Why is patched clothing considered on average inappropriate? Why can’t I wear it to my government job on casual Fridays? Is it because being strapped for cash in our society is a sin against capitalism?

Elbow patches have long been a fashionable, and prolonging, addition to sweaters and cardigans, yet they appear there because of wear or expected wear. Is there a way for crotch patches to be just as acceptable, perhaps even fashionable?

Among certain groups patches (printed with band names, symbols, sayings, etc.) are an applauded form of declaring your beliefs or likes. Why can’t my patches say, “I ride a bike and wear jeans while doing it!”? My patches show that I am sensible, frugal and clever.

Is my love of my bike a curse? Is my hate of wear-resistant commuter bike clothing irrational? Are my patches not aesthetically pleasing? Why do I have so many pairs of house-pants? Who is Amy?

Discuss - One Comment

  1. Jared Warren says:

    I’ve read that in the West only the middle and lower class care about things looking new and shiny. The upper class aesthetic is closer to wabi sabi. So the reason you can’t wear patched clothes to work is because you work with middle class people.

    That being said, I’ve never found my jackets and sweaters to wear out on the elbows first. I think that’s either because I buy lower-quality fabrics that fail under different conditions, or because I spend 0 time sitting at a wood writing desk. My shirt collars and cuffs don’t wear out first either, I believe because I remove collar rings with peroxide bleach instead of scrubbing.

    Some manufacturers make jeans designed for cycling with reinforced crotches:
    Another option that might pass is leather patches:

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