Throwback Thursday – The Starter Jacket Was the Cool Way to Stay Warm


The late 80’s and 90’s sparked a surge in athletic sportswear as fashion. The kicks, the accessories, but nothing was quite like the Starter jacket.

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Starter jackets, once merely sportswear for showing team allegiance, transcended into symbols of pop culture status, championed by rappers, celebrities, and high-profile personalities. This article explores the journey of Starter jackets from sports arenas to the fashion runways, solidifying their place as iconic fashion staples.

Eddie Murphy dawning a New York mets letterman as Prince Akeem in the 80’s hit movie “Coming to America”

The Evolution of Starter Jackets

Originally conceived as outerwear for sports enthusiasts to support their favorite teams, Starter jackets underwent a transformative evolution. No longer confined to the realm of sports fandom, these jackets emerged as standalone fashion statements. Their bold designs and vibrant colors captured the attention of not only sports aficionados but also fashion-forward individuals seeking to make a statement.

Pop Culture Influence

The endorsement of Starter jackets by influential figures in pop culture played a pivotal role in their ascent to prominence. Rappers, celebrities, and trendsetters embraced these jackets, elevating them from utilitarian garments to coveted fashion items. The visibility of Starter jackets in music videos, movies, and public appearances further fueled their popularity, making them synonymous with urban style and streetwear culture.

Starter Jackets as Fashion Icons

During an era when athleisure was gaining traction, Starter jackets emerged as iconic symbols of casual chic. Their versatile appeal allowed them to be paired effortlessly with other popular trends of the time, such as jumpsuits, jerseys, ball caps, and athletic sneakers. The fusion of sports-inspired elements with mainstream fashion catapulted Starter jackets into the realm of high fashion, earning them a permanent place in the wardrobe of fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

Champion’s Role in the Phenomenon

Champion, the brand behind Starter jackets, played a pivotal role in shaping their cultural significance. By consistently delivering quality craftsmanship and innovative designs, Champion transformed Starter jackets into sought-after fashion staples. The brand’s commitment to blending sports heritage with contemporary style resonated with consumers, solidifying Starter jackets as enduring symbols of pop culture relevance.


The journey of Starter jackets from sports arenas to the forefront of fashion is a testament to their enduring appeal and cultural significance. As symbols of nostalgia and urban style, these jackets continue to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, reminding us of their timeless allure and the indelible mark they have left on pop culture history.

Who can forget the hues of turquoise and purple or red and black and even black and gray when it meant reppin’ one of the popular teams of the era. With the epic rise of the jacket’s popularity came high demand and a pretty hefty price – especially for a teenager working at McDonald’s. “Hey bro, come up out that jacket!” — would be a phrase that became oh so familiar, especially if you tried flossin’ through the hood with one of these babies without your piece on you.