The Hunt for Denim Applique

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In the vain of my blog title, “Confessions of a Thrifter,” I must confess: I am not the biggest fan of denim, with exceptions for Chambray button-ups, pants, and shorts/mini skirts (and maybe crop vests too).

Denim often seems forced. When utilized as the main attraction for things like purses, shoes, and even couches, I am IRKED to the core. Over time, it becomes faded in all the used parts, yet remains awkwardly unfazed on the parts less traveled.

Denim fabric used for clothing isn’t necessarily the exception. Simply put, too much of denim in one place often looks excessive, unflattering, and flat, not to mention–BORING! (Thank goodness for washes!)

Confession #2: applique, in my opinion, can be equally as bad. There is a fine line between kitsch and tack. It’s pretty blurry in this area. Don’t get me wrong. Applique work can be a perfect opportunity to inject texture and interest.  One the other hand, you say denim applique or patchwork, and I think, Ed Hardy (gag), country not-chic, and all around cheese, sadly, because that is what most of it is.

Over the past few months, I’ve spotted a few D.I.Y. and store-bought (?) appliqued denim that has soften my heart on the subject. (Imagine that!) So I went exploring for some that captured my eye.

Here’s what I found:

Stitched Skinnies

OK- maybe this isn’t quite appliqued denim, but it’s a step in the right direction! I love the stitching detail on this pant. The structure, texture, along with the throw-back patches, captures my attention. (Are those real patches or faux? I can’t tell with this photo. Which ever they are, I like ’em!)

lubi chleb ze smalcem from collective fashion consciousness. by Karolina J

Chinese Style Denim Long skirt

Another peeve, LONG denim skirts. Too much denim IS a bad thing. But not so here. This denim skirt by Ransy (on Etsy) has so much movement from the pleats. And the patchwork at the bottom provides enough interest to break up the monotony of all-over denim. Like, for sure.

Chinese Style Denim Long skirt

Patriot Pants

This is more like it! I must admit, when I saw a link to Nickie Noel’s blog post for her “Patriot Pants“, I was expecting run-of-the-mill denim applique dislike. But when I took a peep, I was certainly inspired by the potential. These are cool. I love the western feel and mild studded detail!  …too bad, I am not that Patriotic.

Nickie Noel's D.I.Y. Patriot Denim

1980’s Denim Dress

Vintage 80’s smocked dress with Birds of Paradise applique – my biases are beginning to fade. I want to see this on!


Roberto Cavalli

This is from Roberto Cavalli’s 2011 Resort line (correct me if I’m wrong). There is so much that I love about this, but mostly, it’s the texture, Texture, TEXTURE! Oh and color variations.


Though appliqued denim (done right) is far and few between, it’s out there, adding an ultra unique twist to an otherwise boring fabric. But trying to find it was tough, especially if you’re not 5! The hunt will continue…

3 thoughts on “The Hunt for Denim Applique

  1. Pingback: Say, Say Oh Playmate… « Confessions of a Thrifter

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