Do you struggle with finding a style that is equal parts casual, eclectic, formal, beautiful, and personal to your own taste? It might be time to start trying the bohemian style.
You've probably heard of boho style, boho bracelets, boho looks, boho skirts, etc. But do you fully know what it is? We bet there's a lot about boho that you still have yet to learn.
Do you know when boho started or that it's the oldest alternative fashion around? Do you know which items already in your wardrobe qualify as boho? Let's take a look at the boho style in-depth to decide if it's right for you and how to master it.
What Is Boho Style?
The word "boho" is actually short for "bohemians." This style is as old as the French Revolution though it's gone through several distinct changes over time. It has even influenced future alt fashion like punk - which is why you can find so many punk bracelets among our bohemian bracelets. We'll get into the beautiful history of bohemian style in a moment, but let's first talk about some characteristics.
Boho style is often associated with artists, intellectuals, musicians, and some nomadic type characters. Boho fashion can be described as free-spirited, bright, airy, natural, open, unique, and self-expressive. There's nothing restricted or constrained about boho styles, and people are encouraged to make it their own.
For this reason, it can be hard to pin down exactly what bohemian style looks like. But if someone looks like they have a free spirit and are unrestricted by their clothes or clothing trends, there's a good chance they have a bohemian style.
The History of Boho
Bohemian style is one of the oldest alternative fashion choices. Can you think of any other that goes as far back as 200 years?
Bohemian culture first came to be in the years following the French Revolution. Previously, aristocrats supported artists financially through patronage. However, after the fall of the bourgeoisie, many artists found themselves falling into poverty. In this financial state, they found less expensive ways of living, including nomadism and communal living.
With this new living style came new methods of self-expression. They no longer had patrons to appeal to, so they chose instead to self-express through their artistic practices and even through the way they dressed. Our bohemian bracelets reflect many vintage styles of the period with their large natural stones.
Because they lived nomadically like European Gypsies (and Gypsies were thought to be from Bohemia), this group of self-expressive artists was known as "Bohemians". And the Bohemian style was born.
If you want even more historical context and understanding of the Bohemian lifestyle, simply look to Puccini's La Bohème which later inspired the musical, Rent. Both are stories of outcast artists who find their own way of life, which perfectly captures the spirit and style of boho.
Main Components of Boho Style
The Boho style has come a long way since post-revolution France. There are components to the style from those original artists, actual Gypsies, hippies, Native Americans, and many other sources. So if you're looking to dress boho today, you have a lot of inspiration sources to choose from.
To dress in the bohemian style, the most important thing is choosing what you like and feel the least restricted. However, there are some reoccurring trends and themes that you can look to for inspiration.
Boho clothing is often light and airy. Clothing pieces tend to be loose or oversized, such as maxi peasant skirts and tunic tops.
The best pieces you can have in your boho wardrobe are ones that can be layered over each other. Think of lace and crocheted materials that can go on top of another layer and scarves and shawls to pull over yourself. Layering goes for bohemian bracelets too. Stack them up or buy a set pre-layered for you.
Common colors for boho clothing include bright colors and earthy tones. Many boho clothing comes in brown, yellow, orange, green, and sea blue. Natural dyes show up a lot in boho clothing because of the inconsistent and unique hues. Another great way to get natural bright colors in your boho outfits is to incorporate natural stones like our bracelets which include jasper, howlite, agate, lapis, and more!
Must-Have Boho Clothing Items
As mentioned before, your boho style is whatever you choose to make it. Personally choice and self-expression are paramount to dressing in the boho style. But these items will be instantly recognizable as bohemian should you choose to include them in your wardrobe:
- Maxi peasant skirt
- Tunic top
- Lace or crochet tank top
- Tunic and Off the Shoulder Tops
- Eyelet dress
- Kimono jacket
- Gladiator sandals
- Suede boots or clogs
- Fringe bag
- Harem pants
- Denim shorts
- Stackable rings and bracelets
- Strappy bracelets and necklaces
- Stone pendants
- Sheepskin coat
Boho Style Icons
The imagery of nomads, artists, and hippies should help with the inspiration behind Boho fashion, but it never hurts to have a couple of style icons. Luckily, many people dressed in the boho style have entered the spotlight. Let's look at some of their interpretations of the boho style!
Yoko Ono, the wife of John Lennon and experimental artist in her own right, embodied boho style. She brings a touch of Japanese tradition to the bohemian looks with her androgynous looks and floppy hats.
Iconic folk musician, Janis Joplin, wore flowy skirts, stacked rings, big sunglasses, and was always covered in fringe. For a 70s boho look, you can't go wrong emulating Janis Joplin.
The actress, Vanessa Hudgens, completely embodies the boho style with her festival looks. She loves floral patterns, earth tones, and crocheted materials are essential to the boho look. While Janis Joplin might be the queen of 70s boho, Hudgens shows you how to take boho to contemporary times. And she's never seen without some iconic stacked, natural fiber, boho bracelets.
Boho jewelry is all about abundance, stacking, and raw materials. With bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings, you should mix metals, styles, and colors for an eclectic. Think of combining pieces to look like they came from all different adventures in your life. Every piece should look like it has a story.
A classic choice for bohemian bracelets is the bangle. Bangles can be stacked, and you can mix the metals. Look for bangles made of hammered metal for a rugged look.
Another great option for bracelets is either braided leather or beaded jewelry. Anything with a homemade or craft look fits in with the bohemian look. When looking for bohemian bracelets, choose beads that are made from natural stones. You can also simply find leather strips and other materials to wrap around your wrists as a fun bracelet.
Have fun with it! Not everything needs to match perfectly. Simply find many colors and materials that look good together and then mash them all together!
Boho necklaces can also be layered, just like boho clothes and bracelets. There's no such thing as too much when it comes to Boho style. Find a bunch of necklaces that look good together of different lengths. The different lengths will add texture and keep things from looking too busy.
Some good choices for boho necklaces are pendants with pretty stones on the end and chokers made of natural materials such as leather. Your necklace will look even better if it includes an image of nature. Necklaces that feature trees, insects, animals, and celestial objects are great choices.
When it comes to Boho earrings, bigger is better! As a result, Boho earrings are often large, dangly, eye-catching, and bright.
Like necklaces and bracelets, hammered metal, leather, and uncut stones make great boho earrings. But you can also include crocheted materials, braided embroidery floss, clay, and beads in your boho earrings.
Some people like to reflect the Gypsy style with large bangles, but if you prefer something lighter in your ears, a string earring option may be better for you.
Like necklaces, any nature imagery that you can bring into your earrings will only elevate your look and make it even more boho. If you have multiple piercings, it's a good idea to fill as many holes as you can. Use one pair of dangly earrings and put simple metal studs in the rest.
If you don't have multiple piercings, you can still get a layered look by using ear cuffs.
At this point, you should know... boho jewelry is all about stacking and layering. Rings are no different, and luckily stackable rings are so trendy right now.
You can never have too many rings when it comes to boho fashion. You can put at least one (probably more) on each finger.
Try some statement rings with nature imagery, large uncut stones, and intricate metal details. Combine those statement rings with some simple thin bands in hammered metal. Your fingers will jangle all day, and you'll have truly mastered the bohemian ring style.
How to Make Boho Casual
All of this may sound like a lot. You're probably imagining all these boho accessories at once and wondering how you can make boho your everyday look. It's easier than you think!
You don't have to wear the whole look every time you go out. Instead, choose a couple of key pieces every day to bring your bohemian look to life.
For your most casual days, you can wear a pair of cut-off shorts, gladiator sandals, a simple tank top, a shawl or kimono, and just a couple of jewelry pieces like bracelets instead of the whole stacked look. That's a boho look, and it's very easy to put together. In fact, you can have a signature boho bracelet that you wear every day.
You'll also discover that as you begin getting into the bohemian style, you will worry less about what other people think of what you're wearing. You may find that you're more comfortable wearing long skirts and maxi dresses in public than you ever were in jeans and a teeshirt.
Boho is a freeing style, so accept that anything you want to wear on the daily is casual enough to wear. Your own self-expression is what's most important here.
How to Dress Up Boho
So while your everyday clothes might get a little more eclectic and eye catching than before, they might not feel entirely appropriate for formal events. So how do you dress up a boho look? What would someone with a boho style wear to say... a wedding?
Boho style isn't necessarily all hippie. There are plenty of formal influences to pull from and natural fabrics that look expensive and elegant.
For example, you can create a beautiful boho look featuring silk fabric. A silk maxi skirt, a blouse with bell sleeves, and a simplified version of your usual boho jewelry will look like you elevated your bohemian style for the event. Instead of a braided leather bracelet, opt for shiny metal bangles. Switch out your gladiator sandals for a pair of suede heels or mules, and the look will be complete.
Never let anyone tell you that you have to tone down your personal or alternative style to fit in with a certain scene. With a little creativity, your personal style aesthetics can fit in anywhere.
Mastering the Boho Style!
By leaning into your own personal taste and finding historical and modern inspiration, you can master the boho style. Make sure that you include natural materials, free-flowing clothing styles, and lots of boho bracelets, rings, and necklaces!
When you dress boho you get to express yourself and take part in the oldest kind of alternative fashion. Know that every person with a bohemian heart who came before you is smiling at your choice to dress and live the way that makes you happiest. Go forth and make it your own.
Do you need more jewelry to finish your bohemian outfits? Check out our full jewelry collection for some great bohemian statement pieces.