In the last couple of years, the retail and fashion industry has been driven by forces we never thought we’d seen in fashion. Many influencers, celebrities, socialites, and normal folk are turning to nostalgia to express themselves in the fashion world. Among this apparel are traditional football jerseys, college jackets, sports team fan wear, and other institution’s merchandise.

To show your support, take a trip down memory lane, or embrace a hint of sentimentality, you can invest in your own college apparel and fan wear. If you want to wear a jersey with the emblem and name of a university, you don’t necessarily have to have attended the institution. It is becoming a kind of fashion statement.

Celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner are constantly sporting Harvard University T-shirts and jerseys. But why is it becoming so popular when many years ago, you would only wear them to football matches or on mandatory days?

Let’s look at a few reasons why collegiate apparel and fan merchandise are becoming part of modern fashion.

Vintage Appeal

Fashionistas are obsessed with vintage apparel and the great thing about owning a football fan or university jersey is that it has that appeal. The print on the chest of the top will always look withered or slightly deteriorated – adding to the old-school look.

Anything old school has become trendy over the last few years. As we see dungarees, mom jeans, and thick platform shoes coming into fashion again, so is original university logos and emblems.

Drake added to this trend when he sported a “University of Tennessee” orange crewneck at one of his recent concerts. The unique thing about this crewneck was that he strategically removed parts of the letters in order for it to spell ‘Finesse’. The removal of some of the printing gave it a vintage and older aesthetic.

The singer is a well-known college basketball fan and so he purposefully chose the University’s color and lettering. This got the whole world buzzing and racing to the thrift stores to attempt the same.

It was later found out, that the top wasn’t officially licensed apparel from the university, but that it was a remake specifically for Drake that cost $260.

To Commemorate the Past

Looking back at your favorite sporting team’s games and special moments within their careers is a special thing. Since sports teams’ logos and jersey designs change every season, fans might want to wear apparel from a specific season. This commemorates a championship win or a match where something memorable has happened in.

Fans have been found paying thousands of dollars for jerseys worn by sports stars themselves. To a superfan, owning a piece of clothing that was actually worn during a specific match is priceless.

There are also other ways to tribute the past. Beyonce, famous R&B super star and designer, launched a collegiate partnership with Balmain. They introduced a clothing line that is inspired by Historical Black Universities and Colleges. To bring attention to certain political views, Beyonce used her massive platform to honor Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and even to raise money for their projects. The singer later donated $100,000 to four different HBCUs and the clothing line had many old students in tears.

Learn more about the reasons why collegiate merchandise has become the fashion in the current age, here.

Sportswear and Leisure Wear

Most collegiate apparel and fan wear are typically designed to be sporty and comfortable. Since Juicy Couture introduced their hoodies and sweatpants in the 1990s, more women and men were on the lookout for comfortable leisure wear that can be worn out and about. Before we started wearing tracksuits to dinner, we were bound to get completely dressed in uncomfortable clothing.

Today, leisure wear is acceptable on almost any occasion. People love wearing track suits, sneakers, jackets, T-shirts, and sweaters for lunch or a night out with friends. The Kardashian sisters have even been seen wearing sporty ski-pants, sneakers, and oversized collegiate apparel to dinner with the family – and we are living for it.

Even though you have no connection with a University in specific, wearing a comfortable fan jersey or hoodie is all the rage. Plus, it is extremely comfortable. You don’t even need to be on your way to the gym or sporting event to wear it. Leisure wear and sportswear have become acceptable anywhere.

As Seen on the Runway

Famous designers from all over the world are re-inventing college and sports team logos. Using varsity colors to create gorgeous apparel for fashion labels are something that can be seen on many runways during fashion week.

To be able to use the logos of universities like Yale, California, and Berkeley, designers have to ask specific permission. Famous designer, Raf Simons, Calvin Klein’s creative officer, did a study on youth culture and American classics. He then went on to design designer bags and collegiate insignias for some of America’s top universities.

Raf Simons had the idea that the youth of today also enjoys sporting high-fashion items while supporting their institutions. Therefore, it made sense to add this line to his label.

Famous R&B singer and Fenty beauty label owner, Rihanna, collaborated with Puma to create a line for the runway that uses college-inspired lettering on baseball T-shirts and skateboards. The line was a huge success.


Graduating from university is a special moment for many graduates, commemorating the big milestones in their lives are something that can be celebrated for many years to come. Wearing a ‘class of 2005’ jersey is just as special as wearing an originally designed jersey from a time when your favorite team won that championship.

It creates a great sense of nostalgia and remembrance. Furthermore, you can now do it in style – since it is fashionable to wear them. For ideas on how to style and wear your new collegiate apparel, click here.

Whether you want to dig through a thrift shop or buy directly from a fan shop, collegiate apparel is a new fashion trend worth exploring.