While Bohemian style is closely associated with the hippie fashions of the 60s and 70s, Bohemian fashion actually started out as a counterculture in the 19th century.
In the 19th century, due to the social and economic climate, artists and creatives alike were forced to a life of poverty, therefore dressing in old and shabby clothes. As the economy stabilized artists and creatives began to use clothes as a way of expressing themselves. General perception was that artists and Romanian gypsies (nicknamed 'Bohemians') dressed alike and so, ‘bohemian’ became associated with a counterculture of creativity, artistic expression, as well as a disregard to social constructs and mainstream aesthetics.
The Bohemian movement evolved further in the 1960's during the hippy era. Hippies rejected everything from mainstream values to materialism, which was apparent in their fashion choices that went against the streamlined, polished and classy silhouettes that were the norm at that time. They instead opted for new clothing styles including ethnic dresses, embroideries, mixed prints, volume, fringe and flared silhouettes.
In modern day, Bohemian style matches an unconventional lifestyle ideology that focuses on living in the moment, collecting experiences and nurturing relationships. It combines the retro elements of the hippie culture and bohemian fashion, an alternative to the traditional way of dressing, paired up with an equally alternative, more liberated lifestyle and a social stance against everything from materialism to society’s constraints, and alters it to a more contemporary look.
Bohemian style is an effortless, relaxed fashion, with its loose-fitted clothing, casual accessories and overall artistic, creative mishmash of elements. It features a variety of natural materials, earthy shades and hippie-inspired patterns. It appreciates textures, patterns, colors and motifs of nature.
Although there are few rules to Bohemian fashion, there are a few elements that make it what it is:
Bohemian fashion revolves around the natural world. The Bohemian colour palette includes earthy, rich colors such as maroons, deep yellows and greens, and neutral shades such as beige, pastels and browns. Fabrics are comfortable, soft and natural, such as chiffon, cotton, suede, denim and leather.
Bohemian style is all about being comfortable in yourself and what you're wearing. It features loose, flared, free-flowing silhouettes and relaxed fits that can be flowy, flouncy maxi dresses, wide-sleeved tops, mixed print skirts, and lounge pants.
Boho fashion features a variety of eye-catching embellishments such as beadwork, hand-embroidery, studs, pom-poms, and attractive tassels. While incorporating bold patterns such as tribal patterns, floral prints, tie-dye patterns, and paisley prints. It is about combining cultures and aesthesis to create unique and eccentric outfits.
You can do boho however you’d like: maximalist, minimalist, modern, chic. The key is mixing, matching, layering, exploring and bringing out your creative side.