For many years, I wanted to find a big jacket that would follow me on all my adventures, through college, my travels, probably several apartments and homes. It took about three years, but in December of 2016 while in Asheville, NC, I found it.
This bulky vintage Levi's jacket was adopted from a Twice Round thrift store in Asheville and cost about $27 if I remember correctly. It's large enough to make me look a bit boxy, but it's marked as a size medium. It has three interior pockets and four on the outside. The patches were collected while oversees or in a new city, although I will admit that some were bought on Amazon, as I hadn't thought of the jacket idea until years after being in that country. The ones I did buy while traveling were surprisingly easy to find though! If you're in search of patches while traveling, touristy souvenir shops are probably your best bet.
I planned out the layout I wanted and spent a few hours rearranging to figure out how I would get the best use out of the space. I took my iron, placed a towel between the iron and patch and another between the jacket and my ironing board, and attached them. It was a fairly easy process, until the very last patch. The adhesive on the back of my Spain patch wasn't sticking to the fabric, so in my attempt to make sure it was hot enough, I accidentally left the iron on too long. The patch melted beyond repair.
The other patches were secure for a couple weeks, but did start to peel up at the corners. I later asked a friend to do me the huge favor of sewing them into place, so they won't be falling off any time soon. I highly reccommend doing this to prevent them from getting snagged or ripped off.
So far I've got Scotland, France, Mexico, Canada, Britain, Italy, Greece, New York City, Colombia, New Orleans, and a few stars on the collar. I'll be rebuying my Spain patch soon, in addition to a Puerto Rican flag. Even though they take up a quite a bit of space, I'm definitely not as well traveled as I'd like to be. Since starting this jacket I've started saving up more and more for another trip overseas.
The front of the jacket changes every few weeks, and sometimes more often depending on the day. My button collection has grown exponentially in the past year, and I needed somewhere to put them, and what better place than my favorite jacket. So far my collection includes plenty of art and music related pins, Swing Knights and other dance events, and a handful of buttons from promoting with Fueled by Ramen. Of course I can't forget all the buttons from my favorite record stores like Mojo in Tampa, where I started collecting vinyl, Retrofit in Tallahassee, and Smartpunk in Orlando.