Although they were a staple of wardrobes back when my parents were in school, they are not anymore. 

It is true money can buy many things, but at the end of the day, I will not be using mine on a letterman jacket.