How To Dress Boho Style And Not Look Too Hippie
If you think of yourself as a bit of a gypsy, then Boho fashion
is the perfect way to express your earthy, artsy personality.
Boho chic was all the rage in the ’60s and early ’70s and has seen a revival in the last few years because of celebrities like Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and the Olsen Twins. They’ve embraced this natural look and added their own touch of glitz and glam for a more hippie-luxe look.
No question, boho is fun to wear, but how do you style it without looking like you’re stuck in the ’70s? Here’s how to dress boho style without looking like an old hippie.
1. Choose Free and Flowy Fabrics
Comfortable, loose-fitting, flowy fabrics are part of the boho vibe, so an easy way to get the look is to wear a flowy scarf top.
You’ll look more boho-chic than old hippie if you focus on two things: quality and size. The chicest scarf tops are made from high quality, luxurious fabrics. Chose one that is silky smooth, linen crisp, or chiffon-like, and that is well finished at the edges. If your top is too rough, too flimsy, or too sheer, it will look cheap.
Also, loose is good, but when a scarf top is too voluminous or extra-long, it can look like you are wearing a tablecloth.
This scarf top is an excellent example of a beautiful boho-chic scarf top. It’s on the elegant side, and the V-neckline is very flattering for a couple of reasons: 1) showing some skin is youthful, and 2) the V-neck draws your eye downward through along the center of the body, making you look long and lean. I also think this scarf top is beautiful because of the asymmetrical cut. It’s longer at the back and sides giving the top a more artsy look.
2. Wear Flared Jeans
A well-fitting pair of flared jeans in soft faded denim color, or in white, is very west coast, very boho . They look super chic with a luxurious flowy scarf top, a tunic, or boho peasant top.
Bootcut or skinnies are fine too, but if you really want that retro note- a cool pair of flares is the way to go. The bonus? Flares are great when you want to balance out wider hips.
3. Have Fun with Funky Prints
Boho outfit is all about artistic expression and involves lots of funky prints that are wild, colorful, and free-flowing.
When you want to embrace your boho side, look for pieces that showcase eye-catching prints in multiple colors. This fabulous swirl print dress has a fun boho vibe. I’ve elevated the look with a sophisticated clutch and patent leather sandals to appear more modern and boho-chic.
4. Try a Maxi Dress
There’s no better way to look boho than with a pretty Maxi Dress
. This mixed print dress with the ruffle hem is a classic boho chic style. The off the shoulder neckline, bell sleeves, and suede block heel pumps move us into the present by aligning with current trends. A chic white bag with a structured shape gives this outfit more of an Haute-hippie rather than a hippie-dippie feel.
5. Mix Prints
The best way to express your inner gypsy (I know you’re in there somewhere ) is to mix two prints. Small florals are sweet, feminine, and super boho fashion. They look beautiful combined with a geometric print within the fabric ( see maxi dress above). You can also mix prints in the same outfit. For example, mix a floral top with a paisley print skirt.
6. Layer Your Clothes
Do you watch the Netflix series Grace and Frankie? I do, and I find I am often fascinated by the way Lily Tomlin’s character, Frankie, dresses on the show. Her style personality is definitely boho and funky. It always involves a lot of layering.
A natural-looking, textured jacket, vest, or long cardigan worn over something like a wide leg halter jumpsuit, is an excellent way to look more boho. Strappy sandals or multiple necklaces and bracelets can also add layers.
One caution here: Too many layers or wearing too much “stuff” can make you look disheveled. This is a risk you run with the boho outfit, so don’t overlayer. Keep things clean and classy with just a nod to boho layering.
7. Embrace Earth Tones
Natural colors are also a key element of the boho-chic look. If you don’t care for loud colors, then you’ll love the quiet greens, gold, browns, rusts, and blues that are synonymous with this earthy style of dressing. Natural colored leather accessories are the perfect complement to these shades. High-quality leather in modern shapes keeps it chic.
8. Add a Touch of Fringe
Fringe is fun, fringe is flirty, and fringe is a big part of the boho look. A fringe cardigan, a cute bag with a touch of fringe, or some statement sandals with fringe accents, or even fringe earrings are a great way to add a little boho to your look. To keep it classy, not trashy, and very now, stick to less fringe than more.
9. Have Fun With Palazzo Pants
Wide, flowy palazzo pants that swish as you walk are so Haute-hippie! You can wear them the ‘traditional’ way – with a white tank and jean jacket for an easy summer look – or you can ‘funk them up’ with something like this split linen asymmetrical tunic I’m showing above.
One of the things I like about this loose-over-loose look is that it is comfy and forgiving when hiding your tummy is important to you. And let’s face it, when you’re over 40, it’s important to a lot of us! LOL!
I do recommend that you give your outfit some
structure to keep it from veering into sloppy territory, and you can do that easily with shoes and a bag that has a little structure. A circle bag is perfect. In a natural straw weave, it’s the it
bag for spring and looks right at home with this relaxed outfit.
10. Express Yourself with Artsy Accessories
Large standout pieces of handmade jewelry in natural materials like leather, turquoise, beads, and precious stones bring this look to life. Hoop earrings and long funky pendants are classic boho fashion: the more unique the piece, the better. Don’t be shy about size or mixing and matching styles and colors. Boho is eclectic.
Crocheted, tie-dyed and handcrafted items or accessories with an ethnic vibe are right on too! A floppy felt hat is the ultimate accessory when it comes to boho-inspired dressing.
Are you a boho babe, or would you like to try it out? Have you seen the way I added a Boho touch to a pair of classic shorts?
About the Writer
is a Project Runway fashion
esigner. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few. She has her own successful resort wear, vacation dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US, Workshop at Macy's
, Ftv.com, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few.
She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses, casual resort attire and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays.
Thank you for your article. It will definitely help me a lot…
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