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Quarantine Hobbies and Upcycling Are Boosting the Profile of Patchwork Denim

A culmination of factors—from fashion embracing upcycling techniques and the mending and crafting movement born during quarantine, to consumers overall shift to classic and nostalgic autumnal styling as the end of August nears—is sparking a newfound interest in patchwork denim.

The latest Data Drop by global fashion search platform Lyst shows that searches for patchwork denim items have increased 11 percent month-by-month, with denim jackets being the most popular product category.

Furthermore, searches for straight-leg patchwork jeans are up 21 percent while searches for wide-leg patchwork jeans are up 11 percent—indicating that the trend has legs with consumers that favor traditional and directional fashion.

Patchwork jeans are a part of collections. Lucky Brand offers straight stretch jeans for men adorned with swatches of multi-color denim fabrics. Carleen adds a crafter look and feel to its Made in USA jeans featuring quilted patchwork. Rag & Bone put a branded twist on the concept with a pair of jeans embellished with excess labels from its own archive.

The handcrafted aesthetic is trickling into home. This week, Eileen Fisher and West Elm debuted a capsule collection of pillow covers and a chair upholstered with felted denim fabric made from a patchwork of upcycled denim scraps.

Interest in coordinating sets, like the unisex styles recently released by Lee x Alife, continue to grow as well. The most-wanted brands for this denim style, Lyst stated, include sets by Amiri, Polo Ralph Lauren and Junya Watanabe.

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Taking a reprieve from at-home fashion, consumers are also searching for ready-to-wear tops and pop star-inspired style.

With the relevance of school and work dress codes in question, consumers are warming up to styles that reveal more skin. This month, searches including the term “tie” increased 19 percent while page views for tie-front tops went up 13 percent month-on-month, Lyst reported.

Specifically, Instagram-friendly women’s brands like Kenzo, Toteme, Faithfull the brand and Cult Gaia are stirring up demand for the tops, with styles that bridge vacation fashion with Cottagecore by combining ties, bows and puffed sleeves.

As fall approaches, however, Lyst’s data shows that searches for knitted polo shirts are climbing. Searches for the comfortable yet polished top are up 28 percent since the beginning of August, and consumers are thinking beyond basic black and white options, searching for red, green, pink, yellow and grey as well.

And thanks to the global music sensation BTS, the lifespan of the Spring/Summer 2020 men’s pastel trend may be extended into fall.
“Dynamite” by BTS Youtube

And thanks to the global music sensation BTS, the lifespan of the Spring/Summer 2020 men’s pastel trend may be extended into fall. Following the release of BTS’ music video “Dynamite,” Lyst reported that searches for keywords such as “muted pastel” and “pastel” have increased collectively 53 percent week-on-week.

Meanwhile, searches for the ’90s-style Kangol hats worn by the group in the video have spiked 128 percent, as well as demand for their retro Gucci pieces, up 75 percent since last week.