Line Jackets: The Do’s and Don’ts Everyone in Greek Life Should Know

What are Line Jackets?

Line jackets are custom-made jackets worn by members of Greek sororities and fraternities in the US. These jackets display the organization's symbols, colors, and often personal details like the member's name and initiation group. They're a symbol of pride, commitment, and membership, usually worn at events to show Greek affiliation. These jackets hold sentimental value for members, carrying their Greek identity throughout their lives.

Where and When Can You Wear Line Jackets

Line jackets have an extra layer of formality compared to regular Greek Letters. They’re typically worn at Greek Life and chapter events.

Depending on your organization, you can wear your line jacket outside Greek-related events. Always refer to your organization and chapter’s rules for when and where to wear it.

Can I Wear my Line Jacket at School?

Usually, it’s okay to wear your line jacket while walking around campus or going to class. Check the weather beforehand, as sweat and rain can ruin your jacket over time.

If your line jacket has your organization's crest, it’s a common rule to not allow it at non-Greek campus events. Ask your chapter if they have this rule before sporting your jacket to math class.

Can I Wear My Line Jacket at Work?

Work is typically a no-go for line jackets. Your jacket might get ruined while moving around, sweating, lifting things, or serving potential customers. Greek Letters can also make your workplace inadvertently non-inclusive if you serve customers. For example, a customer you’re serving might have rushed your organization and not gotten a bid, making them feel really awkward requesting a service from you. This was actually a written handbook rule for a campus job I had! Finally, outside Greek Life, Greek Letters sadly aren’t considered business casual or business formal. It’s an important skill to present yourself professionally at work.

Can I Wear My Line Jacket While Running Errands?

If it’s allowed and you feel comfortable, you can definitely be out and about in your line jacket. Just be aware that you’re representing your organization in your community when you wear letters.

Wearing Line Jacket to Greek Parties

This rule could be a campus-based culture thing, but I’m going to say no unless it’s a national board-approved event. Even though it’s a Greek Life event, parties are messy and involve alcohol. Universities and organizations have lots of restrictions around affiliation with alcohol. Parties with underage participants also put your organization in legal trouble. Imagine the party gets shut down and you’re all standing there (or in the middle of hopping a fence) wearing your Greek Letters. Yikes.

Leave your line jacket at home or ask the host for a safe place to store it while you party.

Wearing your line jacket makes you feel special and proud of your organization. Picking the appropriate times to wear it will protect the image of yourself and your organization. Always check with your chapter’s rules on best practices for wearing line jackets.

Can I Wear Someone Else’s Line Jacket?

New members in Greek Life often don’t have a line jacket to wear to events yet. It can be easy to feel left out. You might wonder, can I wear someone else’s line jacket?

You’ll want to default to any guidelines your organization or chapter has on this situation. A Big sibling or New Member educator is a great person to ask.

These guidelines are general and not organization or chapter-specific.


First, verify there’s a true need to wear a line jacket.

While most members of Greek Life will wear their line jackets to Greek events, it’s completely expected that new members won’t have their jackets to wear yet. You might feel like you stick out, but it’s a normal part of your new member experience and shouldn’t be seen as embarrassing.


Let’s say you really do need to wear a line jacket.

One common example is wearing a line jacket to stroll. Your next step is to ask siblings directly related to you if they have a jacket you can borrow. That sibling might have two jackets or plan on not going to the event. You can ask your Big, GBig, Twin, or close friend, but make sure you stick within your own organization. You shouldn’t wear another organization’s letters!


Remember that wearing another sibling’s jacket is a privilege.

The jacket probably has that sibling’s nickname and line number, directly tying them to the jacket you’re wearing. People who don’t know you might just assume you’re actually that sibling! Take off the jacket and hold it at times when to don’t need to wear it.

To be courteous, you may ask the owner of the jacket if there is anything you should be mindful of. For example, maybe they don’t want you to take pictures in their jacket. Your older Greek siblings will probably be very chill, but it can’t hurt to ask!


Finally, don’t forget to thank the sibling and return their jacket in good condition.

It’s amazing that your sibling trusts you enough to wear their line jacket.



3 Things to Never Do When Wearing Your Line Jacket

Line jackets are exciting to show off but come with some key rules. Let's go over the do’s and don'ts of wearing your line jacket. These rules apply to other Greek Letters too!


1. Never Wear Your Line Jacket Under the Influence

There’s nothing bad about enjoying your favorite legal substances. However, most organizations have formal rules against using them while wearing letters.

This rule helps prevent the ongoing stereotype that Greek life is exclusively about partying and raving. Also remember that substances can cause changes in behavior, both in you and those around you. Even if your organization doesn’t have a rule against it, be cautious and opt for non-Greek attire when enjoying a drink, smoke, or edible.


2. Never Break Organization or Campus Rules While Wearing Your Line Jacket

It’s expected that you always follow your organization’s rules and standards. That expectation increases if you wear letters that represent the organization. You can be suspended or de-lettered for ignoring your organization’s rules and standards, especially if you’re sporting their letters.

When you break campus rules while wearing your Greek Letters, it can create problems not just for you, but also for your entire chapter. People on campus, like students, teachers, and officials, notice the four-inch Greek Letters on your clothing. In the best-case scenario, they might develop a negative opinion about your organization while you face consequences.

In the worst-case scenario, it's not just you who faces the repercussions; your whole chapter could be in trouble. Campus authorities might investigate, suspend, or even close down your chapter if they think your actions are connected to your organization. Avoid the risk!


3. Never Break State or Federal Laws While Wearing Your Line Jacket

This guideline seems pretty obvious, but not following it has some serious consequences outside your own life. By wearing your organization’s letters, you inadvertently associate your organization with whatever you’re doing.

Wearing letters while committing a crime can lead to a formal investigation into your organization or negative media attention.

If you need a true story to hit this home, google your organization and hit the “news” tab. Most organizations sadly already have stories of members doing something illegal, and the organization gets dragged into the headlines. Don’t let individual decisions affect your siblings long-term.


To sum it up, wearing your line jacket is a statement of your affiliation and commitment to upholding the standards of your organization. These three rules aren't just about personal choices—they reflect on your entire Greek family. When in doubt, leave your letters at home!


How to Take Care of Your Line Jacket

Cleaning a Custom Greek Line Jacket

When your line jacket gets a little dirty, knowing how to clean it properly is crucial to keep it looking its best. Let’s walk through the best practices for spot cleaning and maintaining your jacket's condition.


Spot Cleaning Your Line Jacket

If your line jacket gets dirty, the best way to clean it is to spot clean. Spot cleaning is taking a soft towel and cleaning small sections of the jacket.

For general dirt, a damp towel is all you’ll need to get the grime off your jacket. If the dirt is a little more stubborn, I’ve found a drop of dish soap does the trick. Avoid dish soaps with fragrances and dyes though, as they can affect custom fabrics on the jacket.

For stubborn stains, use stain-removing sprays with caution. Test the stain remover on a small, unnoticeable spot on your jacket first. Look for color changes or fabric warping at the test spot. If the test spot dries without issues, it should be okay to use on the stain. If you want to be extra safe, take your line jacket to your local dry cleaner for expert advice.


Can You Put a Line Jacket in the Washer or Dryer?

No. Line jackets are a collection of different fabrics that all react to water, heat, and drying air differently.

For example, one fabric can shrink, while the other fabric stays the same. Because the fabrics are all sewn together, it can create permanent puckering and wrinkles in your jacket. Some embellishment types like sequins or glitter can even melt in the dryer. Yikes!


Can you Iron a Line Jacket?

No. Most fabrics used to make line jackets are rayon/polyester blends, i.e. plastic. What do plastic-based fabrics do under heat? Shrink and melt.

Trust me, I’ve tried ironing on low heat and accidentally burnt holes in the first version of some of ya’lls jackets in the early days!

Instead, use a low-heat steamer to remove wrinkles from your jacket. You can also put your jacket on a hanger in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. Ta-dah! No wrinkles.


Can You Dry Clean a Line Jacket?

Maybe. Don’t dry clean your jacket if the jacket care tag says, “Do not dry clean.” In most other cases, you should be okay taking your jacket to a dry cleaner.

There are several different methods of dry cleaning, and your local cleaner can help you pick the best option for your individual jacket. They can also spot-clean certain areas that are dirty instead of cleaning the whole jacket.

Dry cleaning is still rough on your custom jacket. Cleaning the whole jacket should be a last resort, happening only once or twice in its lifetime.

You’re going to wear your line jacket for years, so it's essential to care for it correctly. By following these cleaning tips, you can ensure your jacket stays in top shape throughout your time as an active and alumnus.


Repairing Your Greek Line Jacket

Line jackets are one-of-a-kind and expensive Greek letters. If an accident tries to ruin your jacket, don’t worry–you have options to save it!


What to Do if Your Line Jacket Has Decorative Stitches Coming Apart?

First, ask the person who made your line jacket if they can help. Most companies will repair unraveling stitches if you’ve only owned the jacket for a short period of time.

If you’ve owned your line jacket for more than a year, you are likely on your own to fix the unraveled stitching. A small amount of unraveling can be fixed by your local tailor, an expert in clothing repairs.

A large amount of unraveling may call for bigger fixes. If half a word is gone, for example, your tailor may suggest removing the entire embroidered word from your jacket. To get something embroidered back on, a local custom clothing shop might be able to work with you.

Amethyst Jackets offers repairs for any unraveled decorative stitches on our jackets. Repairs are free if any unraveling happens within the first 30 days. Otherwise, just pay shipping to and from the studio. Contact us to start your repair.


What to Do if Your Line Jacket Has a Hole?

For tiny holes, honestly, super glue is pretty effective. Pick a super glue with a precision nozzle. Place the nozzle inside the hole and squirt a tiny bit of glue inside. Press down on the surrounding fabric so the edges of the hole line up and look closed. When the glue dries, the hole will be glued shut with minimal puckering and wrinkles. Be careful not to get super glue on the outside of your jacket.

For bigger holes, bring it to your local tailor. Tailors are experts in repairing clothing and can help you fix it. If you have an auntie or uncle who is a sewing wizard, they might be a smart home tailor option!


What to Do if Your Line Jacket’s Seam is Coming Apart?

You can usually repair a seam on your line jacket yourself with a home sewing kit. Sew from the inside so the stitches remain hidden. YouTube has tutorials for basic guidance as needed.

If you’re not confident in your own sewing abilities, bring your line jacket to your local tailor. Tailors are experts in repairing clothing and will sew the seam back together.


What to Do if Your Line Jacket Has a Burn Mark?

Burn marks or holes resulting from burns can be tricky repairs. This situation is one where you’ll want to consult an expert. Take your line jacket to a tailor, an expert in complex clothing repairs.


What to do if Part of Your Line Jacket is Discolored?

If your line jacket is discolored from a stain, spot cleaning may be able to remove the discoloration. A dry cleaner can professionally remove many stubborn stains from your jacket.

If your line jacket is discolored from chemicals or UV exposure, it’s a good time to consult an expert. Depending on the discoloration, a dry cleaner or tailor can offer advice on how to mitigate the discoloration. For example, discoloration from a bleach splash might be able to be re-dyed in a section to blend in with the rest of the jacket.


It’s inevitable that something will happen to your jacket in the many years you wear it. Knowing these repair options will save you money and tears.



3 Tips for Storing Your Line Jacket Safely

A custom line jacket is probably the most expensive item in your closet as a college student in Greek Life. Keep your line jacket looking fresh by following these tips for storing it.


1. Store Your Line Jacket on a Hanger

Keep your line jacket stored on a hanger to maintain its shape. Hanging it will prevent folding lines and wrinkles so it’s ready to wear at a moment’s notice.


2. Hang Your Jacket in a Garment Bag

Alumni this tip is for you! If you won’t wear your jacket for an extended period of time, store it in a hanging garment bag. The bag will keep sunlight, bugs, and dust from creating long-term damage to your jacket. An air-tight garment bag steps up the protection by guarding it from humidity and weather emergencies.


3. Keep Your Jacket Out of Direct Sunlight

UV rays affect dyes in the fabric of your line jacket. Extended exposure to the sun can fade dark or bright colors and yellow light colors.

Don’t let your custom jacket get wrinkled and dirty on your desk chair! Take these steps to safely store your jacket after each use to save yourself several future headaches.



Upgrading Your Custom Line Jacket

As time goes on, you might start to feel like your custom line jacket needs a minor change or new addition. From subtle customizations to more elaborate transformations, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your Greek Letters. However, before you dive into any upgrades, check with your big or the person who gifted you the line jacket to get their go-ahead.



Adding your personality or heritage makes a line jacket even more meaningful. You can add personal upgrades like a custom patch, a flag for your ethnicity, or a life motto.


Updating with New Milestones

Did you achieve an important milestone in Greek Life after getting your jacket? That’s a pretty good reason to update your jacket! Maybe you add your Little’s name or a matching patch for each of your jackets’. Or maybe your chapter updated its status while you’re still active so you want to change the wording embroidered on your jacket.


Customizing the Lining

A less conventional but impactful option is customizing the lining of your jacket. You can choose a fabric that reflects your personality or represents your chapter's colors. This upgrade can usually be done by a tailor.

Your line jacket is not just a piece of clothing; it's a symbol of your journey and commitment to your Greek Organization. By taking steps to elevate and personalize it, you can make this cherished garment even more meaningful. However, always approach these changes with respect for traditions and values. Consulting with your Big or president is essential to ensure that your upgrades align with your organization’s principles and guidelines. With careful consideration and creativity, you can transform your line jacket into a unique symbol of your individuality within the group.

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