A patch on a man's jacket used to be a sign of a repair job. Today it means you’ve been paying attention to the catwalks.

One of the overarching trends in menswear this season is the use of panels and patchwork on anything from biker jackets to T-shirts. And depending on how it is used, it can produce very different results.

All patched up - Dries Van Noten
Navy blue with white piping and red and white striped sleeves for an eccentric collegiate feel at Dries Van Noten

Raf Simons is a designer who is known for his modernist approach to structure and silhouette. For his own label (he also designs for Jil Sander), Simons added skinny panels of red wool into tailored black jackets, producing a De Stijl type graphic. He also created curious hybrids where wool overcoats featured large built in sections nylon and Velcro, giving an idea of where the evolution of the overcoat might take us. Simons’s man of the future is the heir to the Mod.

All patched up - Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten has used a patchwork approach this autumn with sleeves made from different coloured fabrics.

At Jil Sander, suiting was patched with panels of the same fabric, but were less geometric. The curved edge panels seemed to mould around the body; in gunmetal grey it has the look and feel of armour.

All patched up - Raf Simons
Raf Simons added panels of red for to the body and sleeves of his tailoring.

In the hands of designers with a more artisanal approach to clothing, such as Dries Van Noten, the use of a patchwork conjures up a more eccentric feeling. You’re going to need to be a bit more daring to tackle this one, where grey hoodies feature houndstooth arms, navy jackets sprouted white with red stripe arms and black trench coats are given camel-coloured sleeves.

Issey Miyake made the look feel a bit more street with mandarin collared shirts made from three different sizes of yellow and black gingham.

There are early signs of this on the high street, too. Asos’s own collection for men this season includes a khaki crew neck sweat pot with an interesting quilted panel on the elbows and one shoulder. Topman has produced a cotton shirt with chocolate brown corduroy on the shoulders which veers on the side of cowboy. But there’s bound to be more. It’s certainly a detail to keep an eye out for over the next couple of months.

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