The term ‘Boho’ has become embedded within the fashion world. Effortlessly un-done and relaxed, the look is more of an ‘anti-fashion style’ expressing an individual and unique personal taste.
It was created by creatives who didn’t want to conform to the restrictions of high fashion, who loved comfort in their clothing and liked to make a real statement with their colours, prints and fabrics, but in their own way.
Now, that’s not to say that the Boho style doesn’t have its own rules. But as with all fashion styles, once you’re familiar with the foundations, you can be free to play around with your capsule wardrobe.
Fundamentally, you’re trying to create a relaxed and dreamy feel to your style. Think lightweight, soft and floaty fabrics, with long loose hems and lots of layers. If you have a penchant for prints and vibrant colours then this is definitely a look for you, but don’t worry, you can opt for a more neutral colour palette and still nod to the boho trend with floaty silhouettes, textured fabrics and soft layers.
Keep your overall shape loose and relaxed. Boho style is all about giving the appearance of nonchalance, so look around for what feels comfortable to you and start from there. Taking care to layer pieces which create a flattering silhouette think loose smock dresses cinched in at the waist with a braided belt or a tiered maxi skirt balanced with a fitted top and a longline kimono cardigan. If in doubt, think ‘fit and flare’. Choose foundation garments that hug your figure on one half and flare out on the other half. Then, layer these areas using the opposite shape to what you’ve already done.
The Boho style really lends itself to all-in-ones, so look out for garments such as jumpsuits with wide leg silhouettes in soft, floaty fabrics. Fitted bodices will balance your look, and then feel free to layer your outfit with anything from a longline knit cardigan to a cropped denim jacket.
Maxi length skirts and dresses are the perfect fit for a Boho style. Keep your hemlines long and loose, then layer with a waistcoat and cowboy boots to finish your look. If that feels a little too trendsetter for you, a pair of leather or suede ankle boots will also look authentic, or simply pair your dress with some flat sandals or heeled espadrilles when the weather is warm and sunny.
Floral, tie dye, paisley, tribal, ikat; when going Boho there’s a world of patterns to choose from. Print is and pattern are one of the key characteristics of the Boho style. With its origins lying in creativity, you’re free to be as adventurous as you like, just remember to keep prints natural and organic looking.
Steer clear of modern-looking geo prints, or anything that looks too much like a man-made design. When considering colour, opt for more earthy tones, and when choosing brighter hues, go for deeper more opulent shades such as violet, aqua, mustard yellow and emerald green.
Vintage florals can be both bold and statement-like designs, or soft and feminine ditsy prints. Don’t stop there though, go ahead and try all kinds of nature-inspired patterns. Swirly paisley prints are classic and chic, while designs featuring luscious leaves or delicate butterflies are also great Boho style choices.
The Boho look is very much about layering, so interesting detailing will really add to this look. Maxi skirts and long dresses with tiered hems can be very flattering, adding texture to a full-length skirt and giving shape to the multitude of fabric that is needed for a maxi length silhouette.
Frilled cuffs and flared sleeves are feminine and graceful, as well a practical way to cover your arms on a warm day while still keeping cool in loose clothing. Tassels and drawstrings are embellishments that are key to the Boho trend. Look out for suede crossbody bags with tasselled edges and jackets with tasselled sleeves.
Embroidery will also help you to nail the Boho style. Blouses with floral patterns woven into lace or crochet trims will not only look beautiful, but they’ll also give your outfit an expensive feel. You may even find garments made entirely of embroidered fabrics, so if you like this look, keep an eye out for crochet waistcoats that you could layer over a sleeveless tunic top and pair with wide leg trousers or a floaty skirt.
Try and go natural with your fabrics where possible. Anything from lightweight cotton to viscose, linen, wool and silky fabrics will all be fitting for a Boho style. Think about layering different fabrics over each other. For example, a viscose maxi skirt, with a jersey t-shirt, and a loose-fit knitted cardigan will all team well together.
Denim, suede and corduroy are also great fabrics to consider for a Boho style. Being style staples, everyone usually has a few of these fashion favourites in their capsule closet, so see what you can style with them before you head to the shops for something new.
Do not forget to accessorise if you’re experimenting with a Boho style. Long necklaces, colourful beads and crystals, bangles and elegant bracelets will all add to your look. Wide brimmed hats have a dainty feminine feel and will compliment the relaxed feel of your outfit. If hats aren’t your thing, then a silk head scarf with a paisley or floral print will look very authentic too. Drape a soft, slouchy style bag over your shoulder, and better yet, find one with a few tassels adorning it.
Keep your hair relaxed, try not to be excessively neat and styled. Likewise, keep make up as neutral as possible. The Boho look is all about staying true to your natural self.
When the sun is out, a pair of large-rimmed sunglasses will add a vintage glamour to your style, while simple, flat comfortable sandals peeping out from under a floaty maxi skirt will finish your look perfectly. If the weather’s chilly, try a pair of soft suede ankle boots.
Look for nature-inspired, vintage style prints in earthy tones. Anything from paisley patterns to florals would work perfectly. Avoid modern-looking patterns like geo or graphic prints and remember to balance out your look – a couple of contrasting prints can work well together, but too many will clash and look messy. On the whole, choose a print you like, then use other more neutral garments to combine it with.
Crochet, lace, tassels and drawstrings…all of these details will enhance your style. Look out for textured hemlines, such as flared sleeves and tiered skirts, but try to avoid asymmetric hems, as this is quite a modern detail. Vintage-style clothing usually features classic shapes, which you can then elevate and decorate by adding textured layers using interesting fabrics and embellishments.
Boho is all about feeling relaxed. To nail his look, try to find lightweight garments with a loose fit. Maxi dresses and skirts are perfect, and try a longline open-fronted cardigan or a floaty oversized blouse. Pay attention to balancing your look, such as pairing a more figure-hugging top to compliment a floaty full-length skirt, but avoid fitted and restrictive shapes such as pencil skirts and tailored shirts.
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