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Image of tie-dye paradise by Ben Park.

Tie-Dye: Why Everyone in the Whole Entire World Is Wearing It

Chris Black

Are you woke? Are you ~spiritual~ but not, like, "religious"? Tie-dye may be for you!

Image of tie-dye paradise by Ben Park.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably noticed that tie-dye has been having a resurgence. It came to prominence in America with the hippie movement of the 1960’s (maaaaaaan). Then Halston started using tie-dye in his designs (Marisa Berenson wore it in Vogue!), and then musicians like Janis Joplin started rocking it. Soon enough, tie-dye became the defining look of a generation. But the art form has a rich history that can be traced back to India, Japan, and Africa as early as the sixth century. Now, it’s back because everyone is listening to the Grateful Dead in search of a higher power to guide them through these dark times, or whatever, but the point is: it’s iconic! It’s psychedelic! It’s…usually a little loud for my simple tastes.

My dad, Gary L. Black, is an avid runner. He clocks hella miles weekly to de-stress from his busy accounting business. And let me tell you, my man gets some fits off! He was early on the now-trendy Hokas; he even pushes the limits with athletic brand mixing—something his timid son is too afraid to do. In the past, my dad has copped his running shoes at an Atlanta institution called Phidippides. It has been open since 1975, and it possesses the true old-school-for-the-real-heads-only feel that I love. In preparation for an Easter trip to Atlanta this weekend, I was perusing the Phidippides website (which needs an update, holler at me guys!) and I came across a WILD tie-dyed logo t-shirt. I was instantly attracted to it, but could I pull it off? Could I see myself wearing this to the YMCA on a regular day? This story is far from over: I will make a decision this weekend when I visit the shop. But if I buy one, I am definitely getting my dad one to match. After all, he put me on!

Photograph from the internet.