Patching Things Up – Tips For 2016’s Hottest Trend


Even the most casual fashion fans among us will know that this year, one trend has dominated all of fashion – the humble pin or patch. No longer the domain of cub scouts or your Nana’s darning needle, these cute little customisations are how the fashion set are personalising their look, showing some individuality and crucially offering a serious throwback to the ‘collector’ trends of the 80s/90s.

But how best to rock your own patched piece without looking more shabby than chic? Embellished jeans, dresses and bags can look great in the right hands, but for patching newbies, you can’t go far wrong with a classic jacket. Feeling inspired? Follow our top tips and you’ll be rocking this look in no time.

Start simple
First things first, you’ll need to select your patching garment. It’s best to opt for a plain, hardy fabric – think denim or a heavy cotton. A plain background is often best so as not to clash with your pins and patches. A quick trip to our kilo sale or vintage fair is the perfect place to source your garment – play your cards right and it’ll cost you less than £15!

Shop Independent
As us vintage fans will know all too well, there is an immense satisfaction for sporting a garment that nobody else owns. Patching a jacket is a great excuse to support independent businesses and avoid lower-quality high street imitations (see the current accusations against Zara for copying indie artists’s work.) Shop around on etsy or search the tracked tags on Instagram – or have a chat with our traders of course!

Quality not Quantity
It can be tempting to patch as you go or throw any old thing at your jacket in an attempt to ‘finish it’, but we think it’s definitely worth building up a solid collection of patches over time before you go to town. The best patch effect is achieved by good curation, so think carefully about the vibe you want to portray and be patient in your pursuit for the perfect piece. Remember that a jacket can be subject to a fair bit of wear, so always opt for patches and pins of good sturdy quality – you don’t want bits falling off!

Plan things out
Feel like you’ve nailed your collection? Perfect! Now you’re at the stage where planning is key. Pins are obviously easy as they can be moved around, but patches require a little more consideration – lay yours out in full on your jacket or tack them with needle and thread to ensure you’re happy before going the whole hog. Also, be sure to check the instructions for each patch – modern ones are often iron fixable, whereas vintage patches may be better off handsewn. if you do get things a little wrong, don’t worry – the patched look is meant to be a little messy and unkept for it’s true effect.

So there we have it – time to get patching! We’d love to see your best efforts – tweet us a picture to @judysvintagefair or tag us on insta!

denim patch moodboard