I have been wearing tie dye for close to 30 years. I was a teen in the 90's, and went through all the different styles--big hair, tight jeans and body suits; Hammer Pants (I never wore a pair of those); the grungey look with Doc Marten boots and my dad's plaid flannel shirts, and eventually settled on the bright colors of tie dye as a way to express my personality and style.
I even made tie dyes for myself and friends using RIT (btw, RIT is a STAIN, not a DYE, and it will STAIN you as well). Those didn't come out so hot, and lost the color pretty fast. Bummer.
While I personally love the bright vibrant colors of a rainbow tie dye, and am proud to let my hippie freak flag fly, I recognize that others may not really love that look, and may not be able to wear something like that in their work lives. However, I feel that EVERYONE can wear something tie dyed, its just a matter of finding the right piece, and pairing it with the correct outfit and accessories. My sister, who worked at the New York State DEC was able to wear a subdued fitted black and blue tie dyed shirt I made her to work, pairing it with a smart blazer and a pair of slacks. You can also wear tie dyed accessories, such as socks, scarves, headbands, ties, pocket squares...you name it, we can dye it and you can wear it!
So without further delay, here are the Tie Dye Lady's top five reasons to incorporate tie dyes into your wardrobe.
- Tie dye is versatile. You can wear it dressed up or dressed down, depending on the piece and the occasion. Tie dyes comes in varying materials, and different techniques yield different looks. Some can be subdued and sophisticated. Not every item is a bright rainbow that is IN YOUR FACE.
Handmade tie dyed clothing is unique and one-of-a-kind. No two pieces will ever be exactly the same, making them a special addition to any wardrobe. This is one of my favorite things about tie dye. Even if I tried, I cannot replicate an item exactly. You are getting a piece of art that you can wear!
I hear it all the time at shows..."tie dye...its really making a comeback". If I had a dollar for every time I hear that...I'd be rich, RICH I tell you. (I hear it thousands of times a year, or so it feels.) All kidding aside, tie dye has really gained popularity in recent years and is no longer just associated with the 60s and 70s, and hippies at Grateful Dead shows. Incorporating handmade tie dyed clothing into your wardrobe can add a trendy, modern touch to your outfits.
Tie dyed clothing is often made with natural, high-quality materials such as cotton or silk, making them comfortable and breathable to wear. Lets also not discount that many tie dyers, myself included, LOVE upcycling items that we find in thrift stores. I love the thrill of finding a beautiful piece on fb marketplace, or at the thrift store and giving it new life.
And finally, my favorite, and a reason close to my heart-handmade tie dyed clothing supports small businesses and artisans. By purchasing handmade tie dyed pieces, you are supporting the hard work and talent of individual creators. There are SO many of us tie dyers, each with a unique look and style and vibe to our creations, you can find someone who fits your aesthetic just by poking around online. Buying from a small business, especially a local artist, keeps much more of your dollar in your local area
So there you have it. All super good reasons to incorporate tie dye into your wardrobe. What is one reason that you will start wearing tie dyes, or is it still a hard pass for you? Why?
ps...a bonus reason for wearing tie dye: It hides when you get stains on your clothing!!! (Perfect for small kids and people who are just a bit messy, like me.)
Tie dye isn't just for people who drive this funky car!