One look at the fall 2016 collections and it was clear that denim went beyond your standard baby blues. While you may not be able to get your hands on those covetable jeans, like Virgil Abloh's Off-White collaboration with Levi’s, for a few more months you can make your denim all your own. The quickest and easiest way? Patches, a trend that has been seen on the runway (Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, to name just a couple) and has been adopted by many a street style star, including The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni. Here we show you how to get the look in a flash.
Step 1: Decide on your strategy.
"There's no right or wrong placement, as long as you’re doing something that feels true to you," says Scott Morrison, founder and creative director of 3x1 denim, who recently launched its own patch program. "This is really where you can express your creativity and make your denim really personal. I love the idea of patches either being very overt or very subtle, like a flamingo peeking out of a pocket. Morrison suggests taking a photo and seeing what patches look best when compared side by side. Additionally, remember where your patches will lay will look different on the body than when the jeans are flat on a bed.
Step 2: Preheat the area.
"We recommend preheating the area for 30 seconds, then place the patch exactly where you want it," says Morrison. "When it's exactly where you want it, lay a thin piece of fabric over the top—we like to use a T-shirt. This is so you don't accidentally burn the patch in case of overheating." Make sure you don't use steam, but rather dry, hot heat, and that you are ironing on a hard surface, like an ironing board, not a couch.
Step 3: Iron as an art.
Morrison advises ironing directly over the patch-and-T-shirt combo for about 90 seconds, moving continuously to get the entire patch evenly heated. Then, "turn the garment inside out and do the same thing—minus the tee—on the reverse side of the jeans where the patch was initially applied," he says. "Do that for another 45 to 60 seconds. When you are done, let it cool for five minutes." Check all the edges to make sure they are sealed to the garment. "If they are loose, lay the fabric back over the top of the jeans and iron for another minute," Morrison says.
Step 4: Show off your work.
Put on your jeans and hit the streets. And when people ask you where you got your totally special work of art, answer nonchalantly, “Oh this? I did it myself."