How to pull off the patchwork look seamlessly

You can shop this trend or embrace your crafty side and do it yourself

July 21, 2016

By Dominika Lirette

Whether it’s a pineapple sewn onto the sleeve of an otherwise conservative jacket, or a mismatched patchwork of multi-toned denim on pants, the patch trend is spreading to all price points of clothing and accessories.

This includes department stores like Nordstrom, says one of its top stylists, Michelle Addison, who explains people are really taking to the trend because it adds an element of DIY: “It looks like you’ve made it yourself,” says Addison, (but in a good way!).

Get the Look: 

Bomber Jackets. The stylist says this is one of the easiest ways to try the trend. “The bomber jacket was a huge trend last season and you saw a lot of people putting those patches on bomber jackets. That’s a good way to spruce up a bomber jacket too,” adds Addison.

If you’re looking for a basic bomber jacket to add patches to, try BP’s bomber jacket ($92.73), or for one already decked out in patches, try Topshop’s ‘Bruce’ patch detail MA1 bomber jacket ($150).

Patch bombers
BP’s bomber jacket (left) and Topshop’s ‘Bruce’ patch detail MA1 bomber jacket (right).

Tonal Denim. “Often you’ll see that tonal shift of patchwork, which is like different colours of denim,” explains the stylist. “So, most people will be directed to buy something in that regard because everybody wants a new jean.” (Stylist tip: Pair cropped patchwork denim pants with a chunky heel.) If you don’t want to buy a new jean, Nordstrom can help you revamp a pair you already own. The Jean Mullet: “The trend that’s happening now is it’s short at the front and a little longer at the back, for a cropped kind of jean. So you can get it cut in that manner and frayed for $25.” For a more conservative look, try a cropped patchwork denim jacket like Rebecca Taylor’s Patchwork Chambray jacket ($269.99).


Vetements Deconstructed Crop Jeans (Left) and Rebecca Taylor Patchwork Chambray Jacket (right)
Vetements Deconstructed Crop jeans and Rebecca Taylor Patchwork Chambray jacket.

Accessories. The patchwork trend extends to accessories too. You can add patches to hats, purses, backpacks—anything your heart fancies. Hollister’s Patch Corduroy Rucksack is a budget-friendly option for a patchwork backpack ($46.95). For a more high-fashion entry, we like the Dolce and Gabbana Vulcano Backpack in nylon with appliqués ($1,923.72)—or take matters into your own capable hands and iron on the patches yourself.

Hollister Patch Corduroy rucksack (left), Dolce and Gabbana Vulcano backpack (Right)

Do It Yourself. If sewing is your stitch, make a party of it! DIY patchwork parties have been popping up across the city with events hosted by stores like Mine and Yours and local patchwork company El Patcha. There are plenty of patches for sale online and Mine and Yours sells patches throughout the summer at the store’s patching station (where customers can even iron-on the goods in-store).

Alice Chiang shows off her new patch at Mine & Yours' patch party
Alice Chiang shows off her new patch at Mine and Yours’ patch party. (@mineandyoursco)

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