When the tie-dye trend made its debut on the runways of luxury labels like Prada, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Dsquared, and Burberry, it quickly trickled down to street fashion. In 2019, according to global fashion search platform Lyst, tie-dye was one of the fastest growing fashion search keywords. While the common notion is that the trend originated in ‘70s hippie era, it was already around, a few centuries ago, in different ways. In India, it is in the form of a method called bandhani, which is used to decorate fabrics through dye, and with fingernails plucking the cloth into small bindings, in order to form a figurative design.
The trend has evolved over the years, in different ways and techniques, like twisting, crumpling, and taking bunches of portions of fabric, before tying them with string or rubber bands, and dipping the garment in dye. The name, tie-dye, came about in the ‘60s , when it gained widespread popularity and became a major part of the psychedelic ‘60s and ‘70s style.
Suggesting ways to wear tie-dye, blogger and celebrity stylist Sarang Patil believes the right attitude can help you rock a top-to-toe tie-dye outfit. “Remember Timothée Chalamet wearing a head to toe tie-dye look for one of the events? Picking up the right garment to sport the trend is the key to rock it. If you want to add some punk in your wardrobe, go for bottom wear or overcoats, because you can wear them multiple times. Having said that, if you are still doubtful about how to wear it, a T-shirt or shirt with muted or monochromatic colours would save you, if you don’t want to go all out,” he says.
Celebrity stylist Sheefa Gilani says that tie-dye has made a comeback as one of the biggest fashion trends of 2020. Men don’t need to get too crafty to get in on the trend, just start off with a classic dyed tee. “Find hoodies in pastel shades, and pair it with jeans or shorts. A simple switch from your trusty indigo denim to a more distressed look is definitely an easy way to wear the trend,” she suggests.
For formal wear and accessories, celebrity stylist Juhi Ali says the mix and match of dressing scenes in recent years has opened the doors to sartorial experimentation. “Keep the suiting classic, and only incorporate one tie-dye piece per outfit. One way to achieve this is with a tie-dye T-shirt worn in place of a shirt, tucked loosely into the suit trousers, and without a belt. You could add some chunky sneakers to finish the look. If you’re just curious about dipping your toes into the trend without going full technicolour, pick a tie dye accessory, like socks, crossbody bags, pocket squares, and beyond. Whatever it is, just make sure it isn’t fighting anything else for attention. Tie-dye is pretty bold, though, so as long as you’re not pairing it with a tartan kilt and Coogi jumper, you are good,” she says.
Coming to do’s and don’ts, Patil discourages mixing and matching two different tie-dye fabric prints/colour palettes, as your outfit might end up looking like the outcome of a laundry accident. “If you’re still a newbie at it, start by wearing it in the most rudimentary fashion. A tie-dye shirt or hoodie mixed with a pair of jeans, and your favourite sneakers or mules, is a perfect combination. Follow the primary wheel colour scheme,” Gilani says. One thing that Gilani always keeps in mind while dressing men is pairing the statement pieces with garments in the same range of colours as the tie-dye garment. “Colour block your look, experiment with florals,” she suggests. Ali recommends using more sophisticated colour combinations and elevated fabrics.