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Bohemian style or boho style is referred to as the ‘exotic’ style trend which is used widely nowadays not only by the people in fashion. This style trend is also used in Interior designing and even in writing. Many poets refer to and use the term bohemian in their write ups.
The Boho style reflects the hippie culture in the 60s and 70s. Hippies had their own distinctive style and their own way of living during those times. They saw how materialism was ruining the life of people and they were always against war and violence.
Some movements such as Woodstock and the flower power movement were very famous during those times.
They were considered an outlaw of society and they weren't really part of anything. But they developed their lifestyle, clothing, and eating habits and maintained their own living arrangements.
In this article, we will look at the Boho style and its impact on fashion. We will also learn about the modern representation of the Boho style and its evolution.
Fashion is something that draws inspiration from various cultures and traditions across the globe. Boho is a free spirited fashion which involves a lot of relaxed or free flowy silhouettes. They use a lot of colours and prints which are abstract.
And time and again boho style is proving the fact that it will never go out of style.
French luxury brands such as Givenchy, Altuzarra get frequently inspired from bohemian style where they employ relaxed silhouettes inspired from hippie culture.
The boho fashion is mainly portrayed as a spring summer clothing, but it can be actually worn any time of the year as layering is an important part of Boho styling.
Also the main characteristic of boho fashion is ignoring what is there in the mainstream and creating their own style. And that is one of the reasons why boho will not go out of fashion because they don’t have any fixed style or design element. That is why it is being referred to as free spirited.
Bohemian style is said to depict a fun, carefree nature of fashion. Nowadays, there are so many trends for silhouettes, fabric, design and color. But when we adopt something that doesn’t have a fixed boundary - clearly that’s the case with boho - it gives freedom not only to the wearers but also to the designers.
Since the boho outfits are inspired from the hippie culture, some of the common silhouettes are Mini-skirt, waistcoats, denim shorts, dresses with different patterns and color palette, loose fitted tops, long flowy dresses with surface ornamentations such as embroideries, tassels, and prints. Crochet is also something that is commonly viewed and perceived as a boho outfit. Crochet tops look really sophisticated and at the same time casual, which is the main essence of bohemian fashion.
For the accessories part, it is very important to complement in the right sense. For many people, fashion means just the clothing. But fashion is much more than that. It is about meticulously planning and creating an ensemble which also includes clothes. So, for a typical boho style, some of the common accessories would be boots, which can be of 2 types, both ankle length and full length, comfortable and casual flats, Tote bag, sling bag, or a formal purse.
Incorporating all these small elements into your designing or styling part will ensure that you know have a style which is planned, but it looks like it is not planned. It is very casual, but the designing part is very serious. If this happens that means our hard work has finally paid off!
Why is that?
Let me explain.
Whenever we see any celebrity sporting some elegant dress or an outfit, it looks like they didn’t try much. But the truth is, behind the scenes, an entire team of designer, stylists worked together to create that particular look and everything will be organized.
So, when the final output shows elegance without the “try-harding” effect then the designing and styling worked very well.
There is a natural aesthetic when it comes to bohemian style. It is also referred to as the “BOHO-CHIC” style. They have a natural and aesthetic vibe in them and mostly the color palette consists of earthy neutral shades and emphasis is placed more on the comfort that the garment should provide.
When it comes to the elements of boho fashion styling, layering is very important. This will give a “gypsy-chic look” which focuses on a person wearing their best outfit from their wardrobe. It’s not about matching and having a theme, it’s just about having fun and playing around with different styles.
Jackets are the most common type of layering, which can be worn over a blouse or a tunic dress. Accessorize with some funky jewellery, some rings, and a hat and you are good to go! The boho-chic look is ready.
Oversized shirts and Asymmetric silhouettes are commonly seen in the styling for boho. Maxi dresses and styling with leather belts can go very well.
Another very interesting thing about boho is, any body shape can sport a boho-chic style. Since it has flowy loose silhouettes, which will not accentuate the body type in a big way.
We all know that fashion is the biggest contributor to the world’s pollution. There are many artificial fabrics that are manufactured, which are ultimately dumped in the land and causing land degradation and multiple other issues to our environment. So, for bohemian styling, if a person wants to take it to a conscious level, then it is advisable to use organic fabrics like cotton, hemp, bamboo, jute, etc. Even to dye the fabrics, it is good to use natural dyes and reduce the chemical consumption in the garment.
The reason why I’m mentioning sustainability here is, even the boho-chic style is about simplicity and comfort. So, as designers and stylists, it is best to incorporate inspiration such as bohemian and use sustainable methods of manufacturing to make it planet conscious.
For a person, who is experimenting for the first time with a boho look, it might look like it is completely out of their comfort zone. And I agree with it. It will feel like that, but we can always add something to the outfit that we always wear to balance out. Let us say you are so used to wearing a particular watch, then style your boho outfit with your watch and complete the look.
Jewellery and accessories are emphasized a lot in bohemian styling. There will be more than one chain, creating a sense of care-freeness in their approach.
Also, when it comes to the fabric selection for the outfits, suede, crochet, and lace are widely used in this culture. These are certainly some off-beat fabrics, which are used but not very common in every dress. But these are common in Bohemian culture.
Denim shorts, a Kimono top, bat wing top or any top which is flary and drapy goes well with each other. This outfit styling is like the typical beachwear kind of a style, but denim’s are also dominantly used by these people, especially shorts.
Surface ornamentations play a major part in terms of embroidery and printing. Even footwear such as boots are also embellished on the side with beads and other things to make it look funky.
In the mid 90’s Boho look was widely seen around in public places. Actress Sienna Miller, Florence Welch, Vanessa Hudgens, Haim, and Lisa Bonet were all the main influencers of bohemian fashion during that time. Many people got inspired by their looks and boho fashion was getting more popular.
You can set up your entire wardrobe with bohemian style as it goes well with almost any occasion that you can come across in your life. From your dates with your loved ones to bridal showers, weddings, casual party nights, etc, you can style in a hundred different ways. So, it is really versatile and styling will be effortless.
As we looked at how boho started, the common outfits and styling tips, we can clearly understand one thing: fashion will always be closely related to cultures across the globe. Culture binds and connects people together. Fashion wants to bind and connect people with their brand. So, it is only fitting that fashion and culture go hand-in-hand with each other to create art. Fashion is art. Otherwise, it is very difficult to convert one form of culture into something completely different such as clothing.
This doesn’t happen on this scale in any other industry. So, it is an opportunity for each one of us to pay close attention to people, their beliefs and culture, tradition, likes and dislikes constantly. You never know when this will help you in the future in your workplace or for your personal life.
The bohemian culture was truly inspirational and one-of-a-kind. Cultures like this are once again coming back to the modern era of fashion. Many brands are selling boho-chic apparel. Modernization is happening and it will never stop. It is necessary for young and grooming designers and stylists to be aware of these social things that have happened in our history so that you can bring them back to this modern era.
I hope that this article will help you broaden your styling game in boho-chic hippie style!
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