Bohemian style is more than simply a trend - it’s a lifestyle. Often shortened to boho, bohemian style takes its name from bohemianism, a term used to describe marginalized and impoverished writers, artists, musicians and actors that were often wanderers and vagabonds in central Europe during the 19th century. The term was reclaimed during the beat and counterculture movement in America, and was used to describe people who live unconventional and often artistic lives. Today, bohemian style is back in the form of boho-chic, which draws influence from bohemianism in the traditional sense, but has morphed it into something novel and unique.
Now that we’ve answered the question of “what is bohemian style?”, we’ll discuss how to incorporate bohemian style both into your wardrobe and your home. While boho-chic is achieved by adopting a certain aesthetic, it’s also an ethos characterized by free-spiritedness and a certain carelessness reflected in the fashion choices. Below we’ll take a look at a couple of ways to inject some bohemian style into your life.
Bohemian Style in the Home
While bohemianism is usually expressed through fashion and clothing, it’s also a style that many are adopting in their homes. It’s generally characterized by interesting and idiosyncratic decorative pieces that encapsulate a relaxed and carefree way of living.
The first step to give your home a bohemian style makeover is to incorporate the appropriate colors for the aesthetic. While there are no set rules when it comes to bohemian style, a general guide is that warm, earthy tones such as deep browns and greens are a good base which should be accentuated with vivid bright tones such lurid purples and reds. It takes a bit of an eye for design to determine what colors work together, but it’s also important to not over analyze it; afterall, bohemianism is about being carefree, and sometimes that means simply throwing two colors together and seeing if they work or not.
When it comes to textures, feel free to mix and match almost everything. In a boho’s home you’ll just as easily find one-tone couches right next to stripes pillows and tye-dyed tapestries. The combination of different cultural styles is encouraged, and textiles from the Orient paired with pottery from the Occident is the far from a faux pas. In true bohemian style, try hanging tapestries from the wall, invest in thick rugs or carpeting, and source as much quirky art and vintage furniture as you can get your hands on. If the room is question looks as though some pieces were thrown together without a second thought or consideration, you’re probably headed in the right direction.
Bohemian Style in the Wardrobe
When it comes to incorporating bohemian style into your wardrobe, vintage stores are almost always going to be your friends. Finding genuine pieces from the 60s and 70s is going to be the best and most authentic way of embracing the artistic and liberated ethos of the area. A good place to start is by visiting the vintage and thrift stores in your area. Another option is to source them online, such as Anthill’s KUD vintage store which offers a full range of carefully sourced, authentic and pristine pieces.
If you’ve ever had to ask yourself “what is bohemian style and how can I corporate the look?” then start by deciding on the basic color aesthetic of your clothing. Like bohemian style in the home, you’re going to want the colors of your wardrobe to be a mix of warm earthy hues coupled with louder and vibrant colorful pieces. This off the shoulder frill dress in dusty pink is a perfect example of a warm and neutral canvas which you can build on top on with more adventurous accessories. The flowing, loose, off-the-shoulder cut of the dress is also a quintessential of bohemian style, and when paired with a pair of ankle boots, a high-waisted belt and numerous pieces of jewelry, completes the boho-chic look completely.
If you’d like to make more of a bold statement and incorporate those brighter, more exciting colors, check out this pleated mesh skirt. Obviously when it comes to the bohemian style dressing anything goes, but it’s important not to overdo it. Since the skirt itself is already quite a statement, avoid pairing it with something equally loud. Instead, opt for a more neutral top, such as a dark denim jacket or a white lace halter top.
When it comes to pants, bell bottoms and wide-leg options are the way to go. Like the skirts and dresses already discussed, pants that are loose and relaxed are ideal for incorporating the bohemian style. Flared jeans and harem pants are also great additions to any boho wardrobe. If you’re serious about embracing the flower power style of the 60s, then bell bottoms are the way forward.
When it comes to fashion, the bohemian style is incredibly versatile and subjective. But if you’re really stuck and can’t think of anything to wear, take inspiration from fashion icons of the 60s and 70s such as Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, who pretty much paved the way for the current boho fashion revival.