Some people may think that they know exactly what Bohemian style is. After all, this style aims to amplify how artistic and unique a person is. But, how can you be unique when some people also follow this fashion statement? My tip for a unique Bohemian ensemble is simple – mix it up! You can do that by knowing the development of this style through the years. You might be surprised how varied Bohemian style is.
What Does ‘Bohemian’ Mean?
Interestingly, Bohemians are originally known as refugees or travelers from central Europe. They are also called gypsies. In modern times, the word “bohemian” is shortened to “boho” whenever incorporated with fashion. Hence, the “boho-chic” era. Bohemian is often associated with freedom or liberation.
Different Bohemian Styles
I compiled my own list of various styles based on what I’ve learned about Bohemian fashion history. Even I was amazed how unfamiliar some of the styles are in this generation. For your next Bohemian-themed party or whenever you feel like wearing it, make sure to try these classic styles:
Jane Morris Style
A famous painting model in the pre-Raphaelite age, Jane Morris is one of the early inspirations of Bohemian style. She usually wore a flowing dress like what most women were wearing in her time but with a prominent difference – no corset, collar, crinoline, hoop and other restrictive accessories. Her structure-less fashion sense may be outrageous in the past but in the 20th century, she became an inspiration for style. As for her hair, she just let it flow in big waves on both sides of her temples. For the accessories, she wore a lot of exotic beads.
To avoid looking ancient because of a puffy, droopy dress, wear a shorter one. It doesn’t have to be puffy. You just have to wear a loose one and balance it out with a belt. Although the outfit has a lot of wrinkly portions, it is part of the style. You would look cool and comfortable. The off-shoulder style gives a seductive vibe, which exactly captures the essence of Bohemian fashion in the past.
Effie Gray Style
Euphemia Gray was one fearless, independent woman. She pursued what she wanted to do no matter how scandalous, and that’s leaving her first husband. She ended up marrying a pre-Raphaelite painter. Gray was known for her love in putting actual flowers on her hair and clothes as accessories. Her unforgettable style was circling the flowers around her hair.
You don’t need to put actual flowers on your hair. It doesn’t even have to be colorful. Just wear a circlet with floral shapes. This style became a staple part in Bohemian fashion.
The gypsy look became popular in the 20th century because of Dorothy “Dorelia” McNeill. Dorelia was the muse in the paintings of Augustus John. She usually wore full, long skirts either covered with bright colors or just a plain dark color. When it comes to the upper part of her dresses, she liked to wear it tight and match it with a colorful bodice. She also liked wearing long earrings. Her style is one of the most favorite looks of the modern Bohemian fashion.
For the top, you can still wear it tight and even shorter. But, you need to have a full skirt for balance. You can also match a dark-colored top with a colorful skirt or vice versa.
1940s Parisian Peasant Style
The year 1944 is known to be the time when Paris was finally liberated. For some reason, Parisian women liked to wear white blouses and colorful peasant skirts. They also loved wearing flowers on their hair and big fancy earrings. Some even wore ridiculously big hats full of decorations such as ribbons, feathers, fruits and flowers.
I personally liked this Bohemian style the most. It is feminine and fit for young women of this generation. You can maintain the white blouse and make the skirt shorter. Keep the skirt pretty and colorful.
Talitha Getty Style
Coincidentally, one of the trendsetters of Bohemian fashion is related to another style icon. Talitha Getty, an actress popular in the 1960s, was the step-granddaughter of Dorelia McNeill. Her stylish and liberated photographs in Morocco created a craze among hippies. She loved wearing colorful flowing dresses with detailed embroidery.
Nothing has changed much since Getty posed for beautiful photographs in Morocco. Getty is one of the most favorite icons for modern Bohemian fashion. When you search for Bohemian fashion online, you will see a lot of Getty inspirations.
Western Bohemian Style
Ever wondered why some current Bohemian outfits are matched with cowboy boots and ultra mini shorts? Still in the ‘60s, American hippie travelers in Morocco preferred wearing cowboy boots and embroidered skirts. But, when they came across 1950s-style underwear popular in Marrakesh, they decided to wear them like shorts or outside their pants.
Denim mini shorts are trendy nowadays, not just with Bohemian fashion. The Western Bohemian style is popular during music festivals. You can mix this style with Getty’s popular fashion statement. You can wear a colorful embroidered blouse or scarf worn over a white top. Then, add the cowboy boots.
Celebrity Bohemian Styles
What I like about celebrities wearing Bohemian fashion is that they mix and match different styles. That’s exactly how you can be more unique. Here are some of my favorite celebs rocking Bohemian style:
A sheer flowing dress always works. Do you also notice the bag? Vanessa Hudgens effortlessly mixed Jane Morris and Western Bohemian style.
This bombshell has a sophisticated and modern way to nail the Bohemian look. Blake Lively wore the usual colors and patterns of some Talitha Getty outfits on her modern-looking trench coat. Instead of cowboy boots, she just resorted to stylish knee-length boots.
This Bohemian outfit of Taylor Swift reminds me of the Parisian peasant style back in the ‘40s. Her modern Western hat and bag still look good with the whole feminine look.
As I was reading about Bohemian style, this fashion statement is not just about getting inspiration from a specific ethnic group. It is all about comfort and freedom in wearing whatever you want.