Tie-dye is a staple of design and fashion for crafty spirits and an easy project for most people to accomplish, but have you ever wondered how tie-dye got its name, or how it originated? It’s all in the name.
If you’ve never made tie-dye clothing before, the process is actually fairly straightforward. Tie-dyed clothes, like the iconic tie-dye tank top or t-shirt, are “tied” and then dyed. Granted, sometimes the process involves folding or systematically pleating the clothing before securing and dying it, but it is fundamentally the same.
Perhaps due in part to the fact that tie-dye clothing is not only easy to make but also accessible for people of all ages and interests, tie-dye owns a well-deserved spot in the echelon of fashion. Far from a simple summer style, tie-dye in fashion can be employed as creatively as the inspiration of the individual will allow - even if all you have to start with is a tie-dye tank or t-shirt.
Tie-Dye Tank Tops: The Basics
Sometimes all you have to start with is a tie-dye tank top, which would seem like a somewhat limited wardrobe option, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even with a simple garment like a tie-dye tank or t-shirt, you’ll be surprised just how much style you can gather - even if you need a little help or inspiration from us.
For one thing, you’ll never run out of ideas with our catalog of tie-dye tanks if only because we have so much variety to appreciate. You could build out a full wardrobe of designs just in what we carry and you wouldn’t repeat on yourself or cross an outfit for weeks - or longer!
But that’s not the only reason that tie-dye has earned its spot in the halls of fashion (dare we say, even in high fashion) - what it comes down can be summarized in a word: versatility.
Why It Works
Why tie-dye as a fashion trend works is simple. While it can be said that you could create a design with tie-dye tank tops, that wasn’t ideal; tie-dye is much more forgiving and inclusive than exclusive.
Tie-dye fashion lacks some of the edge that is often found in high fashion and doesn’t require the same acumen and attention to fine detail to make nice outfits that some other designs require. There’s also something of a disorganization to the pattern that lends a bit of forgiveness to it as well. Since it’s only a pattern created incidentally, and not a purpose-made pattern, the requirements for mixing and matching are softer if we’re going to say that there are “requirements” at all.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Because of this, it’s easy to pair up tie-dye clothing, even something as simple as a tie-dye tank, with other accessories in order to make a cover-worthy outfit. You don’t need to have a degree from an accredited school of design to do it; you just need to know what looks good, and you need to get creative.
Here’s the secret: in any given piece of tie-dye clothing, whether it’s a tie-dye tank top, a t-shirt, or even a maxi dress, there isn’t just a loosely defined design. There is a waltz of color, and many times, there is a waltz of almost every color.
That means there is almost nothing that tie-dye can’t be paired up with when the choice is made wisely. A tie-dye shirt that is predominantly red and pink with a little bit of blue still can categorically match with another blue garment like a pair of pants or a handbag, and that little touch of blue adds fascination.
Similarly, that little touch of blue can be paired with other warm garments like orange, blue’s complement to make the entire outfit pop and stand out brilliantly. And let’s not forget the fact that since we started with a foundation of pink and red, that other warm tones will make a nice match, too.
Also, since most if not all tie-dye garments still contain varying degrees of white fabric that shines through the color, you can also typically pair up tie-dye designs with white, black, and neutral tones to some degree or other.
The key takeaway here is that there is very little with which tie-dye really can’t make a match. Some ensembles will look much better than others, but even where a change needs to be made, oftentimes the fix comes from the smallest germ of creativity and can be easily turned around.
So we’ve made the claim that a tie-dye tank or t-shirt can be an immensely versatile item in a fashion catalog, but the proof may be more visual than verbal. Here are some of the most creative ways you can get the most from your wardrobe of tie-dye fashion.
- Denim is your friend
You can do so much with denim and tie-dye clothing. This might have something to do with the fact that tie-dye clothing often has some white that shines through which goes well with denim; it could also be due to the fact that many tie-dye patterns have some blue notes or other cool colors worked into the visual weave.
Either way, it’s easy to style with a tie-dye tank top and denim. Nothing says “summer” like a pair of blue jeans and a tie-dye t-shirt or tank top, even if (especially if!) those same jeans have some tasteful green grass marks. A style like this practically makes itself.
You can also pair a light denim jacket with a tie-dye t-shirt and depending on the fit and coloration of the t-shirt’s tie-dye pattern, you might have a real winner with that pairing as well.
- Go light with accessories, like a hat or a bag
Light colors, especially in accessories, are immensely versatile with tie-dye fashion. This is also probably due to the fact that tie-dye clothing has some white that shows through, which is one of the same features that make tie-dye work so well with denim.
So what does it mean, in terms of execution? Choose a light hat or a light handbag, or some other accessories like shoes or jewelry. The more noticeable in this case, the better, and they don’t need to be stark, pure white. Off whites and light neutrals can be your friend here as well and will mate surprisingly well to a tie-dye shirt.
- Neutrals: surprisingly compatible
On that note, we should make it a point to state that many neutrals will pair well with tie-dye fashion, and not just light neutrals like light and off-white. Grays will work admirably with a tie-dye tank. For example, if you’re wearing a tank top but the day promises to deliver a slight chill, carry along a gray shawl or jacket and you’ll be surprised how well it matches the tie-dye underneath.
The reason for this is probably attributable to the chaotic brightness that is inherent in tie-dye fashion. When your senses are overwhelmed by color and movement, they may subconsciously seek respite in plain, less hectic garments. An unpatterned neutral accessory piece like a jacket or a wrap will give your senses relief, and look great with tie-dye!
- Plain and formal
Tie-dye fashion also gives you the ability to choose whether you want to make a more formal or a less formal presentation. Granted, it is much easier and more natural to create a toned-down look, such as with a pair of jeans or a light jacket, but since tie-dye is eclectic and unapologetic, you can also create a self-assertive, more formal look with it as well.
Case in point, choose your favorite tie-dye shirt and set the foundation of the outfit with a pair of khakis. The khakis, or slacks, if you so choose, will add a stable foundation to an outfit that is otherwise dominated by movement and direction. You might be surprised at just how well this formal pairing works, and it’s far from the only option at your disposal.
- Good news: It’s hard to clash!
Another thing you should keep in mind when you’re styling with tie-dye fashion is that it is actually very hard to clash with anything. It’s the opposite of what you’d expect. You’d think that tie-dye would clash with everything, but the truth is, since you’ve already consented to allow vibrantly colored clothing into your wardrobe, it more or less creates its own harmony.
This means that tie-dye sets a good baseline for other brightly, actively colored garments, even those that have a lot of movement. It’s also perfectly suited to match up with quiet, toned-down garments like the neutrals, jackets, and khakis that we already called up. It’s almost impossible to clash, and since many tie-dyes contain so many colors, it’s remarkably easy to pair.
- Layer up
Create a very modest ensemble without paying any mind to tie-dye, and then add a tie-dye t-shirt or tank top underneath, allowing only a little bit to peek through. You can accomplish this with a jacket or a coat that’s open at the front; you can even cover up a little more of the color underneath with a scarf.
This look is perfect for the winter because it adds a little brightness and unexpected color to shine through during the darkest months, and is a reminder that spring is on the way. Also, it helps to temper the modesty of all the layers you’re probably used to wearing in the winter.
- Other opportunities for tie-dye
When you’re styling with tie-dye, don’t forget that one of the most natural matches to tie-dye is right in front of you: more tie-dye.
If you’re wearing a tie-dye top, you can accessorize with a tie-dye headband, wristband, bag, or even socks. It’s possible to overdo tie-dye with too much of a good thing, but a nice little subtle accent like one of these will show that you’ve given some good thought to underscoring the key notes in your outfit.
- Blaze your own trail: set the trend
Finally, the greatest trend in tie-dye fashion is perhaps one you’ve never seen before simply because you haven’t come up with it yet. You can certainly create a wide variety of interesting designs using the inspiration and insight of others, but trails would never be explored without pioneers to blaze them. Every trend in design had to start with some vision, somewhere.
Luckily, tie-dye encourages fearlessness in fashion, because it is already, on the surface, so vibrantly and chaotically arranged. Get creative and come up with something of your own!
More Than Tie-Dye Tank Tops
While you’re here at Advance Apparels, don’t miss a chance to take a look through our diverse collections of tie-dye fashion, which includes much more than just tie-dye t-shirts and tank tops. Whether you’re looking for a brand new tie-dye maxi dress, a jumper, or even a poncho, we have a little bit of something for everyone - check here first and make sure you get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like suggestions or recommendations.
Don’t Miss Our Sustainable Collection
Ever at the forefront of the trends in fashion and design, we’re also proud to offer a full line of sustainable fashion accessories and clothing. Many of our sustainable dresses and tops are made from TENCELTM fabric that is remarkably soft, breathable, and most importantly, naturally and sustainably produced!
Check out our sustainable collection today and get in touch with us to learn more!
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