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SS20: Upcycling & tie dye

Stylist and fashion student, Leyla Bella is back with more amazing fashion tips! This week she explains the best ways to spice up your wardrobe using clothes you already own.


All copy and images by Leyla Bella - instagram @leylabellos

Leyla wearing one of her home-made tie dye tops

Is anyone else bored of constantly opening your wardrobe and sifting through your rails, only to find nothing that remotely sparks your interest... and due to defeat you just throw on the same basic jumper or tee with your go-to jeans and call it a day?

"Well I have been there and I am going to tell you how you can turn your generic ‘meh’ clothes into one of a kind pieces that are completely personal to you, sustainable and keep the quarantine boredom at bay. It’s a win-win."

Obviously, there are infinite ways to make your wardrobe customisable to you. From embroidering to distressing and ...between you and me everything to do with upcycling and sustainability is going to be massive in the upcoming fashion seasons so start while your ahead. But there is a key upcycling trend for this summer/whenever we get out of quarantine, and that is tie dying.

Example pieces of tie dye effect

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Tie-dying? Really? I don’t want to be looking like some 60s hippy. I get that but after sifting through Pinterest and many YouTube tutorials, I’ve found out that there are some really nice techniques and tips that don’t make you look like a walking rainbow. So, I’m going to tell you how you can turn this bright trend into more sophisticated pieces that you can add into your wardrobe.

Firstly, choose more sophisticated colours. I am all for bright pinks and blues here and now but sometimes you don’t want to look like a highlighter everyday so opt for more muted colours. I saw one tutorial using a brown dye which I wouldn’t have ever thought to use for tie dye, but it came out with gorgeous tones of nudes and tans, which looked like it could easily be in an anthropology store. Or if you are going to use bright colours but don’t want that bright outcome you can try diluting your dyes before applying it to your clothes, making a more subtle and pastel coloured result.

Follow Leyla on instagram @leylabellos for more fashion top tips

When it comes to the actual folding itself, my favourite technique is the scrunch method because I think it gives the most bohemian rustic look. Essentially you just scrunch your garment up randomly then secure it in place with elastic bands. However, they're so many techniques out there that can capture loads of different looks, so it just depends on what vibe you want.

You can even reverse dye your clothes by starting off with a coloured garment then bleach dying it to take the colour out in the places you want. Or if I haven’t completely sold you on this tie dye trend you could simply just dye the whole garment in the exact colour you want to add pieces of colour into your wardrobe.

Adding colours and interesting pieces to your wardrobe can elevate any look. With upcycling, especially tie dying, it can turn your ‘never worn’ clothes into key garments that you go back to time and time again.

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