What is Boho Styling?

Boho - short for Bohemian Homeless - and Boho Chic is a fashion style centred around the Bohemian and Hippie influences originating in the 1960s and 1970s. Boho is a style defined as unconventional, musical, artistic, and spiritual, but the term and lifestyle was borrowed by young French artists in the 1930s who wished to distinguish themselves from the middle and upper class bourgeoisie. The original Bohemians were travellers, ostensibly from Bohemia in Czechoslovakia, who lived a life poor of wealth but rich in music, colour and culture. If Hippies borrowed their Boho styling from emerging French artists, and emerging French artists adapted the look from Czechoslovakian gypsies, then what is Boho styling today?

The new Bohemian

The modern Boho look, termed Boho-Chic, emerged in the early 21st century. Like it's previous incarnations, the look is often long and flowing with soft layered fabrics. It can be colourful or natural, highly embellished or simple. To get the look for yourself, here are a few key elements to try.

Fabrics

Long, loose and flowing. Raw unprocessed materials with simple patterns and prints. Maxi skirts, wide pants or flares, shawls and scarves, large open sleeves. Furs, fleece, leather, suede, wool and denim.

Embellishments

Beaded, embroidered, fringed and tasselled, lace trimmed, pleated, knotted, or strung with tiny bells. Studs

Cheerful poverty

Carefully arranged rips and frays, patches, artificially (or genuinely) aged material. Distressed/worn denim.

Ethnic

Patterns inspired by other cultures, particularly Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Indian. 'Peasant' tops and ruffles.

Crochet

Crocheted tops, shawls, wraps and tunics in airy lace patterns became popular after the 1970s.

Colourful

Although a lot of the Bohemian look is raw material and neutrals, bright ethnic colours inspired by natural dying methods are also popular.

Footwear

Ankle boots, like the boots worn by the original Czech travellers, or strappy sandals with straps extending above the ankles. High top casual "Converse-type" sneakers.

Headwear

Nothing says Boho Chic like flowers in the hair; a floral headband or garland - real or fabric. Headscarves and hair wraps. Ribbons. A big floppy hat.

Hair

Loose, flowing, or a casually messy ponytail or bun. Beaded, plaited or loose dreadlocks.

Jewellery

Chunky and ethnic, with beads and natural elements like feathers, wood and tassels. Hoops, semi-precious stones, gold and silver, long layered necklaces and dangly earrings. See our range of Boho inspired earrings here.

Accessories

Oversized sunglasses - round, cats-eye, or aviator - in natural tones or colours. Large bags with fringes or embroidery. Big fabric scarves. Temporary tattoos and henna. Belts, elaborately decorated and buckled, or simple lengths of fabric tied around the waist.

The whole idea around Boho is that the style is very loosely defined, and the look should appear casually thrown together for effortless comfort and ease of wearing. Don't worry too much about getting the look right - just a few of the above elements added to items you already own can easily help you pull off the Boho style.

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