Before I even started high school, I knew I wanted a letterman jacket. I thought it was so cool that people got clothes, with their names and their high school mascot on it, for some random reason that probably meant nothing in the real world. I remember watching old movies where guys would have their girlfriends wearing their letterman sweaters. I honestly thought that the whole idea was cute. And then I got to high school and realized that my school actually had pretty nice colors – black and gold – so our lettermans looked really good. I was quite jealous when a fellow classmate had lettered in Varsity Track during our freshman year. I will continuously think that it is unfair that you can get a letterman in athletics faster than academics or any other extracurricular.
You have to understand that I was always a dork well before I became a geek.
In any case, I did not get my letterman until the Spring of my last year of high school. I think I got to wear it for like two weeks before Texas reminded itself that it was Spring and started gearing up for Summer. It didn’t help that I had actually skipped a grade, so if I had just stayed where I was I would have gotten a full year to enjoy it in the right setting.
Still, I liked the simple fact that I had gotten it. I think my only regret about my letterman was that, in the message part on the back, I put a nickname that no one uses for me instead of the one that is still in use right now. Like I said, I was a dork, and I took myself way too seriously back then.
Anyways, I continued to wear my letterman after high school, and, at first, quite a few other people were doing it as well because, you know, a jacket is a jacket is a jacket, and Texas can get really cold during the calender winter season. As the years went by though, less people wore their lettermans and more people had an issue with me continuing to wear mine. I didn’t wear it all the time, just when its between 55-69 degrees and I’m not interested in putting on a pullover, which is rare for me. Still, people would tell me that I should stop wearing mine.
I won’t though. The major complaint is that it’s from high school and you should leave high school in the past where it belongs, but I know people who still have their school rings and lord knows I lost mine before the summer was up that first year. High school was never my glory days, and I don’t feel like I’m holding onto anything when I wear my jacket. I just want to be warm.
Lettermans cost somewhere between $150 and $300 depending on where you go, but most schools will buy the jacket for you once you’ve earned it. However, you have to pay for any customization, so most people will leave theirs blank. I believe I paid about $195 when it was all said and done. So tell me how feasible it is to have a jacket that costs upwards of $345, wear it for like a season, and then hang it up in your closet never to be worn again. I can’t do that. I still have clothes in my closet that are over a decade old, and I still wear them.
I think that letterman jackets should be treated like regular jackets. If it’s still in good condition and it still fits you, why not wear it? My jacket is an Extra-Small, despite the fact that I have never been tiny. I have gained and lost weight 3 times over in the seven years I’ve had it, and it still fits me. I’m really not seeing a reason to not wear this jacket.
I guess my big issue is: a letterman jacket is ultimately just a jacket, and a really warm one at that. There is nothing outright offensive about my jacket, so why is it an issue that I continue to wear it seven years after I’ve graduated? Yes, I have other jackets. No, I don’t wear it all of the time. But why is it an issue when I do?