What is Boho Style Clothing?

Boho style clothing is the free-spirited fashion aesthetic that shot to fame during the 1970s. It’s a style aesthetic that goes by many names – boho-chic, bohemian, and simply ‘boho’. If you’ve stumbled onto this article, chances are that you’re interested in incorporating bohemian fashion into your closet. We’ve put together the ultimate guide all about boho style, so you can understand how to incorporate the aesthetic into your everyday closet. 

Where does bohemian fashion come from?

Bohemian was the word used to describe people who lived artistic lifestyles, such as Virginia Woolf. ‘Bohemian’ is French for ‘gypsy’ and described travelers who made their way to France from central Europe. When we’re talking about the fashion that’s inspired by this lifestyle, we usually say ‘boho-chic’. It blends the key characteristics of bohemianism with more contemporary silhouettes and styles.

Bohemian style is closely linked to the free-spirited and unconventional lifestyle. The feminine silhouettes evolved from the ‘hippie’ movement of the 1960s and 1970s. You’ll often see people call boho style, ‘hippie’ fashion without realizing that it influenced most of the changes that happened during that era.

Before we dive into what bohemian clothing is, it’s important to recognize that it’s more than just a fashion trend. It’s a culture and a lifestyle that has influenced generations of fashion designers. 

What is boho-chic clothing?

The clothes we consider to be ‘boho-chic’ have evolved from their 19th-century source of inspiration. The bohemian fashion aesthetic is laidback, casual, and unconventional. It’s all about expressing your personality and living free-spirited while refusing to stick to conventional fashion. 

Bohemian fashion is often linked to romanticism, with feminine silhouettes and floral prints. Boho fashion has always been considered exotic, as the term was originally used for scholars and creative individuals.

When you think of bohemian fashion, imagine oversized silhouettes, layered jewelry, mix-matched prints, and statement pieces.

Bohemian fashion and the hippie movement

Most of what we consider to be ‘bohemian’ fashion has come from the hippie movement that emerged in the 1960s. While we might think all things ‘60s and ‘70s are in style, they were considered unconventional for their time. The era was full of ethnic dressing, fringe, flared silhouettes, and mixed prints.

hippie movement in the USA

The bohemian fashion of the hippie era was adopted as a rejection of materialism and social constructs. The fitted silhouettes that everyone was wearing were juxtaposed by the flowy silhouettes of those in the hippie movement.

Most of the clothing worn by hippies had a neutral or earth-tone silhouette. While you might think of tie-dye shirts, bohemian fashion is more about textiles and intricate patterns.

Creating a bohemian closet

If you’ve gotten this far into our guide, you’re probably considering giving your closet a refresh. You don’t have to get rid of every item in your closet to adopt a boho-chic style aesthetic. What you need is a bohemian capsule closet of a few pieces that you can mix and match together. As you get more confident with your bohemian style, you can find more unique pieces that speak to you.

Loose tops with a relaxed fit are a staple in bohemian fashion, especially if they have a bell or bishop-style sleeve. You’ll rarely find a sleeveless shirt, as most have a half-length or three-quarter length sleeve. These tops usually have embellishments like pompoms or ethnic prints for extra character.

With your trousers, you want to embrace boho-chic with jeans that have a flared silhouette or a flowy skirt. Don’t overlook trousers with embroidery or skirts with a mixed print.

The garment everyone thinks about when they hear ‘boho-chic’ is dresses. If you’re starting on your bohemian style journey, you want to fill your closet full of versatile dresses to get you started. Look out for loose-fitting dresses with an a-line cut. Bell or trumpet sleeves are an easy way to add a bohemian flair, along with mixed print designs and vibrant designs. Embroidery is always a bonus with bohemian clothing.

Don’t forget outerwear. Three classic pieces for any bohemian fashionista are a denim jacket, printed kimono, and a Sherpa jacket. You want to look for styles that have distressed elements and an oversized silhouette. Fringe and trims are easy to incorporate with outerwear. You want your pieces to be comfortable and cozy to wear.

When you’re wearing bohemian fashion, you should feel stylish without compromising on comfort.

What are bohemian fashion accessories?

Your footwear can make or break a bohemian look. You want to swap out your white sneakers for gladiator sandals, chunky wooden heels, and classic suede ankle boots. It’s best to choose footwear within warm hues, in shades like browns and greys. Wood accents will add a ‘hippie’ edge to your look, while platform heels give you a contemporary twist.

Boho chic accessories are ones that always come back in style, making them easy to track down and add to your closet. A fringe bag or bucket drawstring is a must-have for your closet, along with statement jewelry that incorporates stones and crystals. An oversized scarf is a staple that you can use in a dozen different ways. For a truly bohemian look, keep an eye out for antique-looking pieces and accessories with patchwork detailing.

Which celebrities have a bohemian style aesthetic?

We all love to use celebrities as our fashion muses. Although bohemian fashion dates back to the French revolution, you don’t have to look too far for your boho-chic style inspiration. 

The celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is famous for her free-spirited and bohemian style. One of her MET Gala looks was an off-the-shoulder dress with tiered fringe detailing that any bohemian fashionista would love.

The early-2000s was when the bohemian style had its biggest resurgence. Everyone from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to Sienna Miller and Nicole Ritchie were the stars of this style trend. If you’re looking for more current inspiration, check out what everyone is wearing at Coachella. It’s the perfect place to look for free-spirited fashion that captures the aesthetic of the bohemian and hippie movements.

Boho-chic is all about wearing clothing that makes you look and feel amazing. It’s a rejection of society’s norms, with a focus on ethnic designs and prints. If you’re thinking of refreshing your style, look no further than the bohemian aesthetic.