Kempt

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Kempt Digs: The Hill-side’s New Patches

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The Hill-side has been trading in rare Japanese textiles for years, with their idiosyncratic ties loved the blogger-world over, and now they’ve gotten the brilliant idea of turning some of the scraps into iron-on patches.

Technically, you can use them to spruce up any clothing looking a little worse for wear, but we like the idea of an elbow patch—it’s no secret that we’re fond of a good set of elbow patches, but usually they’re your typical leathery or tweedy patch meant to blend in more than stand out. Since all of the packs come with three different patterns, you’ll either have to mismatch your elbows, fun-shirt-style, or buy two of the same set.

Get a closer look at our favorites, after the jump...»

An Ode to Elbow Patches

SONY DSC We’re in favor of flourishes—especially functional ones.

And there may be no better example than elbow patches. They’re handsome. They’re rugged. They’re stately. They’re one of our favorite autumnal affectations and the source of some of the best stuff in our closet—whether original or sewn on to give an old blazer new life. So we thought we’d take a moment to extol their ruggedly professorial charms by highlighting a few of the finest examples we’ve seen.

A photographic ode to elbow patches...»

A Strong Patch

We’re fans of elbow patches in all forms. The strategically placed leather patch gives anything from blazers to cotton sweaters an extra bit of scholarly ruggedness—take these long-sleeve polos from French label LOFT design by... (that the gents of the quarterly across the pond hipped us to) for instance. The sweatshirt-leaning thickness and patches of leather put them right in fall-ready territory and could even suffice as outerwear on a day that wouldn’t require another weatherproof layer. (That day is coming sooner than we know it.)

Our Favorite Ribbed Cardigan

The ribbed cardigan is having a bit of a moment this winter, but thanks to a timely sale at Coggles, we may have found our favorite one.

It comes from East London’s D.S. Dundee, which means it’s a bit tweedier than your average sweater. See, for example, those elbow patches and downright professorial leather buttons. But mostly, it’s got the same flexible, lightweight rib knitting that’s seeing so many bloggers through the winter.

And thanks to a little sale magic, they bring the whole thing in under $250. Not too shabby.

The Alpine Sweater

The temperature dropped almost 20 degrees in New York last night (presumably as a comment on Obama’s jobs plan), and we immediately started surveying our woolen options. The good news: as of this morning, we’ve got a new one.

The brand’s called Cottonopolis (courtesy of Secret Forts), and it should occupy the same marled spot in your closet as J.Press’s shaggy dog sweater. The price point’s identical. Cottonopolis comes out of Italy instead of Scotland (hardly a step down) and throws in some handsome elbow patches to sweeten the deal—but your choice probably comes down to whether you own a copy of Take Ivy.

If not, you may want to look into the alpine version.

On the Patch

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Cardigans have always walked the line between being a casual outer layer and downright outerwear, especially as weaves get looser and wools get chunkier.

Pendleton’s latest cardigan (by way of Opening Ceremony) complicates things by bringing in one of our favorite professorial affectations, the elbow patch. That little tough of ruggedness puts it in the company of any number of fall jackets—at least, the non-weatherproof ones—and removes a sizable chunk of twee from an otherwise twee-packed item.

Well played, gentlemen. And as a late October boutique arrival, extremely well timed.