“Are you really going to wear that?” my friend, one of the most stylish people I know, asked me, as I held up a pink, yellow and bright blue tie-dye T-shirt. Why yes, I fully intended on pairing the top with a studded leather skirt. Whether it was the look of distaste in her eyes, my own insecurities or a healthy combination of them both, I ultimately did not wear said colorful ’70s-inspired cotton tee on that fateful day last spring.
Fast forward to March 2019, when I was sipping red wine with the aforementioned opinionated friend at a trendy bar. As we were people-watching (and, BTW, we successfully spotted designer Christian Siriano!), we noticed a bright tie-dye T-shirt. Time seemed to slow to half-speed as my friend pointed and said, “Look at that shirt, I love it!” I Zack Morris-ed my invisible audience, “Really?” I mugged straight-to-cam.
I basically ran home to take my prized possession out of storage. I’d waited a year to wear it and now, you can be sure, I’m doubling down wearing my brightly colored, dip-dyed top in public, with my leather skirts—thank you very much—or even with faded jeans and my go-to Converse for running errands on the weekend. Oh, and I can’t wait to wear it with denim cutoffs once summer really arrives.
While I have absolutely no desire to DIY some tie-dye (my washing machine thanks me), it seems I just can’t get enough of the pattern. In fact, I’ve even accumulated more iterations of it into my rotation, starting with this peach-hued number from Urban Outfitters. I’ve found this subtle print to be unbelievably effortless to integrate into my wardrobe, as it can easily be layered under a blazer or paired with a crisp pair of trousers for a day at the office. Plus, I snagged it on sale for just $15, so I won’t feel guilty when it inevitably becomes my favorite sleep shirt in three to six months’ time.
Other tie-dye pieces on my “I must buy this, eventually” list now includes this multicolored spaghetti-strap frock from Rhode ($440) that I could see being a go-to for everything this summer (including beach weekends and cocktail parties), a brightly colored one-piece from Tintarella ($281), a luxe duvet cover from Flaneur that has been painstakingly dyed by hand ($330) and this Polo Ralph Lauren French Terry Hoodie ($148) that sounds way fancier than a sweatshirt and thus is the perfect staple for breezy summer nights.
Sure, you’re probably waiting for the moral of the story here. This could have been a piece about caring too much about what my friends think, or how the fashion industry’s bottom line subconsciously seeps into my everyday decision-making (you see, tie-dye was spotted all over the Spring/Summer 2019 runways), but honestly, I’m just happy to be getting plenty of use out of the bright print. The moral of this story is that if it’s tie-dye, I’ll rock it. At least as long as my friends approve.