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FASHION: What's Smart for Spring? : Jock Jackets : Only You Don't Have to Be One to Wear One Now

February 26, 1992|BETTY GOODWIN

Motorcycle jackets, move over.

The old-fashioned letterman's jacket has elbowed its way to the fashion forefront. And no, you don't have to be captain of your high school football team to earn your letter these days.

Movie directors ("Give me an 'M'!"), rappers and certifiable baby boomers are snapping themselves into the classic melton-bodied and leather-sleeved varsity jackets that just ooze nostalgic appeal, not to mention messages of past athletic glories.

At a recent fund-raiser for the charity group Education First!, letterman jackets emblazoned with "E" were presented in lieu of more traditional trophies to film executive Brandon Tartikoff and other noteworthy participants.

To be sure, if your jacket is of a certain vintage, all the cooler.

Fiction writer Alan Erenberg, Beverly Hills High School class of 1968, proudly wears the time-worn jacket he earned for playing water polo. The grimy, tan leather sleeves still bear the autographs of schoolmates. "I've got the real thing," Erenberg says.

At Camp Beverly Hills, the letterman jackets are fast sellers. "They were standard issue for most of us as kids, and there's such a return to basics now," says store co-owner Jeff Stein. "High school teams still use them, I think," he adds.

Not that it really matters.

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