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The Outlook



A form of tie-dye called Shibori has been done in Japan since the 8th century.

The Trend


There's nothing wrong with a basic button down or polo once the weather warms up, but with so many labels riffing on the dip-dyed trend, why not give one of these splashy pieces—that look as if they've just been pulled from the pool—a try? The two-tone effect is achieved by plunging fabric partway into a dye bath, and then removing it to air dry. The irregular bleeding of the dye as it soaks up and into the fabric creates a unique finish that has a certain insouciant elegance.

Band of Outsiders took a leap with short-sleeved button-downs and slim ties in colors, according to designer Scott Sternberg, inspired by the ocean's horizon and waves pulling back from the beach. Ralph Lauren is stocking polos in similarly aquatic hues.  Bottega Veneta went all in, with dip-dyed scarves, shirts and blazers, though in a more landlocked palette of greens and browns. Of course, the ingenious folks at Jack Spade discovered a while back that dunking canvas totes in latex rubber not only looks sharp but lends increased durability as well.

Jack Spade canvas bag, $112; Band of Outsiders cotton tie, $135 at Forty Five Ten; Bottega Veneta henley, $750; Paul Smith check shirt, $173

How to: Pull It Off


Some advice before diving in: keep it simple. Stay clear of of tie-dye and its Age of Aquarius aura by keeping the colors limited. The style is relaxed. The clothes look best with similarly laid-back pieces—washed chinos, unlined jackets and simple canvas kicks.

Ralph Lauren polos, $98 and Band of Outsiders oxford, $235 (available soon at The Corner and Beams, Tokyo)

An Alternative: Ombré


French for shaded, this is a similar, but subtler dyeing technique that produces a seamless gradient from light to dark.

Gap denim shirt, $54.50


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A narrow silk knit tie, woven from Italian silk and hand sewn in America ... for less than $30.