We'll soon be wearing a print everybody loves to hate, all in the name of '90s nostalgia

A guest is seen at New York Fashion Week AW19 wearing a sea green coat and a tie dye dress
A guest is seen at New York Fashion Week AW19 wearing a sea green coat and a tie dye dress

If you really want to make a positive contribution to the sustainable fashion conversation, embracing tie-dye's return to mainstream fashion trends might be the way to go. 


Because it's a really good excuse to upcycle and reinvent a few clothing items in your wardrobe that might have lost their colour, so spare the landfills and go get some dye, rubber bands and household gloves. I promise it's a lot of fun. 

READ MORE: 5 things you can do now to practice ethical fashion 

But why tie dye in particular? Well, this print has broken out of its regular Coachella or National Arts Festival attire gig, palm reader style staple and Hollywood stoner uniform, and is now officially a trend to follow again after its 1990s heydays were brought to an abrupt halt by the early 2000s' bedazzled back pockets. 

And if I remember correctly, Yo-TV presenters were keen wearers of tie-dye tops - a memory that would also explain why we'll soon take a liking to this trend.

The return of certain trends takes us back to a simpler carefree time, and brands know how nostalgia sells in our current sartorial climate - corduroy, classic sneakers and bucket hats (just to name a few) have all cemented their must-have status through nostalgic references.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 07: A guest is seen

READ MORE: This is the unlikely shirt everybody's going to be wearing in 2019 

Hillary Taymour, the designer/founder of Collina Strada, whose AW19 collection featured watercolour tie-dye items, told Vogue that the rise of tie-dye "symbolises time spent offline," adding that it reminds one of summer camp days as "it feels youthful and hands on".

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 25: A guest is seen on

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Fleur Egan wearing red
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 11: Rebecca Laurey i

READ MORE: We're embracing the return of a hair accessory we didn't think we'd see so soon after 2007

But even after tie-dye was eclipsed by more "refined" prints, it still lurked on a few retail hangers and bargain bins, waiting to be picked up by a few quirky style peeps. And who remembers those tie-dye maxi dresses/skirts from MRP that were all the rage a few Decembers ago?

See, much like animal print it never really left, and now with the trend no longer solely associated with subcultures mostly located in Grahamstown, our array of options has become as wide as that of the psychedelic colour scheme of the OG '60s tie-dye Tee.

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - MAY 04: Inga Brauer is seen

So, how do you wear tie-dye?

As already hinted by the images above, there is no formula but you can get even more inspo from these looks.

Sade Giliberti

I did say Yo-TV presenters embraced this print more than most TV personalities.

Shiona Turini

A suit so essential in one's cupboard, I might just purchase a white suit just to tie-dye it.

Marsai Martin

Take styling tips from this admirable teen because the trend is about revisiting a simpler time, after all.

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? @teenvogue ?

A post shared by Marsai Martin (@marsaimartin) on

READ MORE: 14-year-old Marsai Martin is Hollywood's next big thing and she has the style to go with it

Where to shop?

Thrift stores, Sunday flea markets and your own cupboard (plus, some dye) might your most affordable and eco-friendly options. But if you want some new threads, we've got you.

Tie-dye turtleneck, currently R171 on flash sale at Superbalist

tie-dye is now a part of mainstream fashion

Tie-dye shirt, R579 at ZARA

tie dye trends

Planet Factorie Scrunchies, R100 at Cotton On

tie dye trend is here

Images: Getty

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