Elbow patches were invented out of utility, to obviously save jackets from wearing out too quickly – especially with military uniforms. What was once used for function is now used in fashion. I happen to love the preppy-but-cool look they evoke. Since they lend themselves to fall clothing, which is also a favorite of mine, I never seem to be able to pass a patched jacket up when I am at market buying for the stores or when stocking my own wardrobe – and yes, those are often two different pursuits. Whenever my husband needs new clothes, I even try to make him buy sweaters or blazers with elbow patches. No fan of embellishments or preppies, he rolls his eyes but I have snuck a few in there. This season we have some subtle options on sweaters from Rag & Bone and a Veronica Beard Blazer that is sure to help you find your inner professorial vibe.