In the wide world of fashion, even we can admit it’s hard to pin down what’s popping. Of course, great style isn’t tied to trends, but what if you’re looking to upgrade, elevate or try something new? This is where Trendspotting comes in. From emerging trends to styles to try, we’re picking out one new (or, in some cases, vintage) vibe that our team thinks is worth trying out. After scouring runways and retailers, searching social media and street style, this is one trend you should consider adding to your wardrobe this week.

The Vibe: Tie-Dye

What Are The Best Brands?:
$: Aries, Eric Emanuel, Online Ceramics, Stussy, Supreme, Vintage Merch
$$: Aimé Leon Dore, Cactus Plant Flea Market, John Elliott, Palm Angels, R13
$$$: Amiri, Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Kapital, Louis Vuitton, The Elder Statesman

It may seem like tie-dye is reserved for summer camp and hippie wardrobes, but that’s underselling an even longer history of the colorful style. With roots stretching back as far as the cultures ancient Asia, the technique has distant connections to Bandhani in India and Shibori in Japan. Prominently remerging in the cultural conversation during the 1960s and 1970s, brands like The Grateful Dead have sat at the center of this vibrant approach to self-expression and style. Today the advent of the 1990s style revival and an explosion of D.I.Y. streetwear has made tie-dye even more prescient; while the revival was tested and teased in the summer of 2018, it’s high time the average guy incorporated some tie-dye into their closet.

We understand that investing a large chunk of change to add tie-dye to your closet is a little daunting; given that you can tie-dye practically any piece of clothing on your own, it can be difficult to justify the expense. That said, considering the time (and, more importantly, mess) that it takes to dye something, we suggest going with something that’s ready to go right from the box. Streetwear stalwarts like Supreme and Stussy have plenty of dip-dye and tie-dye pieces spanning across several seasonal collections. From accessories to fleece jackets, you can go as wild as your comfort level allows. If all else fails, band merch never really goes out of style, and vintage tie-dye merch manages to balance being on trend with authenticity. Naturally, The Grateful Dead’s classic merch is a great place to start.

Tapping into the histories of both D.I.Y. streetwear brands like Cactus Plant Flea Market use tie-dye to add color to its charming, off-kilter approach to modern, logo-heavy streetwear. Kapital, has a history in honoring both American and Japanese design techniques, has several pieces that blend the worlds of vintage-inspired patchwork and tie-dye. Brands like R13 have directly tapped into various band logos and iconography to inform its own designs.

Given that streetwear is practically intertwined with designs seen on the runway, it makes sense that tie-dye would transition into the world of designer fashion. Amiri, picking up where Hedi Slimane-era Saint Laurent left off, regularly takes cues from Californian-inspired countercultural style. Craig Green has used scattered dyed splotches to add color to his abstract workwear, and Dries Van Noten used his Spring/Summer 2019 collection to display a more geometric approach to what appears of tie-dye-inspired color. Of course, Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton was able to tap into tie-dye across a multitude of colors as his Spring/Summer 2019 collection transitioned from white to a blend blend of red, yellow and, of course, tie-dye-inspired color palettes.

Styling Tip: There’s two ways you can treat tie-dye: 1. Incorporate it into an outfit like you would items all-white or all-black. 2. Wear a single piece exclusively with an outfit consisting of neutrals. For the former, the idea is that you’ve swapped out something bland for something bold, adding a slight turbo charge to an everyday or mundane look. For the latter, it’s about clearing the visual look of your outfit to make way for a tie-dye garment that’s going to draw attention; like most things in life, if something demands the spotlight, you want to give it a chance to shine in true colors.

Tags: trendspotter, the-elder-statesman, louis-vuitton, virgil-abloh, vintage, band-tees, eric-emanuel, r13, palm-angels, aime-leon-dore, kapital, streetwear, dries-van-noten, craig-green, saint-laurent-paris, hedi-slimane, saint-laurent, online-ceramics, grateful-dead, the-grateful-dead, cactus-plant-flea-market, supreme, stussy, aries, acne-studios, amiri