Yes, believe it or not, elbow pads are back and they might be here to stay. Elbow pads are what your grandfather had on his old sweaters, and his leather jackets. Although elbow pads always had purpose, they never had fashion. But new winter sweaters, canvas jackets, and linen pullovers are here to change that. Elbow pads were originally used to protect your elbows from overuse and excess wear. They reinforced the fabric underneath, and protected an area where holes usually arose.
So why the rebirth of these dreaded eyesores? Designers are using them for utilitarian purposes, but they’re also playing with the cut, shape, and texture of the pad used on your little elbow. Elbow pads of yore, often matched the color and texture of the piece of clothing it was sewn to. Now, elbow pads are showing up with contrasting colors, detailed stitching, unique patterns, and different fabrics. This is where the fashion part of the elbow pad comes in. Like a belt, like a shoe, and like those awesome striped socks, you can customize and make the elbow pad unique to you. Maybe your elbow pad on your olive canvas jacket has tan corduroy pads. Or perhaps your thick pebble grained leather jacket has suede elbow pads. The possibilities are endless, and designers are trying to communicate this concept. I recently walked into Unionmade, in San Francisco, and saw elbow pad galore. When I think of elbow pads, the first thing that comes to my mind are dreaded patches my grandmother would sew onto my jeans because of the massive holes that existed. But elbow pads are oh so different! They’re customizable and add some pizzazz to your jacket.
Here’s what I recommend this winter; buy a pullover sweater that is hoodless, has a horizontal pattern, and has detailed elbow pads. Wear it, and wear it proud! Sure, elbow pads are either loved, or dreaded. And yes, elbow pads are unisex. So ladies, if you find a chic men’s sweater with elbow pads, with a size that fits for you, buy it. There’s a jacket or sweater with elbow pads out there for everyone. I definitely recommend going out and finding one you like. If you don’t like the elbow pad trend right now, practice something different! Elbow pads have finally been resurrected, and they’re going to be here for a while. It’s quite easy to spot the trending pads on the streets of San Francisco by both men and women.
Personally, they have grown on me tremendously. I went from hating the idea, to respecting all the variations it offers! You never know, you too could become well acquainted with the idea, and purchase an elbow padded sweater of your own! Become comfortable with the idea that elbow pads are back, and designers have readily accepted and are playing with the idea. Now look back and think of your grandfather, and think of that vintage sweater in a different way. How fashionable is he now?