Jackets are a great way to keep warm without sacrificing style. Many people add jacket patches to add even more style to a plain jacket. Patches are popular decorative items for bikers, sports players and fans, and the punk subculture, among others. Patches are a way for the wearer to add personalization to a generic item. Many people also use patches to share what they stand for, or are passionate about.
Bikers are one of the largest groups who wear jacket patches. Bikers often wear multiple patches on a jacket or vest. These patches have significant meaning to the biker. A biker patch may have a slogan or quote, a symbol of freedom, a club logo or name, or a military patch.
Many military veterans are bikers and they wear patches to convey their patriotism and loyalty to their country. If a biker is part of a club, they customarily have to earn the right to wear the club patches. The patches are a sign of membership and dedication to the club that the biker can proudly display to everyone he rides past.
Jacket patches are one of the most common sights within the punk subculture. The practice of putting patches on a jacket or vest has been common since the subculture began in the 1970s. The patches are usually a band or logo that the wearer is a fan of. Political statements are also popular, as many punks consider themselves anti-government or anarchist. Many people in the subculture enjoy designing their own jackets as a rite of passage of sorts.
Flight jackets have stayed in style since pilots in World War II wore them on missions. The planes of the era were uninsulated and offered no protection from the cold. The inside of the plane would reach subzero temperatures at normal flight altitude. Flight crews needed a way to keep warm, so they started wearing heavy leather flight jackets to protect themselves from the elements. The crew often wore jacket patches to show which plane or squad they belonged to, because the jacket covered their normal uniform.
The popularity of flight jackets surged with the release of the movie Top Gun. The two main characters wore flight jackets and sunglasses throughout the movie. Many people wanted to recreate the look, and retailers across the world sold replica flight jackets with the Top Gun patches included. Top Gun was just one example of a movie featuring characters wearing a flight jacket. Hollywood released many other movies with characters who wore flight jackets, and these all helped to solidify the flight jacket as an essential part of American culture.
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