Meet Quiltcore, Gen Z’s Obsession With Patchwork Aesthetics

Bella Gerard
Meet Quiltcore, Gen Z’s Obsession With Patchwork Aesthetics
Photo: Courtesy of Isabel Marant Etoile; Free People; Vigoss; Adobe.

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If you thought you could wear last year’s neutral, monochrome ‘fits in 2021 and still look cool, think again. These days, TikTokers and Gen Z fashionistas control the top trends, and maximalism is king. That’s why it’s no surprise the patchwork fashion trend is having a revival—with colors and patterns galore, quilts are the perfect inspo to pin to the center of your Gen Z mood board.

Seriously, though. Everyone is obsessed with clashing prints and patterns in fashion these days, and quilts are the OG epitome of pattern mixing. While not all of today’s trend-inspired takes really resemble actual quilting, it’s important to know a little history before you put your own spin on the look. Patchwork quilting has been around for an estimated 5,000 years, used everywhere from Ancient Egypt to China. In the United States, old, worn clothes were recycled into patchwork quilts during the Great Depression.

There are all different kinds of patchwork quilts, but right now, the block patchwork style is the hottest aesthetic of the moment. Brands are dropping patchwork pieces left and right, some of which actually consist of different pieced-together fabrics, others that just evoke the look. There’s also been a rise in quilt-inspired outerwear, which isn’t always designed with patchwork in mind, but the recognizable thick quilted materials still evoke the same quiltcore energy.

Oh, and if the word “quiltcore” is strange to you, you can totally just refer to it as the patchwork trend. These days, any popular look has become its own -core, and quiltcore is in many ways an extention of grannycore and the grandma chic aesthetic.

That said, read on for 16 quilt and patchwork-inspired pieces that definitely don’t look like you snagged them from your granny’s closet.

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STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of UO.

UO Gracie Patchwork Button-Front Shirt

If you’re ready to really commit to the patchwork quilt look, this button-up shirt is the move. Paired with some high-waisted flare denim? Talk about a perfect Spring 2021 look!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Vigoss.

Faria Patchwork Denim Trucker Jacket

Denim and patchwork just go so well together, don’t they? This jacket is a wear-with-everything staple for spring and summer.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Le Superbe.

Fred’s Denim Pants

If you like the patchwork look but clashing colors and prints turn you off, these tonal patchwork jeans are the perfect way to ease into the trend.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Pilcro and the Letterpress.

Pilcro Abigail Quilted Shirt Jacket

This quilted shacket is a perfect piece to rock during transitional spring weather. Plus, the beautiful botanical pattern really pops in orange!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Frankies Bikinis.

Honey One Shoulder Cheeky One Piece Swimsuit

Patchwork vibes don’t have to be heavy, people! Exhibit A, this quilt-inspired suit by Frankies Bikinis. If you like the print and not the style, they have a bunch of other swimsuit silhouettes in the same pattern!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of BDG.

BDG Patchwork Denim Corset Top

OK, this denim corset and matching mini is beyond perfect. It may not serve quilt vibes, but the patchwork energy is there, so I’ll allow it!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Isabel Marant Etoile.

Haines Jacket

Tons of designers are leaning into quiltcore, and this Isabel Marant jacket is an absolute stunner. It’s a splurge piece for sure, but consider this a sign that you really do need it.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of English Factory.

Patchwork Babydoll Dress

I wasn’t sure if I loved this dress at first look, but the more I stare at it, the more ways I can imagine all the cool Gen Z girls I follow on TikTok styling it. Add to cart!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Bl-nk.

Asvenio Quilted Kimono

I’m a sucker for a good quilt coat, and this Bl-nk pick is one of my very favorites. I love the wide half sleeves for layering longer sleeves underneath!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Free People.

Steinbeck Patchwork High Waist Straight Leg Jeans

Out of all the patchwork denim on this list, I won’t lie: these are my very favorites. I love the daisy detailing at the ankle!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of UO.

UO Frayed Patchwork Bucket Hat

Urban Outfitters makes this patchwork bucket hat in multiple different colorways and it adds the perfect funky pop to any otherwise simple outfits. Plus, it’s on sale!

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of SKIDZ.

SKIDZ Patchwork Drawstring Pant

Fair warning: these SKIDZ pants only come in one size, but if you can make them work, they embody the patchwork quilt trend to a T. So good.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of UO.

UO Kristen Patchwork Overall

OK, I officially refuse to get dressed this summer unless these pink patchwork overalls are in my possession. Catch me wearing them with absolutely everything.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of LoveShackFancy.

Franco Cardigan in Morning Dew

LoveShackFancy knows a thing or two about pattern mixing, and this cute cardi is such a fun play on the patchwork quilt aesthetic with an extra-cozy twist.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of SHEIN.

Paisley Patchwork Print Pants

If you’re looking for a fast fashion fix, these bandana patchwork pants would look great with a solid crop top and chunky kicks.

 

STYLECASTER | Patchwork Fashion Trend

Courtesy of Cleobella.

Taylor Quilted Jacket

Let’s swoon over one last stunning spring coat, shall we? This blue quilted Cleobella number is so classy and timeless, you’ll be able to style it long after the current patchwork craze has come and gone.

 

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