The Letter Sweater

After a hot summer in the chi autumn is a upon us. I love autumn, not only is my birthday around the corner and Halloween but I love everything about fall.  I love how the smell in the air changes, love that the leaves change color, and I love the fact that you can go outside and wear a sweater!

Recently I had someone email me  looking for a late 40s to early 50s Northwestern University letter sweater. It should be purple with a white “N”.  I emailed back saying I rarely got letter sweaters and in my eight years of dealing in vintage clothing had never ever seen a  Northwestern letter sweater.

In general I have come across about 4 letter sweaters. Two of them being from the University of Michigan, one from Palos Hills, and a great one from Los Angeles.  Lately the letter sweater is back in popularity. They are high in demand and hard to find.  I think the letter sweater is passed down from parent to child. I have my Dad’s from North Farmington in Michigan. There is no way I will ever part with it either. I get the feeling that’s how most people feel.

What is it about the letter sweater that makes it so great? Is it the nostalgia factor? I don’t think high schools or colleges make the letter sweater anymore. The jacket’s are still around but why not the sweater?

I think the reason I don’t see many letter sweaters is that they are legendary.  The letter sweater holds all of your memories from high school or college.  There is a reason you rocked your schools initials on your chest or down the side. Its pride for your school and whatever you accomplish to get that fuzzy giant letter.

Obviously I am a big nostalgia buff. Shocking? I know. There are certain songs, times of year, or items of clothing that make me especially nostalgic. Most people think of the holiday season and get all nostalgic. Not me. It’s Fall. The beginning of the school year. I think of books, actual blackboards, desks, new pencil cases, and my mind always drifts to the legendary, warm, wool, full of history, iconic letter sweater.


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