Coveted: TOJ1 Varsity Jacket

Above TOJ1 Varsity Jacket in the “Jason Bourne” Colorway

Varsity jackets, aka letterman jackets, are a classic wardrobe staple that underwent a strong resurgence in 2008. While traditionally worn by students to represent one’s school and/or team, it is not uncommon to to see various interpretations being offered by labels such as Visvim, Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, Number (N)ine, and A.P.C. to name a few. Up until this point, the only letterman jackets available for purchase to consumers were either vintage or commissioned to be produced in bulk (Skookum aka Centralia Knitting Mills being one such company); either route usually resulted in a boxy fitting piece with awkward proportions and standard materials. This particular piece resulted from an individual’s effort to fulfill a demand among superfuture members for a high-quality letterman jacket that was also slim fitting and reasonably priced. Although initially started for a small group of members, it quickly caught on and to this day is still one of his most demanded pieces.

More after the jump

TOJ in 2009 during its early stages. I originally wanted something very sporty looking with a striped trim in a classic college colorway with a chenille letter. After a few exchanges about the availability of materials/etc, it became apparent that this was meant to be a more refined, almost luxurious, interpretation of a varsity jacket, and I ultimately decided to go with something more along those lines. The resultant piece is entirely handmade from a custom pattern and full of details that purveyors of fine clothing would be able to appreciate. It is a light-weight, 3 season outerwear piece that is very versatile and can be worn a number of ways. The body is comprised of a heather grey cashmere that is typically reserved for overcoats; the sleeves are made of white, glove-quality lamb skin that is buttery soft; a charcoal rib knit was used for the trim as well as the foldover shawl collar and foldover cuffs; blue micro houndstooth cotton shirting lining for the body; and grey herringbone silk sleeve lining. I opted to keep the chenille letter as I felt the jacket would not feel complete without one.

It is difficult to fully appreciate the level of detail and the quality of all the materials sourced from pictures alone – it’s something that really has to be seen (and felt) in person to believe. Without a doubt, it’s one of my favorite pieces that I own and I feel very fortunate to have been able to add this beautiful and versatile piece to my wardrobe.

You can check out John Coppidge, the direct lineage of TOJ.

Words by Henry Poon
Photos by Rocky Li