It’s Instagram Official: Tie-Dye Is Fashion’s First Lockdown Trend

The colour we all need in these quarantine times.

tie-dye trend

by Natalie Hammond |
Published on

You've tried knitting, napping and snacking, but your lockdown mood is still hovering around ‘meh’. What about tie-dye? It’s the fashion equivalent of a Berocca – pretty much guaranteed to make you feel as sunny on the inside as you look on the outside – and definitely ticks the ‘escapism’ box more than beige does.

Maybe this explains why Free People’s tie-dye sales are surging. It’s been such a strong search term on its website that the brand has created a special ‘Tie-Dye Shop’ so that their 51 swirl-printed products can sit together.

But why now? ‘Tie-dye has connotations of happier times. It celebrates craftsmanship and being creative, while also being unconventional,’ says Matchesfashion’s fashion buying director Natalie Kingham. ‘It’s a great print to lift our spirits and it also stands out in a crowd.’

On that note, it’s probably been jumping out of your Instagram feed. Busy Philipps’ balcony selfie of a paintbox-bright dress came with the caption, ‘If you can’t find a rainbow, wear one.’ Alessandra Ambrosio, meanwhile, has spent lockdown making TikTok videos with her daughter. Their costumes? Matching tie-dye sweatshirts in mood-lifting tangerine.

It seems as if we need fashion to make us feel good right now–and designers such as Story MFG, Arizona Love and The Elder Statesman, who all have tie-dye in their DNA, major in pieces that will make you smile as soon as you put them on.

‘Tie-dye is special because it’s always a little surprising,’ says Story mfg’s co-founder Saeed Al-Rubeyi. His Olga dress, with raspberry ripple swirls and a strip of hand- crocheted patchwork, will work like a natural high every time you wear it.

People are also responding to the handcrafted side of tie-dye. ‘[They] want something that feels unique and tells a personal story,’ say Baum und Pferdgarten’s creative directors Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave. ‘There’s also a longing for a more simple era where we have time to create our own garments or customise.’

If you want to flex some creative muscle, there’s a world of YouTube videos waiting. We rate Highsnobiety’s ‘How to tie-dye T-shirts: 3 easy methods to try at home’ tutorial – and note that you’ll be in excellent company. Kendall Jenner has already tie- dyed, while, last week, Victoria Beckham posted photos to Instagram of her afternoon spent ‘spicing up’ her white tees. All you need is a pair of gloves, an apron, natural dyes, rubber bands, old clothes – and plenty of patience. You’ll be happier in no time.

A Step-By-Step Guide To At-Home Tie-Dye

BUY: The Best Tie-Dyed Clothes To Cheer You Up


BUY: The Best Tie-Dyed Clothes To Cheer You Up

arizona love dress1 of 13

Arizona Love, Alma Tie-Dye Cotton-Twill Dress, £208

& other stories swimsuit2 of 13

& Other Stories, Square-Neck Tie-Dye Swimsuit, £35

baum und pferdgarten dress3 of 13

Baum Und Pferdgarten, Aubree Dress, £175

gerard darel pouch4 of 13

Gerard Darel, Tie-Dye Pouch, £55

hosbjerg trousers5 of 13

Hosbjerg, Rina Tie-Dye Pants, £71.85

electric fields parka6 of 13

Electric Fields, Tie-Dye Parka, £388

ninety percent t-shirt7 of 13

Ninety Percent, Organic Cotton Long-Sleeve Tie-Dye T-shirt, £65

j.crew bucket hat8 of 13

J.Crew, Tie-Dyed Wide-Brim Bucket Hat With Frayed Edge, £55

urban outfitters socks9 of 13

Purple And Green Tie-Dye Socks, £6

pinko cashmere jumper10 of 13

Pinko, Cashmere Tie-Dye Pullover, £355

story mfg dress11 of 13

Story MFG, Olga Dress, £620

Gascoigne London, Tie-Dye Cotton Cargo Trousers, £10012 of 13

Gascoigne London, Tie-Dye Cotton Cargo Trousers, £100

Cinta The Label, It Only Gets Better Tie Dye T-Shirt, £3913 of 13

Cinta The Label, It Only Gets Better Tie Dye T-Shirt, £39

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