June 16, 2021News
Bohemian chic (known as ‘boho chic’) is a trend that is back in vogue thanks to the resurgence of the 70s trends. If you’re a free-spirited person who loves to wear their heart of their sleeve, then this aesthetic will be right up your street. The aesthetic goes hand-in-hand with the hippie movement of the 1970s. It’s characterised by natural fabrics, neutral colour palettes, and statement accessories.
What makes boho chic unique is that it is more than just a fashion trend, it’s a lifestyle and a culture. While we think of the bohemian fashion movement as starting in the 1970s, the origins of the movement dates further back to the 19th century. What made the bohemian fashion trends so popular in the 1970s is because they are laidback and an alternative to the more conservative fashion that dominated the 1950s and 60s. It reflected the liberal movement that eloped the decade.
People are attracted to the boho chic aesthetic as it is effortlessly chic, with loose-fitting clothing and easy to style accessories. With boho chic, you can mix and match your favourite pieces. The fashion of the bohemian aesthetic comes from the bohemians, who were present in France during the revolution. The bohemians were primarily artist who lost out on their former comfortable lifestyles after the revolution put an end to their wealthy patronage.
If you’re interested in experimenting with the unconventional and laidback aesthetic of bohemian chic, then you’re in the right place! This guide tells you everything that you need to know about fashion aesthetic, where it comes from, and how you can incorporate it into your closet.
Bohemian style has always been seen as an alternative fashion aesthetic from the contemporary trends. Bohemian fashion has evolved from exotic style to what we know today as ‘boho chic’.
The first record of Bohemians appears in the 18th century, during the French revolution. The term ‘bohemian’ came to describe the counterculture within France, made up primarily of those who had an Eastern European descent. The fashion of the bohemian movement made its first appearance a century later, with its characteristic flowy garments, with oriental-inspired patterns and colourful fabrics. These features were juxtaposed against the more tailored and formal fashion of the time. Most of the characteristics that make up boho chic today have their origins in this time period.
The early 20th century is when bohemian fashion had its next update. One of the most significant features was Paul Poiret, who incorporated ethnic detailing and Middle Eastern elements. It was during this time that William Morris, the popular interior designer and fashion designer, began to incorporate bohemian motifs into his work.
Bohemian fashion took on another life in the 1960s, when it came into partnership with the hippie movement. Both the fashion and philosophy rebuked the conventional lifestyle. The popularity of the hippie movement brought bohemian fashion into the mainstream. New clothing styles came to define the fashion aesthetic, including delicate embroidery, voluminous sleeves, fringe detailing, and flared trousers. The hippie movement adopted the bohemian fashion because they saw it as a physical representation of their rejection of established social constructions. The free-flowing silhouettes of the bohemian aesthetic came in contrast with the more polished and streamlined look of the rest of society.
Whenever you’re experimenting with a new aesthetic, the easiest way to incorporate it into your lifestyle is to build a capsule closet. That way you can have pieces to mix and match with your existing closet. You only need a handful of pieces to get you started on your boho chic journey. Due to its love of prints and bright colours, you can mix and match virtually any two pieces together. The ‘rules’ around styling for boho chic is more relaxed than any other aesthetic.
Boho chic is synonymous with is neutral-tone palette, but over recent years, pastel colours have found their way into the aesthetic. The purpose of bohemian fashion is to reflect your personality and values. As a free-flowing aesthetic, you can put your own twist on bohemian fashion to make it your own.
When you’re shopping for boho chic tops, you want to search for loose and relaxed fitted silhouettes. Some of the most popular shirt styles incorporate bell sleeves with a half or three-quality length sleeve. It’s not unusual to see decorative elements, like pompoms and tassels, attached to the collars of these blouses. Depending on your preferred look, you can add a boho chic top with a v-neckline or an off-the-shoulder cut. These loose-fitting tops can be styled with everything from classic denim shorts to flared trousers. If you’re starting out with bohemian fashion, these tops are a perfect way to experiment with the look.
There is a more versatile selection of trousers for you to choose from. You can add anything from flared jeans to a maxi skirt or denim shorts to your capsule boho chic closet. A general rule of thumb is that you want to find trousers with a flared silhouette, while dresses should have a flowy feel, with mixed prints and added embroidery.
Perhaps what boho chic is most known for is its beautiful dresses, which anyone can enjoy throughout the spring and summer months. The most popular styles are those with an a-line cut and relaxed fit. You’ll rarely see full-length sleeve, as most re either half or three-quality length. For maxi dresses, off-the-shoulder prairie designs are popular, incorporating mixed prints and embroideries.
Finding bohemian outerwear is one of the easiest pieces to add to your capsule closet. The easiest way to do so is with thrifted or second-hand pieces. It’s worth looking out for distressed denim jackets, kimonos that feature classic bohemian motifs, and sheepskin coats. You want to find outwear that is comfortable and relaxed, with slightly oversized fit. Boho chic clothing is never skin-tight or too form fitting.
When it comes to bohemian footwear, leather is king. You want to think of footwear similar to what you might wear to a music festival or during the summer. It’s worth looking out for suede ankle boots for the colder months and leather sandals for the spring and summer months. Classic boho chic footwear focuses on warm hues, like brown and beige colours. If you decide to wear a platform shoe, you want to avoid stilettoes and instead choose a chunky or block heel.
If you’re starting to experiment with boho chic for the first time, you can choose some accessories to add to your existing closet. Bohemian accessories have hardly changed since the 70s, making them perfect pieces to pick up on the second-hand or vintage market. Your accessories should focus on ethnic patters and mixed prints, with braid detailing and patchwork designs. If you’re looking for jewellery, search for pieces with an antique finish. Other features to look out for include fringe and tassel detailing, whether it’s on scarves or handbags.
Some of the biggest trends of 2021 have a bohemian feel to them. Tie-dye is the perfect example of this. It has the same use of colour and the unconventional nature to it. As the tie-dye trend reached its peak in the 60s and 70s, especially within the hippie movement, it’s long been linked to bohemian fashion. If you want to give your bohemian chic a contemporary feel, tie-dye is a trend you can incorporate into your closet. You can either DIY the pieces yourself or buy them from a mainstream brand.
If you’re looking for a bohemian chic fashion muse, you’re in luck. From the early 2000s onwards, bohemian fashion became a popular casual style for everyone from celebrities to movie stars and singers. It was in the late 2000s that bohemian fashion truly entered the mainstream and began to dominate trends, as clothing aesthetics were beginning to become more relaxed as well.
While Stevie Nicks and Donna Summer are considered the queens of bohemian chic in the 1960s and 70s, there are more contemporary celebrities that you can take inspiration from.
Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist and designer, is faithful to her love of boho chic, which she blends with elevated basics for a contemporary look. Her involvement with celebrities like Nicole Ritchie meant she was a driving force behind the popularity of bohemian fashion in the late 2000s.
Before Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen transitioned to modest fashion, the twins were famous for their love of whimsical bohemian style. Other actress with a love for boho chic is Vanessa Hudgens. The High School Musical star was almost always photographed wearing flowing skirts, maxi dresses, and gladiator shoes.
When in doubt, imagine what you would wear to Coachella. The music festival’s aesthetic works hand-in-hand with the idea of bohemian chic. Just take a look at what celebrities and influencers are wearing to the festival to get an idea of the sort of outfits you could wear.
What do you think of boho chic fashion? Is it an aesthetic that you want to incorporate into your own closet? Let us know in the comments below!
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