So it’s your Matric year. There’s an awful lot to do and not an awful lot of time to do it in. You have your books, your pens, your papers, you’re worrying about what you want to do with your life, which university you want to apply to and your matric dance. What, where and who are you going to ask?
All of these questions and so much more are taking over your life right now. It’s not going to be easy. It’s a hard year, full of trials and tribulations. But it’s also going to be one of the most fun, fast-paced years of your life as you rocket towards fully-fledged adulthood. You’re closing the chapter on your high school career and opening the first page of the rest of your life. You need something to remember it by.
The Symbolism of A Matric Jacket
Standing in the classroom, looking around at your classmates, you wonder where the last four years have gone and where the next year will take you. There’s no feeling on earth quite like it. In fact, the only thing that could possibly make it even more special is something that sets you apart. Something that says to everyone, ‘You’ve made it’. There’s nothing that says that the same way as a matric jacket . Be it a jacket, a blazer, a hoodie or a cardigan; it’s a status symbol.
No matter which one you choose , when you walk down the corridors with it on, it commands respect. Lower grades move aside, and the ones just below you will look at you and imagine themselves in your shoes.
High school is such an important time in your life. So much of what happens there determines who you are going to be as a person, and what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. School is never easy, and Matric, in particular, is a very stressful time. It’s full of hard choices and big decisions, all needing to be made in an incredibly short amount of time.
While it can be both a stressful and frightening time, your matric jacket can serve as a reminder to you of all the hard work and effort that you put into getting this far. After all, no one else can take those exams for you, no one can write your essays or put in the hours of study needed. You are the one who earned that jacket, and you are the one who is going to put pen to paper at the end of the year and set a course for your own future. It can be a wonderful, tangible reminder that you made it this far, and that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
The History of the Matric Jacket
There’s a long and illustrious history behind Matric jackets. In America, when someone excels in a sport, they can be awarded a fabric letter to be attached to a special ‘letter sweater’ or ‘letter jacket’. These were for the best of the best, the elites. The jacket was in the school’s colours with striped collars for men and hoods for women. They were first worn by the Harvard University Baseball team way back in 1865, and were often exclusively sporting jackets thereafter, which is a little different to the Matric jacket that we know and love.
The Matric jacket is a lot more inclusive than the plain uniform. Yes, it puts the spotlight on you as a Matric pupil, but also unites the entire grade. It includes all of you, because you made it. Every one of you going into this year has earned your jacket. On top of that, going through the process of designing and choosing your jacket can be a fun and exciting bonding exercise for the whole grade. It’s an excellent excuse to get everyone in your grade to sit together at break or after school and talk about what you want to get out of your jacket, what your options are and what your budget will be.
It’s also a great way to learn more about the people in your grade that you might not know so well. High schools can be huge and it’s easy to miss someone who’s not in your class or your immediate circle of friends. What started out as a jacket may end up as the foundation for a new and wonderful friendship. You are the elites of your school. So wear it with pride!
But it can be so hard to choose one! There are so many jacket ideas and twice as many designs to choose from. Don’t sweat it. Here at Brand Innovation, we’ve got anything and everything you need to get the best possible Matric jacket for you, and customer service that does the extra mile to make sure that you’re happy with your product.
Alternative Matric Jacket Ideas:
- T Shirts
- Golf Shirts
- Varsity Jacket
All of these have their own pros and cons, and a lot of options that go along with them.
Matric T Shirt
T shirts come in a wide variety of colours and sizes, and are really easy to source. They’re light and fun for summer, and they also have a lot of placement options for printing. But the downside is that they are very informal, and might not gel with your school’s dress code at all. It’s not always as fun when you only get to wear them on special occasions. While that’s not a problem everyone will face, it’s definitely something worth thinking about. But if your school has a more relaxed uniform, or even no uniform at all, it’s a super fun, less expensive option while still being a little bit different.
[145g Printed T-Shirts
Code : 145TSHIRT] or [Super Club 165 T-Shirt
Code : BAS-4770]
Matric Golf Shirt
Golf shirts are like t shirts, but kicked up a notch. They can look a lot smarter than a regular cotton tee - the collar comes in handy there - and could win you more favour with the governing body. It’s smart-casual, it looks good, and has the same size and colour benefits that a regular t shirt has. The material is thicker than that of a regular cotton t-shirt and could easily be warmer to wear. That can be great in winter but isn’t so hot in summer.
[Boston Mens Long Sleeve Golf Shirt
Code : BAS-3430]
Continuing with the theme of, “It’s Not Exactly A Jacket But I Like To Be Different’, we have the shirt. If you go to a school that has a uniform, single-sex or co-ed, chances are that you have to wear a shirt at some point. While it’s not the most practical or showy of the options available to you, it might be something to think about if your school is particularly strict about the uniform regulations being adhered to. It can be blended in almost seamlessly to any uniform, looks wonderfully smart and can still have that personalised touch that you’ve earned after all these years.
The bodywarmer is a nifty little jacket. Sure, it’s not the most traditional or in your face item, but it’s not without it’s merits. It can be worn under other clothes to layer up and keep warm. It has a lot of different stylistic options such as zips and pockets, as well as different fabric options; knit, fleece or polyester, whichever works best for you! Both knit and fleece are warm, the former sometimes being a bit too bulky. The polyester option has the added benefit of acting as a windbreaker. All these options will keep your body toasty warm and keep your core temperature up when it’s icy outside. The downside of that is, of course, not wanting to even look at them during the summer.
Code : BAS-820]
Matric Jerseys are the traditional option.A classic uniform item that almost every school can claim to have had at one point or another, even if they now subscribe to something a little different. Round neck, V-neck, chunky knit, ribbed or cable? There are more choices here than you can shake a stick at, and all of them look good. They’re also fantastic for winter and can be made to fit most uniform guidelines. A jersey is a comfortable, practical and striking option that will make you stand out from the crowd.
A subsect of the matric jersey is the cardigan. It has the same concepts of being neat, good looking and warm but with the added design feature of buttons. It’s all up to you really and what style you choose, but a cardigan is warm and can be a little more casual than a jersey, which makes it nice to carry over into after school wear, as many people do. Your matric jacket may well see you into university or through your gap year. It can be perfect for when you’re studying with friends, or maybe you’re just showing a little pride for your old high school. Either way, some kind of knitwear is a great way to do either.
Everyone wants a matric hoodie. Though not all schools agree with the casual look, a hoodie is a warm, super comfortable way to see out your matric year and beyond. They have lots of space for logos, options for zips, drawstrings, pockets and fleece linings. And they just look plain awesome. A hoodie is the perfect thing to wear on those cold winter mornings before school, and is just as great hanging at home or with friends. There’s no doubt about it, a hoodie is one of the most desirable matric accessories.
[Mens Omega Hooded Sweater
Code : BAS-7786] or [Bravo Mens Hooded Sweater
Code : BAS-3428]
Hoodies South Africa
In just one minute Google will tell you that hoodies are pretty much the most in-demand item of Matric gear. For all the reasons listed above, and the fact that they just look cool. When you have something like that, there’s a lot of stiff competition and so many options to choose from that it just about makes your head spin. With that much going on, it pays to pick something that’s tried and trusted. A brand hoodie with your designs printed or embroidered onto it will give you peace of mind that you’re getting the best quality product, and that your beloved Matric hoodie is going to be with you for a very long time.
That being said, there are other options.
A plain hoodie makes for an excellent Matric Jacket. It’s great for wearing outside of school and can be as subtle as wearing your school colours. This is particularly great if you don’t necessarily want a lot of writing or branding all over your shirt and just want something sophisticated and understated. It’s still a statement in the modern school environment, just a more subtle one.
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, you have the printed hoodie. Say it loud and say it proud. Maybe you’ve got someone in your grade with a particular knack for graphic design who you really want to support and encourage. What better vote of solidarity than to have it printed on hoodies for you all to wear!
The wonderful thing about hoodies, and one of the reasons that they’re just so popular is that they are incredibly versatile, and it’s wonderfully easy to showcase who you are as a grade with a hoodie. There are just so many variations that make them one of the most fun and sought after Matric jackets.
A Matric blazer is undoubtedly a classic. It’s a more specific investment and shows an awful lot of school pride. But it looks fantastic with a school uniform, and it’s incredibly distinctive. While a hoodie or a jersey might be in your school colours and can blend into the masses a little, a blazer is definitely a statement item. It both unites you and your fellow Matrics, while at the same time sets you apart as the most senior students in the building. And a blazer just looks good. It’s clean cut, formal, has a lot of little details that can be altered to your specifications from lapels to buttons, colours, pockets, logos and braiding. Depending on what the school allows, a blazer can also be customised with patches showcasing your achievements, both academic as well as sports. A blazer might not be the most muli-functional of matric jackets, but it is definitely one of the sleekest in terms of overall appearance.
The Matric jacket covers a plethora of options. Just like all the other options, it has zips, pockets and can also have a hood. It can be weatherproof and can keep out a strong wind, depending on your fabric options. It can also be great to wear instead of a blazer, or just for a more casual look. It often has more pockets than all of the other options available, so it’s a really practical option for carrying all those spare pens you’ll start carrying during your exams.
[Benton Mens Executive Jacket
Code : BAS-3404]
Microfleece is an excellently cosy option. It’s warm and cuddly, and it’s something you’ll get loads of use out of in winter when you need something to keep you warm. It’s not the most common choice but that’s what makes it so special. It’s something different and interesting while being exceptionally comfortable, warm and it works really well with an embroidered logo. It also has an option for being long sleeved or a bodywarmer, so it’s a very versatile fabric choice.
[Performer Polar Fleece Jackets
Code : ALT-PER01]
These, along with hoodies, are a great choice. They’re also called Letterman jackets and are particularly eye-catching. They tend to be pretty bold in colour choices, with different colours for the body of the jacket and the sleeves. The original varsity jacket originated in America, which is why we see them so often in TV and movies. These days they have the school’s initials on the left breast, but it started off as a letter badge that the student earned for academic or sporting success, so there’s a long history of achievement backing up this particular style of jacket. It used to be that they were made of boiled wool with leather sleeves. Which is all well and good if you live in Massachusetts, USA, where it regularly gets well below freezing in winter. But for Sunny South Africa where we don’t dip too low that often, a lighter fabric in the same sort of design is much more preferable.
No matter what you choose, it’s always a good idea to take into account that this is something that you’re probably going to be wearing outside of school well into the future. Many university students wear their school jackets on campus and to classes right through to Honours and beyond. With that in mind, it’s worth it to pick something that you feel like you’ll want to wear again, especially since you’ll be paying for it! Pick a design and a style that you can be proud to wear for years afterwards.
Which brings us to the very important matter of:
Matric Jacket Designs:
This topic covers fit, colour, pattern and the placement of zips, pockets and the kinds of collar it has. Whether or not it is in line with the current fashion or something more classic is entirely up to you. Both can be really fun! A timeless jacket is a joy forever, but there’s just something about the nostalgia of wearing a jacket in a style that was super popular when you were in Matric. It’s hard to believe, but having a specific style can help attach memories to the jacket, particularly if it means that you’re more likely to wear it outside of school during the year.
Patterns and accents can add a lot to a jacket. It’s all well and good to have a jersey in a colour that’s different from the rest of the uniform, but a couple of accents can really make it pop. If your uniform is a dark blue, a white jersey with dark blue stripes around the collar and cuffs can be absolutely stunning, if a bit of a pain to keep clean. Or even something with pale blue stripes. If your uniform is lighter, maybe try for some lighter accents to complement it. Something that’s a different colour from the rest of your uniform or has a bold pattern can be really striking.
In terms of colour, the sad truth is that you’re probably going to be restricted to your school colours. But there’s no reason why you can’t still have some fun with that. Since it is supposed to make you stand out, there’s nothing that says that it has to be the same shade. Something just a little brighter can really pop without making you look like you go to an entirely different school.
Matric Jacket Logos
The logo is a very important part of your jacket: it’s how you let the world know who you are. Your year, your school, Matric - of course - and even your name can be an integral part of this design. The placement and font you use can be very important in creating the feel of who you are as a grade. What’s pretty popular is having the students in your grade each submit different designs and take a vote on which one you like best so that you end up with the most popular design, rather than having a small group decide for the rest of you. That also helps personalise the jacket and set it apart from the grades that came before you. A unique design is something that the entire grade can be proud of.
Something to take into consideration is how you want your logo applied to your jacket, be it your school coat of arms, your name, or just Matric 2017. There are a lot of different options that Brand Innovation has available, all of them resulting in a beautiful, professional finish.
Matric Jacket Printing
- Screen Printing
- Digital Printing
Screen Printing Jackets
Screen printing is done using a mesh screen with a stencil of your desired image blocked off. Ink is then pushed through the stencil onto your jacket giving a beautiful, neat finish. Screen printing works best for flat, separate colours with no shading. It can be done on a wide variety of fabrics and always looks stunning. But keep in mind, the more colours you have, the higher the price, so you might want to keep it simple and more affordable!
Embroidery Matric Jackets
There’s no denying it. Embroidery looks good. It’s classy, it’s professional, it’s got that silky smooth texture that you just can’t help running your fingers over. Just looking at it invokes that internal ‘oooh!’ response. Most mass embroidery is machine stitched but that doesn’t take anything away from the finish or the quality, only the cost. Just like with screen printing, block colours are best, and though they’re pretty plain, the results never fail to impress.
Digital Printing Matric Jackets
Digital printing is available for almost every material and allows for colour blends and gradients. You do need a pretty high quality image of your design if this is the route that you want to take - at least 300dpi (dots per inch) - so keep that in mind when selecting and image to use. This is a pretty popular method with an excellent track record.
If you backtrack a couple of paragraphs, there was something about having a brand name jacket. It’s a good idea because you get the best possible quality along with your perfect design, and it makes it that much more special. A brand is there for a reason, particularly something that has a long standing reputation. Now Brand Innovation can help with that. Instead of bulk buying your Matric jackets somewhere where you don’t know where they’re made and you’re not one hundred percent convinced of how high quality that stitching really is, do something for your own peace of mind. Go with a local, eco-friendly business with reputable brands just waiting to be customised at your fingertips.
US Basic South Africa
US Basic is a casual promotional brand of corporate clothing designed in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, and is one of Europe’s leading corporate clothing brands. US Basic prides themselves on having high quality items that are stylish, durable and beautifully designed. On top of that, as if that wasn’t enough, they have a range of products so extensive that you have to take a step backwards to take it all in. With t shirts, shirts, jackets, microfleece, golf shirts, baseball caps and beanies, they really do have everything you would need. On top of that there’s the amazing range of colours and different thicknesses of fabric. Slazenger Corporate Clothing
Slazenger Corporate Clothing South Africa
Slazenger is a high quality brand that is dedicated to promotional corporate wear as well as sportswear. These items are made with the avid sportsperson in mind and have nifty features such as special pockets to keep your mobile phone and mp3 player safe and accessible. It also has a special place for your headphones, just make sure that you remember to take those out of their pockets before you put them in the wash! With their wonderful range of golf shirts, bodywarmers, hoodies and jackets, this brand is a sure fire winner when looking at options.
Elevate Corporate Clothing
Elevate is a local favourite when it comes to supplying corporate clothing at a high standard that will meet customer satisfaction every single time. With an enviable range of shirts, golf shirts and jackets, they really do have a solid corner in high quality promotional clothing and would be a wise purchasing choice from anyone’s perspective.
The BIZ Collection
The most gorgeous collection of business clothes, crafted to exacting standards to make sure that you get the best quality product possible. They have a stunning range of shirts, hoodies and light jackets just waiting for you to add your Matric branding.
But Why Any Of These?
Well why not? These are all brands that have a notable performance history and have trusted, quality products that would make sure that you will be enjoying your Matric wear for a very long time to come. Which is why it’s so important to get quality. What you put in is what you get out, with life as much as with school. You work hard and you study hard so that you can get the best possible marks, in order for you to have a bright future. Why shouldn’t all the choices you make reflect the life you want to have? Choose to invest in something that’s going to last. Your education will last you for the rest of your life, and you’re only in Matric once, so why not have a jacket that will help the memories you’re making last just as long?
These brands are recognised for their quality. The way you dress is a projection of yourself. You’re already repping some serious school pride in your uniform, why not take it that next level and represent who you are and what you have managed to achieve in what you wear. Make it something that you can be proud of.
Making A Statement
Through doing something unique and top quality, you’re ensuring that the grades below you will remember you. They will draw inspiration from you when the time comes for them to make their own jackets. As well as showing your own personality, you’re making a statement to your school and the world around you. Everyone is impressed by a good looking Matric jacket.
Is It A Good Idea?
Absolutely. A Matric jacket is an investment of your time and money into something that you’re going to keep for a long time to come. It’s a reward, a status symbol, a clear sign that you are the top dogs of the school. You’ve stuck it out for the last four years and you broke your back working to earn that recognition. And at the same time, you are investing in a memory. High school is the last phase of your secondary education and the springboard from that into tertiary education. Whether you start working right off the bat, you’re going to take a gap year to give yourself time to breathe, or you’re so keen for university that you’re already trying to pack as many credits as possible into the first semester, the end of Matric is the closing of a chapter in your life. Going forward, you take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints behind you. Your jacket is a memory that has been made physical. It’s something that you’ll be able to look back on and remember all the good times.
And all the not so good and embarrassing times too, but one of the wonderful things about looking back on how much you’ve grown as a person is seeing how you’ve learnt from your past self. There’s no way that you’re the same person in Matric as you were in grade eight. When you’re out of university - and you’ll doubtless have a jacket for that too - you’ll be able to look back at how much you’ve grown with your jacket.
So Choose Brand Innovation For Your Matric Jacket
All of these are excellent reasons to go with Brand Innovation, a local South African company with an excellent reputation and friendly staff all dedicated to giving you the best possible experience and quality product available. With door-to-door delivery within South Africa, a rigorous quality screening process before we even think about sending your order through to our manufacturers. And once we have, we have a stellar seven to ten day turnaround time, so you get your products as fast as is possible. We know that your Matric year is just going to fly by and we want to make sure that you’ve got one less thing to stress about and one more thing to be excited about.
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