Tweed jackets were the first clothing items to have the elbow patch; it served a functional purpose when it was introduced. This was to reduce the amount of dirt, wear and tear the jacket endured while the hunter placed his elbow on a surface to make steady his arm and take aim.
Elbow patches have been creeping back into retail shops for the past 5 years. They are now undoubtedly an affectation rather than practical application. I personally like the way they add more detail to the shirt or jacket, giving it a unique identity. It’s a way to add a touch of fun to what sometimes can be a rather dull clothing. You can find them included on shirts, jackets, sweaters, sleeved T-shirts and polo shirts.
In some cases, the elbow patch is an option if you seek to repair worn-out jacket arms to breathe new life into the piece of clothing – and turning it into a style statement. Men wanting to get the look without spending a lot need to consider either a DIY approach or you can simply take it to your trusted tailor to get it done.
The down side is that it’ll make the jacket or shirt easily remembered (not exactly a bad thing) whenever you wear it. On the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to play with the right blend of colours (burgundy patch and navy shirt, brown patch and blue shirt, grey patch and blue or pink shirt and the like) adding flair to the piece of clothing.
What do you think about elbow patches? Your opinions are welcome – feel free to include a photograph of you sporting one.