What is a varsity jacket? Seen especially on high school campuses across the United States, a letterman jacket is a heavy, winter-style coat that typically is in the school’s colors and has a school letter sewn onto the front of it and other decorative trim. At most U.S. high schools, students who participate in varsity sports and certain other school-sponsored extracurricular activities are awarded a letter for successfully completing a season. This large, cloth letter — the first letter of the school’s name, or sometimes the first letter of each word in the school’s name — is then sewn onto the front left part of the letterman jacket. Students who already have received a cloth letter often receive a much smaller cloth letter or a small, metal pin for each additional letter that is earned, and these can be added to the jacket. Other items the might be sewn onto or attached to the jacket include things such as the student’s first name, his or her graduation class year, a school logo, symbols representing the student’s activities and representations of other awards earned.

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