THE HISTORY OF PATCHES IN THE PAST DECADES
For centuries, patches have had a practical purpose, like covering up holes in threadbare clothing and as labelling (i.e. uniforms). However, for the past several decades, they’ve become more of a symbol to label yourself as part of a subgroup or –culture.
Looking back to the sixties and seventies there was a massive negative response to the war in Vietnam, and especially younger people were protesting against the war, against the establishment and outdated principles. The hippie culture was not only about ideology, it was a lifestyle and clothes were a way of expressing yourself. Many hippies wore their statements on their garments: peace signs, flowers and symbols of love became a political fashion statement. Even though the children of the roaring sixties and hippie culture focused more on going against the status quo and the mainstream, their movement affected trends worldwide.
In the late seventies and early eighties the punk movement came alive. Street-punks wore patches of their favourite bands and symbols on the shoulders and back of their worn-in leather jackets and ripped denim vests. These outfits, or “uniforms”, symbolized their identity, personality and even solidarity – it marked them as part of a group of likeminded.