Back to School Goes Old School

By Dave Trausneck @trausneck

It’s the 1992-1993 school year. You’re the envy of your friends because you’re rockin’ a Starter jacket for the Charlotte Hornets. You’re the man. That teal and purple schwag make you feel like you just scored a date with the prom queen.


Fast forward 20 years. That jacket 17 years removed from a donation to the local Goodwill store gets revived in all its glory. Starter announced they are bringing back the satin jackets that rose to prominence in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

starter jacket ad

For most kids in white suburbia, starter jackets were their first foray into hip-hop gear. Before flat brims were widely acceptable, if you had a black Raiders satin jacket, you were tough. You saw the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff sportin’ the gear. Before that it was RUN-DMC.


You didn’t have to listen to NWA or rap to wear one. It was cool. Nordstrom started selling them. I know; I got one as a Christmas present in 1992. Somewhere there’s a picture of me wearing one with a bowl haircut.

And then the wheels fell off. Besides every white kid in the burbs getting one, they became the “norm” for MLB pitching staffs… and rotations like Atlanta’s with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery and the 5th guy that never seemed to catch on would always be seen on Braves TBS baseball would be seen every night spitting sunflower seeds wearing those jackets. The jackets weren’t just street style anymore. Into the closet they go to gather dust.

braves starter jacket

But like all good things retro, Starter revived the iconic jacket, and with good reason. So
much of street style now derives from early 90’s hip-hop. Ok, Reebok Pumps might never come back (although I wish they would for a hot minute, just so I can buy one to collect), but the Starter jacket was a staple.

The trick was, the jacket was simple. No crazy swirl patterns or progressive striping. A solid jacket with a logo and that S with a star on the left cuff, that’s all the jacket needed. Simple enough that it could translate to this generation, and people wouldn’t confuse it with a Members Only jacket that lived past its prime.

The jacket won’t be released until later in 2013 (Fall is the rumor), and it’s only fitting. Because when the kids go back to school, you can take your friends to school in the style department.