Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

The Evolution of Custom Patches and Fashion

July 6, 2015

For decades custom patches have made quite the fashion statement. From the 1960’s until now , patches have been featured in magazines and have been worn by your favorite celebrities. Each era has worn their custom emblems differently but what has remained the same over the years , is the bold statement that any custom patch can make. Custom insignias have definitely evolved over time but their constant presence in fashion will forever continue. Let’s take a look at the evolution of patches and fashion.


Custom patches were mostly worn by hippies during this era. They wore bellbottom jeans with peace signs and smiley faces. They wore their patches not only as fashion statements but also as political statements. Their patches represented their beliefs and interests. The peace patch was very symbolic during this time because there was such opposition against the Vietnam war. Patches could be seen in the audience at Woodstock and  worn by musicans such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The 1960’s  introduce embroidered patches to the fashion world for the very first time.


In the 1970’s custom patches were being worn by a new kind of fashionista , the punks. The punk era was rebellious and exciting! A new sound of music emerged from the U.K. Bands like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols were becoming well known in the United States. With the growing popularity of punk music , punk fashion was introduced. Custom patches were no longer sewn onto bellbottom jeans but instead they were attached to leather vest and jackets. Custom emblems received an entirely different look , with a new message and meaning.


The 1980’s is when Pop music was at it’s best. This is the first time we were introduced to Madonna and Whitney Houston. And how can I talk about the 80’s without talking about the fashion? The fashion was so colorful and vibrant and this was the first time we saw so many custom patches on jean jackets. During the 80’s jean jackets and patches were like peanut butter and jelly , you couldn’t have one without the other.


In 2013 , custom patches and  jackets are making quite the comeback. They were on a little bit of a hiatus but they are back with vengeance!  Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus , Nicole Richie , Rihanna , Jessica Alba , Demi Lovato , Jennifer Aniston , Kayne West , Sienna Miller and Micheal Phelps have all been spotted wearing embroidered patches.

That’s the wonderful thing about fashion and custom patches , they will always be in style. Patches have remained relevant in fashion for decades. They have withstood different eras,  all while maintaining their purpose  , which is to bring awareness , confirm beliefs and make  fashion statements.


Chat with us