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Dec 4, 2013

Dip-Dye Fashion -- YEA or NAY?



Readers, I'm open-minded.  I like all kinds of looks and, even if I wouldn't wear them, enjoy all sorts of contemporary trends.

But for me, dip-dye (often referred to as ombre dye) fashion is like twerking: I went from "Never heard of it" to "Please make it stop" in less than three minutes.

For the uninitiated, here's what I'm talking about.  (This is solely for you readers; I'm averting my eyes.)  I look at these clothes and all I see are stains.  Big, indelible, inky stains.



















The main problem I have with dip-dye fashion is that it looks EXACTLY and ONLY like dip-dye fashion.  Every time I see it, I think, "Oh.  Dip-dye."   We're not talking about watercolor painting here. 



Ombre dyed clothes evoke flood damage.  Or somebody who dragged their hem through a puddle of waste water outside a Levi's factory.



Also...

a) a litmus paper pH-balance urine test.

b) a laundry mistake made by a small child, who is subsequently spanked.

c) a shirttail that landed in Ti-D-Bol water while you were sitting on the toilet.

d) a clever attempt to camouflage a wine stain.

e) a mildewed bathroom wall.

OK, I'm done (but if you have others, please share them).

Why is this trend happening now?  Surely my friend Claudine couldn't be solely responsible.

And then there's ombre dying's latest cheerleader, blogger Mainely Dad.  Whoever thought he'd ever be dipping his toe shirt into this trend?

Readers, I must ask:  Where do you stand on dip-dye fashion?

Do you, like me, see nothing more than a misguided homage to summer camp tie-dye projects, but made by adults who apparently don't own any rubber bands?

Have you -- shudder -- ever dipped your duds in ombre dye yourself and didn't it stain 1) your hands, 2) your sink, and 3) your local water supply?

Dip-dye fashion -- YEA or NAY?

76 comments:

  1. Guilty as charged. I did a dip dyed corset lsst summer. Two hours standing holding it over a bucket. I still love it but I still wear tie-dye so 'nuff said.

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  2. I feel slightly lightheaded at these monstrosities... time to start a boycott!

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  3. Nay! It's not for me...when I see ombre I think of it being a sneaky way to cover stains.

    Now, good old tie-dye, I can totally get into that. Bring on the t-shirts and rubber bands! :)

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  4. I particularly agree with c) above. Count me "nay."

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  5. I think if it's ok with certain styles, and if its obvious its not a stain. Don't really like it on the plaid...too gimmicky. I know ombre is a gimmick anyway, but thats too hinkey.

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  6. I don't really have any strong feelings about dip dyeing, I would probably not do/wear it, but I do feel like there are some instances that are better than others... The plaid with the dip dye is just yucky, but I've seen some beautiful gowns with like, a dip dyed layer under layers of sheer fabric. I guess I'd say it's like anything, there is a place for it

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  7. For the love of god and country NAY!!!

    I'm all for a true ombre, but those ain't it. Those are just lame.

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    Replies
    1. I think of ombre dyeing as creating a gradual progression of the color from lightest to darkest gradation, whereas dip-dyed is more like color blocked without the seams. I like the first, but the second is a tough sell for me.

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    2. I'm with SewingDiva and Clio. I love a beautifully done ombre. Your examples look more like poorly done Vicky Home Icky.

      But none of it is as offensive as twerking! (imho, of course....)

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  8. I visit your blog pretty much daily though I don't comment (sorry that's creepy and slightly stalkerish), but today.....you are sooo funny, and I totally agree with a thru e. That last fella looks like something from the three stooges, like he got a bucket of white paint thrown at is nice black outfit.

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  9. I've never thought to do this before, looks great!

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  10. It looks like tie-dye for people who think they're too cool for tie-dye. These ones also look kinda plain.

    I could imagine it being done well with a circle skirt and gossamer fabric, but I wouldn't mind looking like a flower fairy.

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  11. I am a fan of ombre like this:
    http://moviestarmakeover.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Ann-Miller-Easter-parade.jpg

    From my favorite movie.

    But otherwise? Not for me.

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  12. I think Cathy could wear ombre chiffon, beautifully.
    ...otherwise it's just too "summer camp craft"

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  13. No to these. I like subtle color changes stacked either up or down (which is what I would call "real" ombre). Most of these look too harsh with just a few color changes going from very dark to white. Kind of remind me of a dirty bathtub ring.

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  14. "true ombre" is usually a transition from white to black, hitting all the gradients in between so that our eye can't see a "break" in the gradual fade. This can also be from one color to another. Tessuti used to have some lovely ombre silks but they aren't carrying many anymore.
    Ombre will never be out of fashion because it's not really a trend but the trend you are showing is dip dye more than ombre and it is in it's death throes as we speak.

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  15. Nay. Not dappled enough for actual beauty.

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  16. I like it when it is over a print or when it has a really long color graduation

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  17. I dip dyed a couple of t-shirts a few years ago, but now I think the look is so so over (sorry Mainely Dad).

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  18. I think there "could" be a place for it. For example the brown and white plaid shirt with the top dip dyed. Or maybe the model just wears it well? The rest are pretty bad.

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  19. A definite yes from me. I love the look on solid and flowy garments, not so much on more structured things or patterned garments (that checked shirt just has too much going on). The gradient has to be well done as well, no sharp lines!

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  20. I think it can look great, but can also look really, really bad, so yay, but a qualified yay. Your descriptions are funny enough to make me wish it was a nay, though!

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  21. Not my favorite look. Also kind of boring.

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  22. Reminds me of one of the horrors of modern parenting: the "tie dye" birthday party (I recall a memorable one at a Ben and Jerry's full of sweaty, overstimulated 4-year-olds squirting bottles of dye at each other). When it's over, you pick up a kid covered with indelible stains, and are handed a "goody bag" with a sopping wet, dripping t-shirt that you are supposed rinse several times, wash separately, and then throw in the trash because your kid will wear tie-dye over your dead body.

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  23. Dip-dye is like...

    ...Tammy Faye Bakker after a good cry.

    I like it it some cases and not so much in others. I'll let this bandwagon pass me by.

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  24. I did this once several years ago with a sock blank and then knitted it into socks. It took awhile to do because I only removed a few inches at a time from the dye but it resulted in a nice transition from light to dark.

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  25. Wow, you know how to rain on someone's parade! But I totally agree with you.

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  26. When I read the title, I thought you were writing my lesson plans for preschool --dip dye Bounty towels! Folding and dipping a Bounty towel into a shallow dish of liquid water color. Or using pipettes to administer the color!

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  27. OK if you want to rescue a stained garment, otherwise why bother.

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  28. Sir, I have to say that I love playing with dye. But I do like to do a shibori effect either with rubber bands or large hand stitches. I did dye dip one white polo-type shirt. Of course it was sewn with white poly thread that did NOT take the dye.

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    Replies
    1. "Live and Let Dye" -- that's my motto! ;)

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  29. I don't like this look either and don't think any of my guys would wear it. They all look like they messed up doing their laundry.... or were victims of a horrible industrial accident.

    I did do a true ombre dye job on a shawl a knitted in alpaca lace weight yarn on lace needles. 72 inches squared, knit on the largest circular made and dyed over a 7 hour period. I had to use a frame my DH worked up for me and the cross piece was lowered every 15 minutes or so by 1/4 inch increments. It started with a navy so dark it was nearly black and by the center there was a starburst sort of shape of the creamy natural color of the alpaca fleece. The small increments meant there was absolutely no line between shades. With a true ombre dye, the dye is exhausted (absorbed by your fiber or item) by the time you get the last bit into the dye pot, and depending on your mordant and type of dye, the water should be safe to dump in the sewer system, but please if you try it, make sure you read the directions and check on disposal with the manufacturer. Especially if you are on a grey water or septic system.

    I'll never do another one, but the person who received it was so amazing. Her family told me it was one of her most treasured items during her hospice period and I was so honored when they buried her with it.

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    Replies
    1. What an amazing gift, and what an honor they gave back to you :)

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    2. Oh I agree with Jilly Be....what a beautiful gift, and what a beautiful tribute.

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  30. Ya, I agree. It often looks like a laundry/puddle/bathroom accident.

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  31. Oh man, I really like dip dye. I tend to like it better on flowy things rather than button up shirts. I have indeed done a dip myself- a long linen dress. But then again, I am an art teacher. That might explain it.

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  32. Have to agree with earlier posts - an ombre with a large variation of color changes can look stunning. But these photos look kinda lame. I think it is because they don't really extend the colors throughout the garment, they just have the dying really intense in one spot.

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  33. I like dip dye as well as tie dye. But, the examples in the photos are not very inspirational. The dip colors used in these photos are definitely on the grunge side of style.

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  34. i never knew the term for it, but i like it in some of the uses shown, but not others. i think the long dress looks cool, and some of the shirts do, too -- but maybe it's the fabric choices that make it not work for me.

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  35. I have nothing against the technique per say but your examples of it are all ugly colors. No pizzaz or pop. I spotted some tights on Etsy with amazing colors I was considering as a christmas gift that out shine your blah examples by a mile

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  36. OMG, make it stop!!! I am with you all the way: a definite, definite NAY!! Horrible look!

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  37. I've always thought the indigo dip-dye looks kind of dirty. There's no way that those clothes are going to be worn once the season is out. That fad will date soooooo fast! They are even doing ombre hair dye now - yuck!!

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  38. I had to look up twerking, thankfully my body wont move like that any more so I can move on. I quite like dip-dye but that last picture looks like he's been folded in half and dipped in and it just looks wrong, so maybe I'm on the fence.

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  39. I really like Mainly Dad's shirt. Some of the other examples, not so much. Long ago, I had a rayon dress ombré dyed pink thru peach to yellow. I loved it!

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    Replies
    1. I think Mainly Dad's shirts look much better than the pictures Peter has posted! The main reason being that Mainly has put some thought and originality into it. I don't know why people are describing Peter's pictures as 'Becky Home Ecky' etc. I'd just call it cheap mass production.

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  40. My problem is that it is plain going down meeting plain coming up. I don't do plain, even if it is converging!

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  41. It's a definite YEA for some of them! The boys, not the shirts.

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  42. I think I liked it ... until now. I liked a sort of dark - medium - light effect that looked tricky to accomplish and I always thought if I were to try it, I'd go with horizontal rather than vertical shading. That last picture is hideous. I probably wouldn't have got around to it anyhow...

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  43. The plaid shirt is wonderful, a hands down fave. I always thought of "ombre" as a very subtle transition of color. To me, "dip dye" has a rapid transition of pigment intensity. The dip dyes that work best in my book are the ones with light coloration at the shoulders and a rapid transition to dark thereafter. True ombres are the loveliest.

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  44. In my opinion dip dye is just one step away from the even more tragic variant... tie dye.

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  45. The dress on the bottom is OK, not great, but better that the others shown. To me, the color change must be done much more gradually than most of these.

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  46. You crack me up: "This is solely for you readers; I'm averting my eyes."!!

    I mainly don't like this trend and sometimes I positively hate it. Sometimes it has a boho vibe that really just is not my cup of tea, but most of the time I think it looks to Becky-Homecky.

    I do have to admit I am partial to the second example... or maybe i'm partial to the too-cool-for-school male model!

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  47. This post and the responses have had me howling with laughter. I'll never be able to wear my shirts without thinking about Tidy Bowl or Tammy Faye Bakker! Somehow I'll manage!

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  48. With a few exceptions, I'm not a fan. And I've seen so many bad versions that I'm really, really over it.

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  49. Alas, there is also an ombre trend for hair. Google it.
    Ugh !
    Eve

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  50. Actually, I am solely responsible.

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  51. There is a point where style avalanches to hideous and this one is well on the way to the base of Mt. Horrid. NAY.

    JBB

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  52. Ombre is an embellishment (?) in that it is applied after the garment is made. That makes it inherently more expensive (and risky!) However, it doesn't seem to read "lux" very often, certainly not in the images you chose, maybe because it IS so hard to do well. I think ombre can be beautiful.

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  53. nay, thrice nay
    Jane

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  54. Neiman Marcus had a dip dyed cashmere sweater in their Christmas catalog...
    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Neiman-Marcus-Superfine-Dip-Dye-Crew-Neck-Sweater-Black-Gray/prod159750139/p.prod
    .....still don't like it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bill. Definitely better as a sweater.

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  55. On the clothes you picture here, nay. Not only are they the wrong sort of garment, the changes aren't gradual enough.
    However, if used on the right sort of garment in the right way, fading from one colour to another can look spectacular. I agree that is sort of evokes flood damage, but I don't think that's a bad thing! I love distressed costumes, like this one from Sleepy Hollow:

    http://www.costumersguide.com/sleepy1.shtml

    I think it would also work better if there was some sort of texture to break it up, like beading.

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  56. Some of the examples I like others I like better. However, I don't hate any of them. I like the look especially if it's the same shade only light to dark.

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  57. Anybody can wear clothes that look like they've NOT dragged a shirttail in Tidy Bowl, but it takes bowls to really pull off the dippy look.
    That said, I am in possession of an authentic original Mainely Dad dip-dye shirt, but with the elegant addition to embroidery work done in thread matching the color of the dye.
    I like to think the look is slenderizing.

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  58. We all like to think the look is slenderizing...but overlook the possible "tacky" effect.
    There is a "homemade" look to most dipdye. Ombre dyed silks and some other fabrics can be handsome if the fabric is dyed, then the garment made.
    ....but just dipping, no matter how controlled or striped, doesn't work for me.

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  59. OK, after seeing the men's fashion video from the New York Times yesterday I think I like dip-dyed garments MUCH more than some of the designs featured in this clip:

    http://www.nytimes.com/video/fashion/100000002589508/bill-cunningham-on-the-street-futurism-in-mens-wear-street-style.html?playlistId=1194811622182

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  60. I'm a bit nay - reminds me of my misspent 70s tiedyed youth. Whatever Bill Clinton says we did inhale!

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  61. I like looking at the photos you posted, but if I ever saw anyone in my real life wearing such an item, it would take all my moral strength not to laugh at them. This, too, shall pass. I do admire the artistic vision it took to imagine and then execute these looks. I shall not be donning any of them myself -- at least, not on purpose.

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