Totally Tie-Dye

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One trend I didn't think I'd ever begin loving again was tie-dye. I'm not completely against it, but after the endless boho-hippie-poser stage that nearly every tween and teen in the world seemed to go through during high school (including ripped jeans, flip flops, and dirty hair), I was over it.

I'm happy to say tie-dye is making a very chic comeback. In more appealing hues and shapes, this is a trend that can be worked into even the girliest of wardrobes (I should know).  My general guidelines are as follows:

1)   Choose a pattern with both rich and neutral colors – this will avoid that whole kaleidoscope effect we saw back in the 90s when we made hot pink and neon green tie-dye in our kitchen sinks.

2)   Stick to modern, sleek shapes – a plain t-shirt will have the same nostalgic effect as above, and the reinvented tie-dye isn’t meant to be so casual.  It really only works on pieces like simple dresses, a loose blouse, or even a long cardigan.

3)   Choose a theme – i.e. if you’re going for a boho look, try rough-hewn gold jewelry or flat sandals. Don’t throw on a white ceramic watch or something that will completely throw off the idea.

4)   While I’m usually all about mixing prints, tie-dye is a pattern that can’t be competed with.  Stick to solid accessories in complementary colors, but try playing with texture for added interest.

With these guidelines in mind, there are generally 2 paths you can take: either a full-on embrace of the bohemian, colorful look or a happy juxtaposition with more refined pieces.  The Topshop dress below illustrates both trends:

Strappy gladiators, oversize sunglasses, turquoise earrings, a stack of bangles, a floppy straw hat and a slouchy backpack bring out the true bohemian essence of the dress.  Basically stick to super-casual, earthy accessories to achieve this easygoing look.

Styled differently, the dress becomes a backdrop for sleek add-ons like a crisp linen blazer, embellished wedges, classic jewelry (like rhinestone earrings and a gold statement necklace) and subtle pops of color (like an aqua scarf and yellow clutch).  This modernized take on tie-dye lets the pattern take center stage without making a major bohemian statement.

Which style will you choose?

Sophomore > Journalism and Art History > Indiana University

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