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Ways to style iron-on patches

A close up of the yellow and black number 21 circular patch worn by the Miami Marlins players in honor of Roberto Clemente Day during the Miami Marlins versus Washington Nationals MLB game at Nationals Park Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Iron on patches are embellishments that are placed onto the surface of the material using iron. The heated adhesive melts onto the top layer of clothing, securing itself in place. Patches come in different shapes and forms. For instance, someone could choose to put a square patch with coordinates for their favorite baseball team on the back of one of their jackets, or they might go as far as adding an American flag pin to the shoulder of their tuxedo jacket. Iron-on patches can also be modified by placing washi tape along each side or even stitching around the entire perimeter to personalize them further.

Since iron-on patches can be used nearly anywhere imaginable, people need to understand how styling them should be approached. A few tips for styling iron on patches are as follows:

1. Size of Patch

Smaller-sized patches should typically be placed on the front chest region of articles of clothing, whereas larger patches typically go on the back or shoulders. A taller and skinnier shape will more likely stay hidden if it is used in the inside part of a pant leg (and requires less sewing if opted to go around the perimeter).

2. Style of Clothing

Depending on what type of clothing is being worn with the patch will impact how the patch should be styled. For instance, if someone was wearing more fitted/tight clothes, they could utilize more negative space by placing smaller-sized patches near each other. To go with this example, since their clothing style is already fitted and tight, they could even mess around with placing a few different patches together.

Additionally, if someone was wearing loose-fitting clothes, they could utilize more positive space by simply having one large patch somewhere on their body. This concept works best for those that wear baggy t-shirts or jackets.

3. Color of Patch

The color of the patch will determine where it should be placed and how many other colors should be paired alongside it. For instance, someone who wants to have a brighter outfit might go with a red-colored iron on the patch, which is typically seen as bolder than its lighter counterparts such as white, yellow, pink, etc. Similarly, a very vibrant outfit may call for 3+ colors, whereas a more toned-down outfit may only call for two colors.

4. Type of Clothing

The material of clothing should be taken into consideration when styling iron on patches. If someone is wearing a paired-down outfit that consists almost entirely out of denim, then they could go with any patch since it will most likely stand out just fine. However, if they are trying to wear more fitted and slimming pieces, then they might need to tone down their patch’s presence slightly since they risk over-complicating their outfit with too many details/patches/materials.

5. New or Vintage

Is the patch new or vintage? The type of clothing being worn will impact how individuals should style their new/vintage iron on patches. Latest iron on patches for clothes are typically seen as bolder, whereas vintage ones might be more understated because they are more subtle. However, the rules for styling them are generally the same since most people want to place them near other equally sized and colored patches.

6. Surrounding Patterns

Suppose someone has patterns surrounding where a patch will go. In that case, that can either make it easier to use bigger-sized patches because the focus is taken away from them, or it can make it harder to utilize any large pieces since there isn’t enough negative space (or worse: too much negative space).

7. Personal Style

Like anything else, the concept of styling an article of clothing with a patch is all about personal style and opinion based on the guidelines listed in this article.

8. Location of Clothing Article

Where you want the iron on patches to go can impact whether they need to consist of more than one color or not. Suppose someone only needs one iron on the patch. In that case, it may not necessarily look bad by itself if placed somewhere where there aren’t any other colors around it (like on some pants). Still, if they have multiple iron-on patches, they might need to make sure all of their colors are around each other so they don’t appear too mismatched.


Iron-on Patches can be stylishly worn in several ways depending on what type of look someone wants to go with. Everything from size to placement should be considered when owning a ripped-up pair of jeans or even when heading out for a night at the local bar where they want to add some more personality to their usual attire. The points outlined above were just the basics, but there are many other methods that one could consider when wanting to attach these types of decorations onto their clothing which is why it’s always.