A blog by "America’s Best Dressed Real Man". Fashion tips, answers to your questions, and all things men’s style
Saturday January 21st 2012



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1 Piece/5 Ways: Brooklyn Circus Varsity Jacket


All the magazines are telling you ”the varsity jacket is back!”.

Where did it go? I’ve been wearing varisty jackets since my freshman year of high school. In my opinion they have always been a great option for a sporty and masculine casual jacket. Athletes wear them with pride, preppy types love them, hell, there’s even a good chance your dad still has one in the back of his closet.

The good news is, their current popularity means there’s a good selection on the market. I tried a handful of different designers before finding this number from The Brookyn Circus - founded by Ouigi Theodore (as featured here).

The slim-but-not-snug fit, the quality of the wool and leather, the clean button closure, the iconic “concrete-jungle” symbol, the taller ribbed collar, and the fact that it’s Made in USA had me sold as soon as I put it on.

Here, I styled it for 5 different weekend outfits.

1. Denim & Chino

On a weekend with nothing to do, which seams to be rare lately, this is what you can find me in.

Simple, masculine, put-together but not over-the-top.

Take a look at your go-to casual pieces for a laidback day, it might be time to upgrade. A well rounded wardrobe has you ready for any occasion, even if there isn’t really an occasion at all.

Varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus (L). Denim shirt by RRL (M). Chinos by Helmut Lang (33). Shades by Matsuda. Boots by Allen Edmonds (as featured Here). Watch and brown alligator band by Montblanc.

2. White Tee, White Kicks

Another simple look here. This is kind of a throwback for me. I would’ve worn something like this 10 years ago – only the jeans would be looser and lower on the waist and somewhere on the jacket is would say “Champs” (haha – shout out to all my highschool bball teammates).

Classic white sneakers are an inexpensive addition to your wardrobe that can add a cool vibe to a number of different looks (see here).

Varsity jacket and burgundy cardigan by The Brooklyn Circus (L). T-shirt by Kenneth Cole. Jeans by JCrew. Belt by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Sneakers (“blazers”) by Nike. Shades by Persol.

3. Ivy Inspired

Channeling my Ivy League days here.

Varsity jackets have a great collegiate appeal, which means you can pair them with a retro preppy look. In this outfit that means a tweed vest, oxford shirt, rep tie, collar pin, penny loafs, etc.

Varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus (L). Blue oxford and silk stripe tie by Thom Browne (3). Tweed vest by Michael Andrews Bespoke (part of this suit). Jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren. Socks by JCrew. Loafers by Bass. Collar pin by WANT. Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Watch and alligator band by Montblanc.

4. Manly Knit & Cargos

Look for a varsity jacket in neutral colors (like navy and brown), it will work over just about any casual look.

Rugged chunky sweater, slim cargos, neutral sneaks – another easy weekend look.

Because the jacket is neutral and versatile it fits right over without having to think about it too much.

Varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus (L). Sweater by RRL (M). Brown shirt by Michael Andrews Bespoke. Cargos by JBrand (34). Sneakers by Lanvin (as feature Here). Aviator shades by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Watch and band by Montblanc.

 5. Tweedy Gent

Since men have been wearing them for so long, it works with a tweedy vintage-inspired look as well.

Vintage stores can be a decent place to find an inexpensive varsity jacket, just make sure the fit isn’t too loose or boxy and it’s not branded with someone else’s name and athletic achievements – that’s just weird.

Varsity jacket by The Brooklyn Circus (L). Green striped oxford by Gitman Brothers. Herringbone tweed cap by JCrew. Wool sweater by Club Monaco (M). Trousers by Michael Andrews Bespoke. Socks by Smart Turnout. Denim bowtie by General Knot Co. Suede loafers by Ralph Lauren.



Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,



Looks 1-3 photographed by Alex Crawford, 4-5 photographed by Wesley Dimagiba.


Leave a Reply to Lothar



  • itsamazing says:

    Great post! Varsity jacket is such a classic timeless piece.

  • Jake says:

    I know this blog is about the CLOTHES mostly but I just have to say the amount of gel in this man’s hair is just wrong. Did we forget about Axe’s TV-commercial campaign against sticky, shiny hair? Otherwise great post.

    • SB says:


      There is no gel in my hair, just a little pomade (Crew fiber), which keeps the hair soft (and not sticky).

      I’d be careful taking advice from tv commercials, although I agree against over gelling the doo.

      Thanks for reading,

  • Jeroen says:

    Loving the tweedy gent!
    Also, it reminded me that I should get myself some socks like that!


  • Chastity says:

    Speaking as a woman from Chicago I must say that I absolutely love your style ideas for myself. I’ve been into men-inspired looks lately. Thanks SB!

  • Marcel says:

    Hey great feature.. And one small thing I really like how you wrote this article just sentences in a story form and not bonus tips 1 bonus tip 2 .. Much nicer to read this way!
    Keep it up :)

  • sebastian says:

    hey tsb.
    i have a custome destroyer and a whitesville. do you think all my patch work would be to much to pull off with these looks?

  • Neil says:

    Love the looks man! Definitely thinking about getting on from TBC! Are they sizes pretty standard…as in can I order from the site? Or should I head down to NYC and try one on?

    • SB says:

      If you’re on the border of two sizes, I would size up. I’d say the jacket runs about a half size small.

      You can order from the site here:


      Thx for reading,

  • Ambyr says:

    Of course I love your Ivy Inspired look, it’s classic and chic. But this White Tee, White Kicks look is really fresh. The cranberry colored sweater pulls it all together really well.


  • Justin K says:

    Love the looks, Dan. The more outerwear options, the better, IMO. And as an English instructor, I love your misspelling (or perhaps your conscious playfulness?) in the first sentence following the first photo. Style has hold of you hard, friend! ;)

  • Lena says:

    The jacket is dope. I like the first look the best and #3 but without folding the pants. Fantastic taste though.


  • TO says:

    I remember seeing you wear that varsity jacket back in the day, ha

    Look 4 is killer. Really put-together casual with the jacket on top.
    Love that oatmeal sweater. I have a finer-knit navy blue CM sweater in that style and I wore an turtleneck underneath to try something different the other day.

    Socks are superb in look 5!

  • Windsorite says:

    Not really a fan of all the looks with the “hiked” up pants. I feel it distracts me from the good top half of the outfit. Plus you have an athletic body, I think this look is best for lanky and skinny dudes – Look 2 is badass though! Love the dark denim and white sneakers look – Do you ever wear those baby’s? They still look brand new!! hahah

  • Lothar says:

    It’s a nice looking jacket, and you wear it well. But isn’t there something very inauthentic about it? It seems like one of those things that should be real, should have been earned, and should have some sentimental value, or it shouldn’t be worn at all. When you write about military-style clothing, you often stress the importance of authenticity. Why the inconsistent standards?

    • SB says:

      Excellent comment.

      I thought about this as well. I think it comes down to pure fabrication (pattern-making, fit, fabric quality, finishing…overall style).

      Authentic military clothing was very well designed (think of the classic peacoat, trench, cargo, etc) and very well-made (It had to be tough enough to withstand war, after all).

      I would love to wear my highschool hoops varsity jacket, but it’s bright royal blue, size XXL, and made of a cheap wool/poly blend. Even if I had the reconstructive-surgery alterations, it wouldn’t be near the same fit and quality as a piece like this one.

      Thx for reading,

  • Plain T-Shirt says:

    Awesome post man, this is exactly what people need to look at for ideas. Always quality posts.

  • Mr. Andy says:

    Look five as a whole exhibits a BKCircus aura about it — very boyish-sauvite. Thanks for inspiring one man at a time. (url=http://www.avenuetostyle.com/”)AvenueToStyle(/url)

  • GameRecognizeGame says:

    Another great post SB, Just curious how would you wear a varsity jacket in warmer climates?

  • Rick says:

    Love it!

  • cam says:

    this jacket would be so nice w/o the patch. i just feel the patch makes it only wearable by a younger set. thanks for the post dan!

  • Emanuel Iuhas says:

    Hey Dan, I’m seriously thinking of buying a “college” jacket…
    Thank you for inspiring!

  • vjm. says:

    Is that Brooklyn Circus’ “Shelby Blues” or “Charlie Brown” jacket?

  • Kevin says:

    Hey Dan, a fan of your blog here.

    Just read your blog on varsity jackets. I love them. Do you think this is piece where the “age appropriate” factor might hinder it’s success for some men?

    I’m 33, and was concerned that it might not be too age appropriate for me.


  • Mr. Vancouver says:


    I loved every look ! When is your 3 piece tweed suit being released?