Tie-dye is officially trending. And while these funky, fluorescent fabrics haven’t always been the height of fashion, they’re sure to feature in your wardrobe soon.
The runway has already embraced the nostalgia, albeit with couture fabrics and structured silhouettes. Countless celebrities — Joe Jonas, Quavo, Aaron Paul, Travis Scott, J Cole, Jonah Hill, and Justin Bieber, to name a few — have also bought into tie-dye in a big way. And now, this multi-coloured trend has most definitely reentered mainstream men’s fashion.
Update any outfit with a tie-dye tee or sweat, and contrast with your fave jeans or cargos for the perfect summer look. Our tie-dyes are updated with graffiti prints and branding. From subtle tie-dye to statement tie-dye, we’ve got you covered.Penelope Armstrong (boohooMAN Senior Menswear Designer)
- What is tie-dye?
- When to wear tie-dye?
- How to wear the tie-dye trend for guys?
- Tie-dye key pieces for men
- Take-home message
What is Tie-Dye?
The vibrant, acid-tripping designs we associate with the hippie counterculture of the 60s and 70s actually originated in prehistoric times, when resist-dyeing techniques were used in everything from Japanese silk to Egyptian mummy wrappings.
The term ‘tie-dye’ didn’t enter the public lexicon until the 60s, however, when it became the uniform of the hippie counter movement. Tie-dye became a famous fashion symbol of individuality throughout the 60s and 70s, and as such is rooted in both politics and pop culture.
Thankfully, however, the psychedelic Woodstock-inspired hippie costume of the past has been given a modern makeover for 2020. Today’s tie-dye is more muted, polished, and yes, even stylish. Here are our top tips to pull off this season’s marbled must-have.
When to Wear Tie-Dye?
From Woodstock to Glastonbury, tie-dye has been a fashion favourite on the festival scene for decades, combining good vibes with strong, eye-catching colours.
For a modern take on this 70s staple, mix and match your tie-dye trainers, bucket hat, or denim shirt with modern pieces from your streetwear wardrobe such as baggy joggers or mesh-cut tees.
A festival or concert is also the perfect place to rock head-to-toe tie-dye, so embrace your individuality and turn some heads with a fun two-piece in swirling, psychedelic hues.
Tie-dye is inherently casual and the right piece will lift your everyday look while keeping you effortlessly on-trend.
Swap your regular plain white tee for a two-colour tie-dye design and add some fashionable hues to your casualwear wardrobe, or choose a tie-dyed wool jumper or puffer jacket to instantly update your favourite pair of jeans.
Alternatively, sport a classic button-down shirt with black or blue tie-dye on your next dinner date and crank your casual look up a notch — just remember to pair with plain jeans or chinos to keep things balanced.
How to Wear the Tie-Dye Trend for Guys?
- Pair it with streetwear and athleisure pieces
- Try patterns in neutrals or black for an easier outfit
- Keep the rest of your outfit stripped-back
- Wear it as an accessory
- Try tie-dye denim
1. Pair it with streetwear and athleisure pieces
Teaming your hippy tie-dye statement piece with those that favour a sporty or street aesthetic is a great way to keep the balance in your outfit while still having some fun.
Layer bright tie-dye tees with a sporty windbreaker or track jacket for example, or why not pair with track bottoms or fresh white trainers for funky athleisure style? Alternatively, a pair of baggy joggers tie-dyed with inky blue or navy tones will effortlessly take your tie-dye look from hippy to urban in one versatile go.
2. Try patterns in neutrals or black for an easier outfit
There’s no longer any need to wear the whole spectrum of the rainbow in one piece of clothing. Tie-dye’s kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours has been muted down for its 2020 makeover, making it more versatile and wearable than ever before.
Monochromatic tie-dye tees are ideal for edging your way into the trend, and go with almost anything. Layer a greyed-out tie-dye tee over distressed jeans and throw a lightweight jacket on top for effortless street style. Or opt for a tee in just two tie-dyed colours (indigo and white, for example) for an on-trend statement piece that won’t overwhelm the rest of your wardrobe.
3. Keep the rest of your outfit stripped-back
A little colour goes a long way and there’s no getting around it — tie-dye can be loud. Even today’s more muted styles will catch the eye.
That’s why it’s best to balance your rainbow-bright tie-dyes with minimalist pieces such as simple white trainers, plain chinos, a tonal jacket, or a classic white tee. Pair your tie-dye tee with plain washed jeans, black joggers, or khaki chinos. Or if you’re going bright and bold with your bottoms, keep it simple on top with a neutral-toned tee or a white shirt.
4. Wear it as an accessory
If you’re just dipping your toes into the tie-dye trend, we recommend starting off small with a few accessories. A tie-dye shirt or jacket might be a bit much for some guys, but a funky pair of socks is a foolproof way to introduce a little tie-dye into your wardrobe.
Go for no-shows that will be hidden under your shoes, or pull up some colourful crew socks and let your ankles do the talking. Feeling a little braver? Try scarves or a pair of tie-dye trainers, slip-ons, or sneakers for a cool, skate-park vibe. And for summer, a colourful pair of slides in a hazy, tie-dye pattern is sure to stand out at the beach.
5. Try tie-dye denim
A little tie-dye is the perfect way to upgrade your denim this season. Start subtle by choosing a pair of faded or light-hued jeans with colourful dip-dyed cuffs, or go all in with tie-dye acid wash skinny black jeans for a modern take on 80s grunge.
Add some vintage flair to your casual wear wardrobe with a white denim jacket in pastel blue tie-dye or a light blue denim shirt dyed with darker hues. Tie-dye can give a pair of timeless denim shorts an instant update too, offering a fun alternative to classic washes.
Tie-Dye Key Pieces for Men
1. Tie-dye hoodie
Who said tie-dye is just for tees? A tie-dye hoodie is a great way of adding a burst of colour to an otherwise plain outfit. Pair with muted shades on the bottom to tone down the hoodie’s loudness. Think faded jeans, black chinos, or neutral shorts. A tie-dye hoodie works especially well under a neutral blazer — the structured polish of the jacket offsets the slouchy print while the tie-dye adds interest to an otherwise plain blazer, making this combo perfect for work or play.
What to wear with a men’s tie-dye hoodie?
- A denim jacket
- Light blue skinny jeans
- White denim shorts
- Grey marl joggers
- Chunky trainers
2. Tie-dye t-shirt
The tie-dye t-shirt has always been the most popular piece in this eye-catching trend. Today’s technicoloured tees are oversized, boxy, and best worn with minimalist vintage-inspired pieces such as skinny jeans or canvas sneakers. For added nostalgia and even more spunk, choose a 90s-inspired graphic t-shirt with a tie-dye background.
What to wear with a men’s tie-dye t-shirt?
- A denim jacket
- Ripped denim shorts
- Grey jogger shorts
- White hi-top trainers
- A bucket hat
3. Tie-dye denim jacket
A distressed, tie-dye denim jacket is the perfect combo of hippie and punk. Opt for a ripped, oversized design for an effortless, edgy aesthetic and complete the look with plain black jeans or chinos. Vintage-fit denim jackets can afford to be a little bolder — think swirling pastel hues teamed with a colour block hoodie underneath and plain joggers or chinos.
What to wear with a men’s tie-dye denim jacket?
- A plain white t-shirt
- A plain white hoodie
- White denim shorts
- Chino shorts
- Chunky trainers
Tie-dye will never be subtle, but the subdued tones and modern silhouettes of today’s prints have made it a viable option for even the most cautious of wardrobes.
Whether you opt for funky acid-dyed jeans, pull on a quirky pair of psychedelic socks, or go all-in with a swirling two-tone two-piece, there are now plenty of ways to incorporate this fun, colourful, and unique trend into your wardrobe.