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The Tie-Dye Trend’s Revival During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Anika Ramchandani

These past few months have not been easy for anyone; being isolated at home for an extended period certainly took a toll on our mental stabilities. Our generation was, and continues, to grasp at straws in the hope of finding something to do these days. It is safe to say that tie-dye has become one of the "trendier" things to do, and wear, while in quarantine. From the surface, it's a fashionable look to tout around the house and on your Instagram. But, if you look deeper, it is a fight to keep our minds stimulated during this ever-so-mundane time in our lives. Humans never had time to tie-dye their clothes, regularly bake banana bread or binge every show on Netflix. Quarantine has forced us to do things that are relaxing and stimulating.

I spent countless hours on Instagram and TikTok trying to figure out what color to tie-dye my sweatshirt; I clearly had a lot of time on my hands. I ordered a tie-dye kit and a crewneck from Amazon and decided to aim for a calming shade of lavender. Then came the big day. I was wearing my "regular" quarantine clothes and wanted to upgrade my outfit. I even bought white biker shorts from Aritzia to pair with the sweatshirt. My cousin and I argued about the tie-dye process—she said we should add bleach to make it lighter, but I disagreed. I was right. My crew neck did not exactly come out how I wanted it to. It is not lavender; it is entirely purple. The contrast from white to purple is rather apparent. But I still love it. I practically lived in that sweatshirt this summer, even in the sweltering heat. It was my work, and I was proud of it.

Tie-dye has always been a popular staple in fashion, but it has made a serious comeback this year while spending our time in sweats. Many chose the option of getting their hands dirty and channeling their stress into DIY tie-dye, but brands and retail stores across the globe have also incorporated tie-dye into their summer lines. Consumers were caught between spending $20 to make their own tie-dye set versus splurging on a pre-made tie-dye sweatshirt from places like Amiri, which costs $850. Does it seem right to sell something for a much higher price when we know it can be easily made at home? I'm not sure, but I know that these past months required us to focus on something other than isolation.

The tie-dye trend is one positive outcome of quarantine. This pandemic has been difficult for many, and we have endured so much loss and stress. We had fun with it and came out with a chic new look to lounge around the house all day. Tie-dye outfits might even come across as a little "basic" now that everyone has a piece. But that doesn't matter. We are still in this pandemic, and the tough times are not over yet; but, we were able to take some time and do something for ourselves—something to forget these worrying times.


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