On high school and college campuses (worn by post-college age men as well), the letterman cardigan sweater or V-neck pullover called an “Award Sweater,” “Letter Sweater” or “Varsity Sweater” was an athletic man’s uniform. The large felt white or gold block letter on the left side represented the school name. Additional letters, stripes, and symbols were sewn onto varsity sweaters or varsity jackets to specify the sport, year, or position on the team.
Letterman sweaters were a symbol of social rank in school and a nod to the past for grown men. They have become an icon for 1950s fashion thanks to many movies such as GREASE, about life in 1950s high schools.