• Sydnie Mares

Patches on Denim: Is the trend over?

Patches on denim was listed as a Fall trend for 2015 by Vogue. Here we are two years later, and I still see patched clothing in so many stores, although it has expanded to include embroidery in general.

So, tell me why I was browsing Pinterest one morning and became obsessed with the idea of decorating my own denim jacket. It's been done a million times. It's nothing new. But I wanted to do it because I love arts and crafts, and I love the idea of having a unique item that nobody else will have.

Who cares if the trend has seen better days? I wanted to decorate some denim, and here's how I did it.

When I would see patches on denim in the stores, I would worry, "Is this really me though?"

Hand selecting my own patches helped ease that existential anxiety. I feel like everything that I chose, when added up, is actually a good representation of my interests and my personality. I wanted to mix the primary colors of the patches with more feminine and neutral tones. I was inspired.

I picked up the jacket from the thrift store for $7, and it was actually new with tags. The iron-on patches were the most expensive part of the DIY, and they came from my local craft store. I also recommend picking up some fabric glue in case the iron-on adhesive doesn't work well.

The cheapest item that I purchased for this look were the assorted buttons. I got them for a couple dollars a pack at Walmart. You could make this DIY more affordable by skipping the patches and just using decorative buttons, actually, and I think that would be a cool look.

If I were to do this jacket again, I would definitely take my time and measure out the incisions that I made in the denim for the laces. I also miscounted the number of holes I needed, so they are unevenly spaced, but luckily if you are just paying attention to the ribbon, you can't tell too much.

The part that took the longest for this DIY was sewing up the frayed ends around the ribbon holes. I just did a simple stitch so that the denim would be less likely to unravel, but you if you wanted to skip this step, you could easily go for a more distressed look.

My favorite details about this jacket are the personal ones. The "DIY or Die" button was given to me by a friend who really knows me and my love for crafting. The metal plate on the pocket with my social media handle was hand stamped by my mother. Thanks, y'all. It makes this piece so special to me.

There's a part of me that is still freaking out inside like, "I can't believe you are wearing patched denim. That is so 2015."

But mostly I'm like, "Wear what you want. Trends don't matter."

So if you feel like getting creative with your wardrobe, I think you totally should.


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