28 Tie Dyed Options That Don't Say "I Live in a Van"


In 1964, after taking LSD, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters stood over a pond squirting paint into the water. They stirred, pseudo-hypnotized, watching the colors swirl. Taking a white t-shirt, they dunked it beneath the surface. This, they claim, was the birth and invention of tie dye.

It wasn’t. Asian and African cultures had been tie-dyeing materials for hundreds of years before that day in a dirty pond.

But, in the United States, when we think of tie dye, we inevitably think of the 1960’s hippie movement. Whether it began with Ken Kesey or not, tie dye became a symbol of the counter culture. With the introduction of squeezable dyes by Rit, the trend crossed socioeconomic barriers. Tie dye was worn by rockstars like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, and people who crafted their own styles at home.

This year, tie dye has returned. It was seen in multiple runway collections from Prada, to Balmain, to Stella McCartney. Beyonce was even spotted in tie dye.

It’s interesting, too, to note the timing of tie dye’s resurgence. Like the Vietnam era, our political climate has become increasingly divided and antagonistic.

Last week, I shared my Summer Bucket List. Number 8 is “Tie Dye Something.”

If arts and crafts are not your jam, below are 28 pre-made, tie-dye-but-chic, options. I attempted to find a wide swath of styles and price points. (While I ‘m often happy to look like I travel the country in a van, I know that vibe isn’t for everyone!)

How do you feel about tie-dye? Love it? Hate it? Currently crouched over a vat of dye next to your Volkswagen? Let me know in the comments below!