What Are Iron On Patches & How Do You Use Them?

What is a Patch?

A patch also known as a cloth badge is an embroidered piece of cloth that is created by using fabric backing and thread which can be attached to a fabric with a pin, sewn or ironed-on to a piece of fabric. 

Embroidered patches were invented hundreds of years ago as an important identification tool for military and other uniformed personnel and for practical reasons of covering up holes and labeling people in uniform.  But that has changed… over the years patches have become trendy. Over time patches have evolved and are used in many different ways. Now patches are used to express one’s personality or statement, show support to a cause or movement and even carry a political message.

Fashion has also adapted the use of patches, which helped introduce the use of patches to the people. In the ‘80s heavy metal fashion became popular were black clothes, long hair, and leather jackets, usually covered with patched denim vests, band tees and wristbands are worn by those who belong to the biker and rocker subcultures. As with other subcultures, the emblems and logos show the interests of the wearer.

Marc Jacobs and Gucci helped revive the use of patches in modern fashion.  Their idea that identity and inspiration should be found on the streets. Patches continue to be an indicator of social and political climates, but they express the wearer’s personal style and identity.

Modern patches are usually iron-on and sew in, which means you have options on how to attach them onto your fabric. So even if you’re not a crafty DIY enthusiast, you can still use patches and show or express your personality in your clothing. 

So for a look that truly sets you apart from the crowd, create unique wardrobe pieces by adding patches on your clothes. Patches are a quirky addition to any outfit that enables you to cooly and creatively express your personality through your clothing. It’s so easy to DIY with iron-on patches. You can attach them to pretty much anything; such as jeans, t-shirts, bags, sneakers, and jackets. Here are some cool and creative ways on how to style patches that can make you look anything from stylish and elegant to bold and chic.

1. Style Patches “in a hippie fashion”

For an authentic hippy look, try this boyfriend jeans with multiple design and patches, which scream Hippie! You can apply patches on your jeans. You can use any designs you want like rainbows, flowers, a peace symbol, clouds, your favorite rock band, or anything that will look hippie ready. Then pair it up with a lace bralette and then you’re good to go.


patched denim jeans


Men can style patched denim jeans too. You can wear your patched jeans with a solid-colored t-shirt, jacket or casual shirt for a casual look.


patched denim for men


2. On Denim Jacket

Put a personal twist on your denim jacket with patches. You start by giving your old denim jacket a new look and choose patches the depict your personality and style. The trick is once you have all your patches laid out, start mapping them out on your jacket and once you’re happy with the placement, iron-on sew them on. My tip is to mix iron-on patches, iron-on appliques and sew on to get a variety and much more personalized look.




If you want to cover the whole back of your jacket with patches, you can do it to! With a patched covered jacket outfit, you don’t really need anything else to be a standout, except a cool sunglass, a care-free hairstyle and a smile. 


patched denim jacket for men


3. Shoes

Add some interest to your footwear by adding some patches. This will definitely give your shoes a unique personalized look that will stand out in the crowd. Check out this tutorial on how to give you Vans a patch makeover.


patched vans shoes


4. On a Leather Jacket

Be a rock star with your patched leather jacket. Doing a DIY patched jacket project is a sure winner because it allows you to mix and match a variety of designs to create an amazing jacket or coat. Just make sure you’ve attached your patches to where you want them to be. Once you put on your patches, your jacket can never go back to how it looked before. Pair your leather jacket with a lace top and black pants for a tough yet delicate outfit.


patched leather jacket


Leather Jacket with patches gives men an instant tough and rockstar look. If you want your leather jacket to be prominent from the rest embellishing it with patches is a great way. Most patches on leather jackets are sewn and doing a do-it-yourself in putting on a leather jacket is a great way to customize your jacket. Once you have made your patched leather jacket, you can pair it with ripped jeans and crew neck t-shirt and you’re ready to go!


patched leather jacket for men


5. On a Necklace

It’s so easy to make a fully customized cheap patch statement necklace. That you can wear anytime or as part of a costume for special events. Just pierce a hole in your colorful patches and put them in a gold chain or silver chain if you don’t like bright colors. You can use a rose patch like the one used this “Rose Patch Necklace” or any patch that will match your outfit. 


rose patch necklace


6. Go all out with Patches

Perhaps you already have a collection of patches and you’re looking for something to put them in. And yes, you can have a dress full of patches. Look at how The ArtGorgeous arranges all their patches all over a cute denim dress. Customizing your dress adds a new color and personality to your outfit.


DIY Patched Denim Dress


Patches on clothes can add a personal touch to your outfit that gives you the confidence you need. Adding patches to your outfit is fun, easy, and affordable. Let your imagination run wild, but keep the rest of the outfit simple to avoid clashes to your outfit. Enjoy styling patches on your clothes. Unleash your creativity and share it through our comments section below.

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