There are few items in your wardrobe that can't be improved with a well-chosen patch or two (your job-interview blazer, say, or a delicate vintage lace dress). But for the rest of your pieces, patches are an easy way to add a personal touch to any outfit.
Over the past few seasons, fashion has become enamored with cool patch ideas (see Marc Jacobs's custom iron-on decals, Peter Pilotto's patch-strewn runway dresses, and Gucci's revamped mules), and the trend has shown no signs of slowing down yet. The best part, of course, is that it's easy and fairly affordable to re-create at home using pieces you already own as a canvas.
If you have a utility jacket, tote bag, or absolutely anything denim handy—along with an iron or, in a pinch, a couple of safety pins—you're ready to get started. Below, we've rounded up a couple styling ideas for inspiration, plus 10 patches we love from indie designers and in-the-know retailers alike.
Rep your city—whether that's L.A. or anywhere else—with this custom chain-stitched beaut.
Cats and patches are made for each other.
Your denim jacket is about to get so much cooler.
Whether you wear it as a tribute to David Bowie or Harry Potter (or just because it's cute) is up to you.
Just plain badass.
It's cool on its own—but even cooler when you realize it glows in the dark.
Stick these on light denim for some fun contrast.
Basically a self-portrait.
A summer without burgers is no summer at all.