Dyed Sneakers for Summer

"Whatchu know about that RIT Dye?" - Big Boi on Bullseye

I’m not sure if these aren’t a bad idea, but summer is essentially made for questionable clothing choices (I’m looking at you, shorts). Lately, I’ve been thinking about dyed sneakers, which I suspect might look better on my screen than on my feet. On the other hand, they also look like they’d be really fun to wear this summer with beat-up chinos and casual shirts. Something for lounging around on lazy days. 

To get a pair, you have three options.

  • DIY. The first is to obviously make them yourself. Start off with a pair of white sneakers and dye them with one of the many at-home dyeing kits. RIT Dye is popular, and you can buy packet of it at Walmart, CVS, or Amazon. There are a ton of online guides that will show you how (start here, here, and here). Basically, the gist of it is: if you want a deeper color, such as these Chuck Taylors 3sixteen once dyed, you’ll want to use hot water and lots of a salt. Prepare the dye in a bucket, however, as the chemicals might stain your bathtub or sink. Then, dip your shoes in multiple times and let them air out in-between each dip. For a lighter color, such as these Chucks by Tenue de Nimes, just use warm water, don’t use a lot of salt, and don’t dip them in that much. To ensure the color doesn’t deepen, you can rinse them off afterwards. (Note: For a kind of dye that will fade with time, try Jacquard’s natural indigo. Just be careful the first few weeks, as the color might bleed a bit more than RIT Dye, which means you can wind up with blue feet and perhaps even blue floors).
  • Farmtown Denim. You can also go to Melissa Farmer, who’s a popular Reddit poster with an Etsy shop. She regularly dyes things for Reddit members for a small fee. At the moment, she has a pre-order for natural indigo dyed sneakers (she uses Jacquard, I’m told). You can get anything from Vans Authentics to Jack Purcells to Chuck Taylors, and she’ll provide the shoes. A great option if you, like me, are too lazy to do this process yourself. To see how her dyed shoes age, you can see check out the photos in this interview. 
  • Vans. Vans has a blue overwashed version of their popular Authentics this season. The upside to these is that they won’t bleed on you, and they’ll look broken in from day one. The downside is that you won’t get the experience of having dyed something yourself.

To get a sense of how these might look on your feet, check out our friend Travis Gumbs over at Street Etiquette. Noah Emrich also once dip dyed a pair of Tretorns in order to give them more of a two-tone gradient effect. 

(Photos via Vimeo, 3sixteenVans, and DIY Vat)

Follow-up: Harris Tweed at Walmart

Last week, we mentioned select Walmart stores were stocking Harris Tweed blazers for $75, but having not seen them in person we asked you — our wonderful readers — for your impressions.

About a dozen of you responded with your thoughts (several of you were kind enough to snap photos) and there were a few common threads from a majority of your responses. 

  • Sizes ranged from 38 to 50, some in short or long sizing, too. 
  • Almost everyone was impressed with the fabric and there are three types of fabrics: charcoal herringbone, blue barleycorn and oatmeal barleycorn.
  • Several found the shoulder sizing to be problematic. Some sized down to get a better shoulder fit (because of the extra padding that increased the shoulder size). Meanwhile, others couldn’t find a size that worked because of the excessive padding or shoulder divots, which turned into a deal breaker. 
  • Another issue in regard to fit was the boxy cut of the chest area, meaning most will have to make a trip for alterations. 
  • Buttons are plastic, not leather. 
  • A few people mentioned the wooden hangars were perhaps the nicest part of the whole deal. Easily, the hangar might sell for around $25 by itself at retail prices. 

While no one was able to give me a highly-detailed summary of jacket construction (frankly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to buy one and start doing a teardown of one), several readers mentioned they bought one and were pleased with it for the price. Others said they would’ve considered it if the jacket’s fit wasn’t problematic for them. 

Overall, it’s impossible to recommend a jacket at any price if it doesn’t fit (especially in the shoulders), so definitely give them a try on and be honest with yourself if it looks and feels good while wearing it.

(Thanks to everyone who wrote in and to Christopher and J.W. who sent in photos.) 

-Kiyoshi

$75 Harris Tweed jackets at Walmart
This has to be one of the most curious deals I’ve read about in a while. According to forums Ask Andy About Clothes and X Marks the Scot, Walmart is selling Harris Tweed jackets for $75. 
According to the forums, they’re manufactured in Bangladesh and come sized by chest size, even in “long” sizing. They’re not at every Walmart store, just some select areas. And there’s a selection of six different fabrics. 
This might be a decent pickup for those of you looking for such a jacket, as I highly doubt you’ll find a Harris Tweed blazer for this price at retail. Even with alterations, you’re easily looking at probably no more than $150 total. 
Still, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical, especially at such a low price. I’ll admit to even having the thought, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” cross my mind. And it’s worth noting that you can often find plenty Harris Tweed jackets on both eBay and in thrift shops at a lower price, too.
If anyone comes across these — or buys one — please get in touch. I’d love to do a follow up. (I’d check this out for myself, but Walmart is a rare species in the Windy City.)
-Kiyoshi

$75 Harris Tweed jackets at Walmart

This has to be one of the most curious deals I’ve read about in a while. According to forums Ask Andy About Clothes and X Marks the Scot, Walmart is selling Harris Tweed jackets for $75. 

According to the forums, they’re manufactured in Bangladesh and come sized by chest size, even in “long” sizing. They’re not at every Walmart store, just some select areas. And there’s a selection of six different fabrics. 

This might be a decent pickup for those of you looking for such a jacket, as I highly doubt you’ll find a Harris Tweed blazer for this price at retail. Even with alterations, you’re easily looking at probably no more than $150 total. 

Still, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical, especially at such a low price. I’ll admit to even having the thought, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” cross my mind. And it’s worth noting that you can often find plenty Harris Tweed jackets on both eBay and in thrift shops at a lower price, too.

If anyone comes across these — or buys one — please get in touch. I’d love to do a follow up. (I’d check this out for myself, but Walmart is a rare species in the Windy City.)

-Kiyoshi