What Is Bohemian Fashion?

Bohemian fashion, often known as “boho chic” or “boho,” is characterized by loose and flowing natural fabrics, trends, and earthy patterns and colors. The design gained popularity in the 60s and 70s, but its roots go back much longer, so there’s a long history to draw inspiration from.

Boho style promotes comfort and harmony with nature and oneself. While there are some principles to consider, a bohemian look is all about creativity and uniqueness, so dress any way you want and transform it into a cool boho-chic outfit that is sure to impress!

The History of Bohemian Fashion

Young Bohémienne- Natalie Clifford Barney

After the French Revolution, the bohemians emerged as a counterculture in France. Artists were forced into poverty after losing access to the previous system of patronage, in which wealthy clients sponsored the arts. Many adopted a nomadic lifestyle, lived cheaply, and dressed in out-of-date, worn-out, or used apparel.

Previously, an artist was thought to be a gifted and skillful craftsperson. However, the late-nineteenth-century Romantic Movement rejected the constraints of bourgeois life and the old importance put on reason to embrace the imagination.

A new personality cult evolved, with the artist as hero and individual flair shown through the way one dressed. An artist evolved into a distinct type of person, not just a craftsperson, but a kind of quirky genius whose inventiveness was seen in how they lived and dressed. The artist was a work of art in and of itself.

Bohemian Style Elements

a woman in Bohemian fashion get up (flowy dress, shawl, and a hat) holding a polaroid camera

Layering Is Essential

The goal of bohemian fashion is to achieve an unrestricted, relaxed appearance. Inspired by gypsies who wore pretty much everything they owned while traveling, the look is more about bringing together diverse components from your wardrobe to build a harmonious gypsy chic look rather than perfectly harmonizing a theme or matching your items.

Over a bralette, layer a fringed tunic with a deep neckline. You may layer a short jacket over it. Combine with denim shorts and a plethora of junk jewelry.

Junk Jewelry

To stay true to the style idea of supporting local artisans and crafts, avoid buying mass-produced baubles from huge brands and instead choose locally sourced and handmade items created by talented artisans. For example, you may wear coin and bamboo jewelry made by artists in the northeast, shell and terracotta jewelry made by artisans in Bengal, and one-of-a-kind bidri bangles from Karnataka.

Add a splash of color to your clothing with a chunky necklace composed of silver, wood, or glass beads. Wear hanging gypsy earrings—we like the dream-catcher sort with feathers or vivid beads and threads—along with an eye-catching nose pin and a large statement finger ring to complete the ensemble.

Finds at the Flea Market

Flea markets are the finest places to find Bohemian-style discounts. Bohemian-style supporters believe firmly in sustainability via reuse and recycling.

As a result, if you want to be an authentic Bohemian at heart rather than make a fashion statement, check for used clothing at flea markets in your neighborhood. You will not only uncover beautiful antique finds suitable for layering, but you’ll also be helping the earth.

Always arrive at a flea market with plenty of time. Before you can find the vintage pieces you’re seeking, you’ll have to go through racks and racks of clothing. Always search for high-quality, classic pieces that will last a long time, such as jackets, denim, coats, and leather.

Dresses and Maxi Skirts

 

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Mini skirts, fitting dresses, and structured silhouettes are inappropriate for the style statement. Long, flowy styles, such as peasant dresses and maxi skirts, should be worn to appear easygoing and cool. Unstructured tunics and large shirts are also excellent choices. Comfort is essential!  Here’s our guide to dresses that might help you with your boho look!

Pair unstructured boho clothing with fitted pieces such as leggings or a short denim jacket to give yourself a sleeker appearance. You could also use a thick brown leather belt to constrict your waist.

Accessorize Like a Boss

Choose your accessories intelligently to create a signature style look—think belts, hats, scarves, and headbands! These adaptable looks and multifunctional accessories will offer you a free-spirited, cheerful appearance. You can stock up on colorful scarves in lovely prints to wear around your neck, around your shoulders as a shawl, as a headband, or around your waist as a belt.

Belts are extremely beneficial in Bohemian dress because of the shape they lend to loose, unstructured fabrics. Choose from leather, beads, macramé or crochet, metals—the possibilities are unlimited.

Invest in some bohemian shoes. Make sure your shoe rack offers a variety of suede ankle boots, gladiator sandals, and clogs.

A Bohemian purse or bag is vital for completing a casual outfit. Choose an oversized fringed hobo, a giant floppy purse, a distressed fringed and leather cross-body sling, or a classic canvas messenger bag!

Pretty hats will assist you in channeling your inner badass. Wear a gorgeous floppy hat, a cowboy hat, or even a chic fedora atop your loose wavy girls to complete the style. 

Hats with boho-inspired charms, tassels, or stripes on the headband will offer a touch of authenticity. Pair with a loose blouse, torn denim shorts, a leather belt, and knee-length gladiator shoes.

Quirky Embellishments

 

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The unique embellishments used on items and apparel are a significant feature of Bohemian design. Tassels, lucky charms, feathers, fringes, and embroidery adorn shawls, clothing, coats, bags, and tops.

Fringes are constructed of rope, leather, or yarn and decorate boots, jackets, purses, and tops. Because of the emphasis on handcrafted items, Bohemian costumes are frequently fashioned or adorned with lace, crochet, and macramé.

Embroidery in mostly floral designs gives your garment a creative gypsy vibe. You might also beautify your items and clothing with beads, appliques, sequins, gems, and lace.

Go Natural

Fashion is among the most significant environmental polluters; therefore, when you choose your outfit, consider its influence on the environment. You should avoid synthetic fibers like the plague—no acrylic, nylon, polyester, spandex, or polypropylene. According to studies, countless plastic microfibres from synthetic fabrics are washed into the sewage system and end up damaging the ocean.

So choose natural fibers such as cruelty-free silk and wool and organically farmed and ethically produced plant fibers such as cotton, bamboo, jute, linen, and hemp. Organic is the essential word here since, while cotton is a natural fiber, it is a highly pesticide-intensive crop, which takes a large amount of water, bleach, and harmful dyes to process.

To avoid toxic dyes, buy fabrics in natural colors such as light brown, cream, and pale green or that have been tinted with natural dyes.