Flaunt Boho Chic Look

Edited by Jan Margery Castillo, Eng, Lynn, Robbi and 3 others

Flow tops and skirts. Earth colors and leathers. Flower crowns and dream catchers. These are the trademarks of the laid-back fashion called Boho or Bohemian style.

This fashion statement never goes out of season, and if it's your first time to hear it, then this article is for you. Read on to know what are the different ways to flaunt a Boho Chic look.

Bohemians, Gypsies and Hippies

The term "boho" refers to bohemian style. This fashion statement is rooted in the historic counter-culture communities who share the same idealism and way of life. The bohemians, gypsies and hippies are the inspiration for the boho chic style that never goes out of season. They come from different environments and causes, but they share a few of the same characteristics -that is being free-spirited and not willing to conform to society's norms.


"Bohemians" are literally people living in Bohemia, one of the provinces in Czech Republic in 1500s. On the other hand, "bohemian" is a general term coined for like-minded people who are counter-culture and people who refuse to follow the Bourgeois ways. They choose to live their own style, wandering, traveling, getting cheaper house rents, threadbare clothing, and technically not conforming to the centralized political and religious clamor of their community. They are mostly artists such as painters, writers, actors, poets, musicians and the like. These artists have no regard for money and luxury because they prefer to live out their passion in art. The term bohemian started in France during the late 18th century.


Gypsies were people originally from India, but who have formed different tribes across the globe because they were nomads. There is a connotation that they are dark-skinned and fortune tellers who always have their tarot cards with them. The biggest tribes of gypsies were the Romani people who traveled to Bohemia and eventually migrated to Western Europe. However, they suffered from persecution in 1500s and 1600s across France. They too, were considered bohemians because they chose to live outside the perimeters of politics and laws.

The Hippies came about during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was during the flower power movement where the youth protested against the Vietnam War. They went around the streets giving flowers to policemen, soldiers government officials, media and to anyone to promote peace and harmony. They even have other props such as toys, music, flags, and more. Their style is very colorful and relaxed. The society regards the hippies as untidy and unkempt but for them, it's a state of mind and not intentionally a fashion statement.

Basic boho elements

Bohemians do not particularly call their style a fashion statement; rather, they call it their way of life. They don't follow any particular fashion trend, and instead, they just go with pieces that works best for them. Their lifestyle is basically enjoying their craft and their art. Unlike the majority of people in the society, they are not conformists and it is clearly reflected in the way they dress themselves.

So if you want to achieve a bohemian style, learn the boho chic basics first.

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    Loose clothing. Their free-spirited characteristics are manifested through their loose and lightweight clothes. Their garments are free-flowing and comfortable always. They stay away from fitted clothes that restrict carefree body movement.
    1. Loose tops
    2. Tunic t-shirts
    3. Embroidered loose blouses
    4. Huge sweaters
    5. Maxi dresses
    6. Maxi skirts
    7. Loose trousers or flared jeans
    8. Caftan
    9. Denim shorts
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    Clunky accessories. A boho chic look is never complete without layers of accessories. They love wearing vintage pieces, chunky jewelry, patterned and tribal designed adornments. They choose eccentric designs, no matter what the current trend is.
    1. Belt
    2. Chandelier and hoop earrings
    3. Long necklaces
    4. Huge rings
    5. Bangles
    6. Bracelets
    7. Sling bags
    8. Floppy hat
    9. Huge sunglasses
    10. Feather clips
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    Lots of layering. Bohemians are very experimental with their look. While they don't conform to the society's newest hip trends, they play up with their style by adding layers of clothing and other accessories. They have a collection of tiny bits of fluffy and breezy materials. What defines their personality is the total look of their outfit after all the layering.  
    1. Vests
    2. Scarves
    3. Shawls
    4. Leather jackets
    5. Knitted cardigans
    6. Kimono and cover ups
    7. Ponchos
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  4. 4
    Hair accents. Another must-have for a boho chic look is to add hair accents. Whether it's for a casual or formal look, there is always something liberal to their locks.  
    1. Braids
    2. Twist-outs
    3. Afros
    4. Flower crowns
    5. Headbands
    6. Headwraps
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  5. 5
    Comfy shoes. Since bohemians are naturally wanderers and travelers, their footwear is always comfortable and in earth hues. They have pairs of shoes that are fashionably low-key and rustic.  
    1. Cowboy boots
    2. Flat sandals
    3. Wedges
    4. Gladiator sandals
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    Distinct brand. These are the trademarks of a bohemian style. Even if you don't have much boho attire in your closet, still you can pull off a boho chic look with these staple accents.  
    1. Ethnic prints
    2. Feathers
    3. Lace
    4. Embroidery
    5. Metallic
    6. Fringe and tassels
    7. Earthy tones
    8. Patterns
    9. Crochet
    10. Dream catchers
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Mix and Match Boho Pieces

With all the basic pieces and tiny bits of details to complete a boho chic look, you might be wondering how and where to start in the first place. There are many ways to rock a bohemian look, but the most important thing to consider is your personal style. What are the types of clothes suit you best? What cuts flatter your body type? When are you most comfortable? Examine your closet first and see how you can inject a boho chic look from your current wardrobe. Always remember that bohemians are not into expensive and flashy items; they only want to express their free-spirited selves. Here are some tips on how to mix and match boho ensembles.

Maxi Skirt and Dresses

Maxi skirts are long flowy skirts with free-flowing hems that reach down to your ankles. These are very comfortable and jazzy. They elongate the body and give you that chic look. Made from light fabric, this boho piece gives the body a sexy definition without the slightest intention.

You can try different ways to strut a maxi dress or skirt, depending on your body type.

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    Height doesn't matter. This long ensemble is not only for tall women; even those who are petite can sport a maxi dress. Nicole Richie and Vanessa Hudgens are only 5'1", but they always look fab on a maxi. The basic rule is that if you are tall, wear flats to complement the dress, but when you are short, you can wear hot wedges or comfy heels with it. Just make sure to buy a dress or skirt with a not-too-long-hemline because you may look like a curtain. Pick something that is just right for your height.
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  • 2
    Size doesn't matter. So what if you are a plus-size gal? There are several ways you can pull of the boho look. Choose maxi dresses or skirts with big prints and block colors. Dresses that fit just right for your body will accentuate your curves, so avoid wearing loose-fitted tops. You may wear a dark wide belt around your waist too to emphasize your curves.
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  • 3
    Plain over printed. If you are wearing a bold and printed maxi skirt, pair it with a plain white or cream top to complement the look. Maxi skirts can be worn on a high-waist with a cropped top and you can let it cling on to your hips with a loose embroidered or lacy top. Add accessories such as long dream catcher necklaces or unique hand crafted metals and wooden pieces.
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  • 4
    Day look. Maxi dresses can be worn as a casual dress during the day. Choose light and floral prints to make it cool. You may layer it with a cropped light denim cardigan for added style. Finish the look with strap sandals or gladiator flats.
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  • 5
    Evening dress. The good thing about a maxi dress or skirt is that you can dress down or dress up. It's sassy, especially when you choose bold prints. A boho clutch with fringes and bulky bangles can make the look more fab.
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  • Denims and Boho tops

    Denims are universal street smart outfits. You surely have heaps of denim essential pieces in your closet to start off. Pairing any boho top with skinny jeans, flared jeans, faded or frayed shorts, denim skirt and denim vest add a rugged but glamorous touch to your fashion statement.

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      High waist shorts. This get up is so hippie and it never goes out of style. The golden boho rule when wearing high waist denim shorts is to wear a cropped top. You can wear a muscle tee or a cropped fringed tee and just let it hang. Layer the fit with long cardigans, kimono cover ups, or vest. Finish the look with ankle boots or beaded flats and a brown boho sling bag. A sweatshirt, peasant top, or tunic shirt can also be worn as long as you tuck the front part of the shirt. Again, play with different layers of earth color jewelries and accessories.
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    2. 2
      Skinny Jeans. When you are wearing skinny bottoms, the best way to complement it is to wear lightweight and loose tops. Knit pullovers, embroidered peasant tops and flow lace blouses are the basic boho chic elements that can make your ordinary skinny jeans look boho. Enhance the look with long layers of necklaces, hoop earrings, wavy hair and a braided slim headband. Boots and wedges are perfect for this look.
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    3. 3
      Denim vest. This is a must-have for every aspiring boho chic. A cropped, faded or frayed denim vest creates an edgy look to any boho piece. Try it over floral or printed dresses and viola! It's fashionable and comfortable at the same time.
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    4. 4
      Flared Jeans. The nice thing about flared jeans is that they give you that lean look and sexy butt. Wear this with caftan or embroidered tops and scarf. If you are a bit taller, you may also try it with tunic dresses that are not too long. Then add a wrap around leather body bag to finish the look.
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    Dress and ankle boots

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      Lace dress. Lace is one of the staple boho elements that brings out the feminine side of any boho look. Bohemians are great artists and it is manifested through the intricate designs of laces incorporated in their garments. Almost any type of footwear can flatter a lace dress, but the boho chic uses leather or suede ankle boots.
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    2. 2
      Patterned dress. Paisley, aztec, floral, tribal and ethnic are the common patterns used by bohemians. The colors range from earth tones to bold colors such as orange, dark green, deep violet and dark blue. The patterns are very artistic an are perfect with solid brown ensembles. A floppy hat and boho bag adds volume to any patterned dress and ankle boots outfit. You may also layer it with scarf and vest.
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    Bohemian Style Do's and Don'ts

    Since boho style is all about self expression and putting up fashion pieces that are eclectic and comfortable, it leaves the individual her freedom to choose whatever boho item suits her best. However, there are still things that you need to bear in min to avoid fashion mishap.

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      Do get inspiration from vintage items. Open your parents' and grandparents' old cabinets and chest and see what fashion items you can get. A wide brown vintage belt can be used to accentuate a loose paisley top.
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    2. 2
      Don't even try to put on the old thick puffed sleeved blouses because they are never boho, even if they are vintage.
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    3. 3
      Do play with colors. Boho style comes with different bold colors. Mix and match patterns with the same hue or pair them with earth tones.
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    4. 4
      Don't wear more than four different shades of color. You don't want to look like a clown. Stick to at least two color combination and pattern. If you are wearing an Aztec cardigan over a bright top, then don't wear bright contrasting shorts.
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    5. 5
      Do play with accessories. Wear different texture or accessories at the same time to add variation to your outfit. Combine long necklaces with short beads, pearls or feather accents. It is not considered bohemian if you stick to one simple accessory.
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    6. 6
      Don't go overboard with accessories. The key to achieving perfect accessorizing is to look at the mirror before going out. If you think it looks too much, then it probably is. Also, if it's too heavy, then you should take off some pieces because you don't need to suffer just for fashion.
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    7. 7
      Do wear boots with short bottoms. Boots make you edgy and sexy when wearing shorts, skirts that are above or a few inches below the knee, and mini dresses.
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    8. 8
      Don't wear boots with a maxi dress or maxi skirt. This is a big no-no! Just wear flat sandals or wedges with long dresses.
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    9. 9
      Do get inspiration from celebrities and boho fashion icons. You can get hot tips on how to mix and match your boho essentials.
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    10. 10
      Don't imitate someone else's style. Study your body type and see what goes well with you. Just because Sienna Miller looks gorgeous on that flared jeans and loose top with loud prints doesn't mean it looks good on you too. Always remember that boho is all about comfort too.
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    11. 11
      Do apply a subtle makeup with earthy tones. Bohemians mostly use cake foundations and neutral colored lip gloss and tints.
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    12. 12
      Do experiment with layers. It's fun to explore different ways to make a simple outfit look so boho. Plain cotton shirts can be extra chic with colorful accessories and layers. Good thing boho layering pieces like scarves, ponchos, and vests are cheap and can be used to rock multiple boho chic looks.
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    13. 13
      Don't put heavy layers. You can tell the difference between good layering and a bad layering. If it's too heavy and so many pieces are contrasting, then it is too much. Again, check the mirror and determine which one needs to go with the other. Don't wear scarves on maxi skirts or dresses because it will make you look like a layered curtain.
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    Where to shop Boho Essentials

    If you are done recycling the vintage pieces you got from your parents and you still want to expand your boho chic wardrobe, head to the following stores and pick boho basics that fits your personality.

    • Forever 21
    • Urban Outfitters
    • Guess by Georges Marciano
    • H&M
    • American Eagle Outfitters
    • Free People
    • Anthropologie
    • Gypsy 05
    • BCBG Max Azria

    Remember though that there are plenty of affordable to almost free ways of playing with boho chic look. You just need to be artsy, creative, resourceful and smart in choosing and mixing pieces that will suit you best.

    Questions and Answers

    Do you have a Boho jeans for evening look?

    I love wearing my distressed jeans but I want to dress them up to wear to a party.. I have tried: I am considering wearing fancy beaded moccasins.. I think it was caused by: I want to look Boho without looking too trendy or sloppy.

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    Categories : Ethnic Fashion

    Recent edits by: Donna, Graeme, Robbi

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