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Elbow Patches

Elbow patches are often overlooked- after all, it’s hard to see your own elbows. Overlook them no more. Elbow patches can add a touch of individuality to an otherwise drab outfit.

The origins of the elbow patch

Can you pull it off?

Elbow patches come from a humble place. They started out as a way of repairing a jacket that’s starting to wear thin. Nowadays, you can buy clothes ready-made with elbow patches- but for that unique touch, try making your own elbow patch jacket once a favorite piece of yours is on its way out. They’re no longer just found on jackets and blazers either- sweaters and shirts can also be decorated with elbow patches.

Play with patterns

You can go with a block color patch on a block color jacket, but it’s far more exciting to experiment with different patterns and materials. You always want some sort of contrast between the patches and the rest of the garment. There’s the ubiquitous style of leather patches on a tweed jacket for that college professor look. Tartan is also a good choice for your patches. Timeless designs tend to look better than modern prints such as spots or stripes.
When going for a print, it’s best to have the print on the patches with a plain base garment. You can’t go wrong with statement patches on a plain gray sweater.

You’ve taken the experimentation a step too far when you have a different material on each elbow patch. It makes you look like you’re too poor to afford matching material for each side. The symmetry of having two identical elbow patches is part of the appeal. Speaking of which, if you go the route of making your own elbow patches, take extra care to make sure they are identical in shape.

Keep the rest of your outfit fresh

When wearing elbow patches, be mindful of their history. You don’t want to dress like a poor person; you want to appropriate a style which was invented by poor people. To dispel with the impoverished look, make sure the rest of your outfit is in good condition. Pairing a patched jacket or jumper with skinny jeans and slim-line shoes is a surefire wire to keep your look neat.

Patterned elbow patches give you more colors to work with for the rest of your outfit. For example, if you were wearing a navy sweater with red tartan elbow patches, you could don a pair of red canvas shoes.

Elbow patches sit at your elbows

It should go without saying that elbow patches are meant to cover your elbows. They look silly if they are halfway down your forearm. Fit of a garment is always important, and it’s even more noticeable when it comes to elbow patches. The center of the patch is meant to sit atop the middle of your elbow; there isn’t much room to move. For this reason, elbow patches only suit Mr. Average- if you’re lanky, you would be very lucky to find a sweater with the patches in the right spot.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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