How to Master the Art of Patched Denim

Iron on patched laid out on glass table

We’re sure you’ve noticed grown women reliving their punk rock high school days in the form of a patched denim jacket or vest and we’re here to say we officially love it. Why? Any fashion trend that is built around customization is key for creating a look that is “in” but still entirely you. Not to mention, denim vests are a great tool for dressing down evening wear for a daring daytime style, like this metallic dress/vest combo:

Silver dress and denim vest

Want to try your hand at the patched denim trend but feeling intimidated? Let us walk you through the experience of planning, shopping, assembling and styling your very own patched jean jacket or vest while getting some Cash Back at Ebates. We’ll help you find the iron-on denim patches that tout your personality to a T and offer a few handy tips from first-hand experience.

Jacket or Vest?

To sleeve or not to sleeve? This may seem like a simple decision but here are a few questions to ask yourself when shopping for what will be the canvas to your wearable masterpiece.

  1. What do you own that can be layered with a vest?
  2. Which piece would you get more mileage out of?
  3. Is your patched denim vest or jacket something you would like to wear regularly or only occasionally?
  4. Would a dark wash or light wash coordinate more with your current wardrobe?

Once you have selected cut and color, now it’s time to dive into the infinite world of patched and pins!

Picking Your Patches

Iron on patches laid out on glass table

This step can seem overwhelming but trust us, it’s too fun to be stressful. Here are three simple tips to remember when shopping around.

  1. Pick your centerpiece or large patches first. Whether you have one big back piece or a few larger patches, select them first so you can get an idea of how much space your will have left for smaller pieces like enamel pins.
  2. Choose a tone. Will most of your pieces be sweet, sassy or edgy? You can definitely mix it up but it helps to have a general theme in mind.
  3. Pick your top five favorite things in the world. It could be pizza, Parks and Rec or Paris. It doesn’t matter. You can find a patch or pin to represent it.

Our Favorite Patch and Pin Stores on Etsy!

Strawberry Moth
That’s Sew Bethany
Wildflower + Co.
Sarah Duyer
For the Love of Patch
Buried Diamond
Anchor and Stitch

The Hard Part

Liquid stitch

You’ve got the outwear and the hardware. Now it’s time to patch. We recommend throwing a little party with a friend or two to make a couple of hours with the ironing board a little less tedious. We say hours because:

  1. Not all patches are created equal. Some take longer to iron. Make sure to use the highest temp with full steam unless instructions for each patch note otherwise.
  2. Ironing blind is hard. It is recommended for most patches that you not iron the front of the patch. That means you have to lay it upside down them place the jacket on top of it. If you have a glass table you can climb under, that really helps to see that the placement is correct before ironing.
  3. Touch ups may be required. You can iron to the best of your ability and a patch could stubbornly refuse to fuse. Avoid the urge to rip your hair out by purchasing some Liquid Stitch from Joann beforehand. It really is a lifesaver when patched go rogue.

The Best Part

Patched denim jacket

Your labor of love is officially done and now it’s time to strut. Let those colorful patches catch eyes from across the sidewalk by wearing neutrals underneath. And never, NEVER wear them with blue denim bottoms, regardless of wash. You remember that infamous Brittany and Justin look, right?

Patched denim vest

DIY Not Your Thing

We get it. You’re a busy girl and you would much rather dish out a little extra money than get your hands dirty. Luckily, a lot of patched denim pieces are pretty reasonable and all of these come with Cash Back! It may not be your own hand-made baby but you can still give it a good home.



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