Seen all over Gucci’s 2016 pre-fall collection, this embroidered snake takes a simple pair of jeans to the next level. Though styled here with a pair of booties, the pants could be paired with sneakers for a street style look or worn cuffed with heels for a more elevated look.
This long coat in Alexander McQueen’s spring ready-to-wear collection shows how embroidery can transform denim. Something often thought of as rough and tumble can be feminine and elegant. The length of the coat takes it from being a typical jean jacket to something more, and the embroidery completes the look by adding some lady-like flair.
Fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni rocks this denim jacket covered in tons of cool patches. The patches come together to tell a story, like a set of tattoos, and her style is apparent through her collection and placement of the patches. This is a really easy DIY for anyone. All you need is a jean jacket (hit up some thrift stores to score a cheap and cool worn out jacket) and some patches. Whether the patches are from your girl scout days, from Etsy, or secondhand, you can get a street style look worthy of a fashion blogger.
This cool Gucci embroidered denim jacket (worn here by Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, and Dakota Johnson) perfectly embodies the embroidered denim trend: It adds an interesting twist on a jacket that can be worn with anything. Rihanna (center) wears the jacket with heels and a dress, which, while dressing up the jacket, allows her dress and heels to become more casual. She uses the jacket to mix glamour and street style, creating a perfect combination. Cara and Dakota pair the denim jacket with black pants and sneakers to create a much more causal look, with the jacket’s ornate detailing and colors being the main focal point of their outfits.
There are a few companies that actually make their living by making cool patches and customized denim. One of my favorites is Lot, Stock and Barrel, based out of Los Angeles. They have a warehouse in LA where they hand-make amazing pieces of art using denim as their canvas. They don’t work exclusively with denim (you may have seen their work on Kylie Jenner’s embroidered bandana), but it is the bulk of their business. They have started working with brands such as Levi’s and Madewell to bring customized denim to the masses. Check out some of their coolest pieces below.
Another company is Fort Lonesome based out of Austin, Texas. This brand recently teamed with Madewell to create a series of patches now sold online. The company also customizes denim, along with a broad range of other goods. They embroider items for the home in addition to clothing and other pieces. Their patches sell for about $40 on Madewell, so you, too, can have a piece of their awesome artwork.
Patches from Madewell, all $40.
Where to buy
There are a ton of ways to incorporate the embroidered denim look into your fashion repertoire. For starters, you can make your own patched denim jacket as described above. All you need is a jacket, some patches, an iron or sewing kit, and a little imagination. These customized denim jackets are a great way to show off your personal style and interests. If you are really into space, add a NASA patch to your jacket. If you are more girly, Etsy has dozens of sparkly patches. The combinations are limitless.
Another way to customize your embroidered denim is by adding a monogram. Brands such as Madewell and Revolve now offer services to monogram your denim with a number of different colors and placement options. Some of my favorites include the ankles and waistband of jeans and the collar and front pocket of jean jackets.
If you want some denim that is pre-embroidered, there are so many options. As you can see from some of the street style photos above, Gucci is a great high-fashion place to get this look. Between their jeans and jackets, there is no shortage of embroidered denim. If you want a more affordable look, there is an abundance of options. Revolve has TONS of embroidered denim pieces, from jeans to shirts to jackets. Zara is also a great place to look, as they have been ahead of the fashion curve in bringing embroidered denim to their customers. Forever 21 has some inexpensive pieces if you aren’t quite committed to the trend, but want to try it out. Check out some of my favorites below.
Clockwise from left: Nasty Gal Distressed Denim Shorts, $50; Nasty Gal Badge of Honor Distressed Jeans, $70; Zara Embroidered Cropped Jeans, $7.99; Forever 21 Patch Graphic Denim Shorts, $19.90; Revolve Heart Breaker Moto Club Jacket, $174; Revolve Embroidered Crop, $108; Forever 21 Embroidered Floral Denim Shorts, $19.90; The Blonde Salad Jungle Romance Denim Jacket, €510; Nasty Gal Drew Denim Mini Skirt, $60