Just because this look summons up the feel of the 1960s and the hippies, it is really more modern and sophisticated nowadays. Bohemian style is one of the iconic looks Kim France and Andrea Linett describe in their The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style (Conde Nast Publications, 2008).
This look uses unconventional items – casual, vintage, and ethnic clothing and accessory items that convey a luxurious feel. Focus on earthy colors, but think autumn plum, olive and brown instead of spring and summer’s pinks, violets, and yellows. Items, from leather sandals to a snake patterned hammered silver cuff to silk tops and velvet coats have texture.
Essential Women’s Clothes
A variety of textures can add interest to an outfit that features one or two colors. Avoid an outfit that highlights too much of one texture (all lace, lots of velvet). Just like in nature where a tree will have smooth leaves and rough bark, this earthy looks uses a variety of textures in materials people want to reach out and touch.
For this fashion style, look for flared leg pants, tired skirts (in solid colors or fun ethnic prints), and ground-sweeping “maxi” dresses and skirts. Even structured clothing will have some sweep or flow to it perhaps by being worn a little bit longer. At the very least, a structured jacket will have fake fur cuffs or be cut from suede.
This is the look that can carry off peasant blouses, crocheted vests, and hip-length tank tops. Look for belted cardigans, dresses, and jackets for a casual look. Clothing is often made from thin fabrics that can get layered without looking bulky.
Essential Fashion Accessories
Texture carries into the accessories for the Bohemian fashion style. Look for crocheted sandals and purses, fake fur on the books, velvet purses and shawls, fringed cotton or silk scarves. Look to city street vendors and those little import shops for inexpensive and authentic ethnic accessories that give the wearer a unique look to call her own. Vintage jewelry, not just from the 60s and 70s, adds sophistication to an outfit.
Restraint is warranted or the details can overwhelm the wearer. If a scarf is wrapped around the neck, avoid long dangling earrings. If wearing chunky necklaces it isn’t necessary to pile on bracelets as well. After getting dressed and accessorizing, look in a full length mirror. If the eye bounces around, too many diverse elements may be ineffectively combined. The components of a Bohemian outfit should complement one another without fighting for attention.
Pulling Together a Clothing Style
The danger with the bohemian look is that too many loose and flowing pieces can look sloppy. Make at least one key piece structured. A close-fitting (although hip-length) tank over a peasant skirt combines a straight line with the flowing. Wear a structured jacket in suede over a long, flowing dress. Try a straighter, less flared jean or pant with a peasant blouse.
This look, one the book The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style calls an iconic look, can be mastered by any woman who wants an earthy yet sophisticated look. This fashion style can be interspersed in a wardrobe with a few key clothing pieces and accessories or it can be carried throughout an entire wardrobe for a modern and chic hippy look.