Letterman jackets are a staple of retro high school culture. The iconic fashion statement has roots in 1950s pop-culture and for decades thereafter was a sign of social status in prep school settings. Of course, letterman jackets were always a must have for the jock-athletic types. A purchase of this jacket indicated significant traction with females, friends a-plenty and massive amount of around-the-school fame.
But as the novelty of high school notoriety turned into the more contemporary mindset of “I’m just trying to graduate,” the letterman jacket has seemingly has lost its widespread appeal for today’s teenagers — or at least those at North Atlanta. But as middle-aged football stars hang up their glory days and examine their weathered letterman jackets, a small new wave of students at North are bringing a refreshed image of the long-lost letterman jacket.
Sophomore football star Tyree Hyde believes a letterman jacket has lost its use as a hierarchical staple. “It used to mean you were a jock or someone who was popular,” said Hyde, “but now it’s used as a memory, something to look back at when you’re old.”
Hyde is revamping the image of the letterman jacket by wearing it as a symbol of the future and a memory of the glory days. “My jacket is for my football years,” he said. “I’d like to remember my days on the gridiron. It’s a reflection item. I want to remember my accomplishments and failures and how they made me.”
Senior Isaac Ashmore feels the jackets have gone out of style do to their lack of relevance in modern pop culture. He believes that students follow today are following fashion trends that do not include letterman jackets. “In today’s society we idolize the nerd image,” he said,. “The nerds are popular now and the jocks are not.”
Picture this: a pep rally with no pep, the jocks are adorned in wire-rimmed glasses and knee-high socks. The cheerleaders are wearing knit-sweaters and ankle length skirts and the cheers evoke no response in the crowd. There is no school spirit. All sound grim to you? Well, this just might be the spiritless future we all will face. A school with limited spirit, and a world with no letterman jackets.