Do you love layering unique accessories? Enjoy expressing your free spirit? Then embrace your inner flower child, style fearlessly, and dress for the bohemian style personality.

More than just a fashion trend, bohemian style is part of a way of life. In this article you will find out how to tell if boho style is for you as well as boho outfit inspiration and a capsule wardrobe updated for summer.

What is bohemian style?

The bohemian style is characterized by whimsical, floaty fabrics, funky patterns, and artful layering.

Bohemian style, also referred to as boho style, has always been an alternative style to the fashion trends of any given time. It incorporates ideas from around the world as well as from history.

It is a style which features long, loose, colorful clothing and is most associated with the peace and love hippie era. It is particularly linked with creative people such as artists, musicians and writers.

Signature elements of boho style

Key elements of boho style are long loose layers, tassels, fringing, natural fabrics, patchwork, paisley and plenty of jewelry.

Celebrities with a bohemian style

Celebrities with a bohemian style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Bohemian style is truly timeless, but it has definitely enjoyed a revival in recent years.

Kate Hudson, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, music superstars Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, and fashion icon Jane Birken are just a few of the famous poster girls for the bohemian, or boho chic, look.

They combine clothes in inventive and fearless ways and channel a romantic, free-spirited 60’s or 70’s sensibility.

Designers with a bohemian style

Designers bohemian style creations | 40plusstyle.com

MissoniEtroChloé

If you are naturally drawn to bohemian styling, some of the designers to take inspiration from include Missoni, Etro, Alanui, Cinq á Sept, Akris, Brunello Cucinelli, Melissa Odabash and Chloé.

How to tell if you have a bohemian style

If you feel you may have a bohemian style, but aren’t absolutely sure, you could take our fun style personality quiz to find out. You may find that you have one main style personality, but that you are also drawn to secondary styles.

Other signs that you have a bohemian style are…

1. You are probably creative

Not everyone who has a bohemian style, or elements of it, works in the creative industries, but there is probably a creative side to you, even if this comes out in your spare time or your hobbies rather than your day job.

Your outfits are a way of expressing that.

2. Women with bohemian style don’t like to conform

Just like the rock style personality and the urban style personality, you don’t like to be a conformist. You prefer to express yourself in your own way.

3. You like to be comfortable

Of course you want to be stylish, but you won’t be uncomfortable for your style. You like clothes that don’t restrict your movement. It’s unlikely we will be seeing you in a bodycon dress and heels any time soon.

Tips for dressing in a bohemian style

If you do love a boho way of dressing, below are some of the ways to get a boho chic look.

1. Layer your clothing

A capsule wardrobe for the BOHEMIAN style personality | 40plusstyle.com

The key is to create a relaxed, free-spirited look and layers will help you to achieve the travelling gypsy look which inspired this style.

Mel (above) wears a beautiful embroidered duster jacket over suede pants. She adds a pop of color with her shoes.

Recreate her outfit with this similar embroidered dress that you can wear as outerwear, along with suede flare pants and pumps.

2. Choose long, flowing pieces

bohemian long, flowy dresses | 40plusstyle.com

The whole idea of boho style is that it is free and easy.

You shouldn’t wear anything that constricts you. Choose long, flowing maxi skirts and dresses, and loose tunics and peasant tops.

Carlie (above) opts for a perfect boho look with her maxi dress and tan sandals.

Check out this similar maxi boho dress and platform sandals.

3. Choose natural fabrics

boho look inspiration:off shoulder top, maxi skirt, statement necklace | 40plusstyle.com

Bohemian style is at one with nature, so you will want to choose natural fabrics whenever you can, such as cotton, linen, hemp, wool, leather and cheesecloth.

Galiya (above) wears her boho skirt with statement jewelry.

Check out this similar off shoulder topmaxi skirt, slides, bag, earrings and statement tassel necklace.

For more inspiration take a look at how to wear printed pants.

4. Choose natural colors

choose natural colors when wearing a boho look | 40plusstyle.com

Just as you will want to choose fabrics which are natural, choose colors which are soft and muted or which can be found in nature. You could look at a palette featuring burgundies, mustards and russets, but you may also wish to take your inspiration from the oceans and add blues to your outfit choices.

Michelle (above) wears a maxi dress with a floral design, showing that (depending on the season where you are), the boho look can work just as well for fall as it can for summer.

Check out this maxi dress from Amazon and wear it with this similar pair of boots, tassel earrings and crossbody bag.

5. Add plenty of jewelry

bohemian style has lots of accessories | 40plusstyle.com

As well as layering your clothes, you can layer your accessories.

Opt for necklaces with tassels or coins as well as stacking your bracelets and wearing plenty of rings.

Dayle (above) opts to wear an oversized pair of earrings and necklace.

There are a lot of bohemian accessories you can find at Nordstrom, Amazon and Etsy.

Also take a look at how to nail the layered necklace trend.

6. Think about the prints you use

a boho dress with silver sandals | 40plusstyle.com

Possibly more than any other style, the bohemian look can be defined by the prints you opt for. Look for heritage prints which have cultural significance, such as tribal, ikat, trellis, paisley and kilim patterns.

Anita (above) opts for a patchwork style dress along with silver shoes.

Get her look with this similar dress, espadrille sandals and straw hat.

Why the bohemian style suits any body shape

With loose, forgiving layers, the bohemian style suits many body types.

The layers can add curves to a rectangular body shape, and can balance out a pear body shape with detailing, ruffles and dramatic necklines to draw attention to the upper body.

Add maxi dresses with uneven hemlines or dresses with bell sleeves to your capsule wardrobe. Layer vests, jackets, scarves and other elements over this foundation.  

Look for vintage inspired patterns, velvets, ikat tribal prints and rich detailing to communicate a romantic, bohemian style.

A complete bohemian style wardrobe for you

Below is how to create your own bohemian capsule wardrobe.

Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you to help you get started!

Boho tops

boho look inspiration: embroidered peasant top, jeans and booties | 40plusstyle.com

Choose tops with interesting cuts, a relaxed fit, tribal, paisley or batik patterns, ruffles and unique hems.

Bell sleeves, embroidery or shirts made of unique materials like faux suede add instant bohemian style to even a basic outfit.

Clare (above) teams her peasant blouse with jeans and adds leopard print for an unexpected touch.

Get this similar peasant blouse, cuff jeans and booties to steal her look.

tops for the bohemian style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Caslon embroidered eyelet topOnly embroidered off the shoulder topRebecca Taylor print silk blouseLucky Brand embroidered peasant top

Cardigans and jackets for your bohemian outfit

boho look inspiration: sheer cardigan, jeans, fedora hat, bangles and belt | 40plusstyle.com

When looking for sweaters this season, try to find knitwear with tassel or tie detailing as well as bell sleeves and patterns.

You could opt for a short sweater to layer over longer tops, or create long lines with a long cardigan.

Choose jackets with stand-out details and unique shapes to layer over bohemian dresses, pants, and skirts.

Bohemian style wardrobe staples include kimono jackets, shearling or suede vests for a bohemian rocker style, capes or ponchos, and faux fur vests to layer.

Lydia (above) creates a boho look with her floppy hat and lace duster.

Check out this similar tank top, jeans, white sheer topper, sandals, wide brim hat, bangles and leopard belt.

sweaters and cardigans for the bohemian style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom printed dusterKUT from the Kloth moto jacket Winson fringe sleeveless vest cardiganJastie boho crochet vest

Also check out how to style a duster jacket.

Bohemian pants and jeans

a boho outfit with a chain belt | 40plusstyle.com

Show off your bohemian style by choosing pants that really make a statement.

Add pants to your wardrobe that have offbeat or unusual details and materials.

Bell bottoms, embroidery, patchwork, faux leather or suede, or natural textures like gauze and linen add offbeat adventurous style to your wardrobe.

Carelia (above) adds some boho style to her pants with her belt.

Recreate her look with this similar shirt, flared pants, espadrille sandals and belt.

pants and jeans for the bohemian style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Veronica Beard skinny flare jeansCaslon belted linen pantsBAISHENGGT harem pantsAndrew Marc suede pull on pants

Bohemian style dresses and skirts

boho look inspiration:off shoulder top and tiered skirt | 40plusstyle.com

When choosing skirts look for spirited details like waterfall hemlines, fringe, embroidery, crochet, and lace detailing. 

A hallmark of the boho style is to combine pieces in interesting and unexpected ways.

Try pairing a leather skirt with a delicate lace top. Wear a rugged shearling vest over a longer length feminine skirt.

While boho style is usually associated with casual daytime dressing, Elena (above) shows how you can incorporate this way of dressing for a more formal occasion.

Check out this similar off shoulder top, maxi skirt, booties and layered necklace.

skirts and dresses for the bohemian style personality | 40plusstyle.com

VERO MODA boho maxi dressCatalog Classics reversible peasant skirtLoveappella roll top maxi skirtLeith tiered maxi skirt

For more inspiration check out how to wear a maxi dress or skirt.

Bohemian chic boots and shoes

boho look inspiration: boho dress and espadrille sandals | 40plusstyle.com

Choose substantial boots and shoes to offset the lighter floaty layers of the bohemian style if you are dressing for cooler weather.

Oiled leather boots work well with uneven hem maxi skirts and dresses.

For summer, choose sandals with substantial straps and contrasting textures.

Look out for booties with details like grommets, and laces, and booties made of surprising materials like sumptuous velvet.

Lynne (above) wears espadrilles with tassel details.

Check out this boho dress and canvas bag that you can wear with this similar pair of lace-up sandals.

bohemian shoes to wear | 40plusstyle.com

Bed Stu gladiator sandalJeffrey Campbell ankle strap sandalTOMS slip-on shoeSODA fringe boot

Accessories to wear with your boho outfit

Bohemian accessories | 40plusstyle.com

An easy, often affordable way to add bohemian style to your wardrobe is with artful, attention-grabbing accessories.

Wide brimmed and fedora hats and bold jewelry communicate a bohemian sensibility. Layer necklaces to add boho style to any simple outfit.

Choose unstructured bags in a slouch or hobo shape. Mix in details like colorful tassels, fringe and nubuck leather for an earthy vibe.

Try your hand at bohemian dressing by thinking creatively. Mix exotic patterns. Wear layers of long necklaces.

Try wearing long, statement-making earrings, wrap a tie-dyed scarf, or add a stack of ethnic inspired bracelets to your ensemble.

Maria (above) takes many elements of boho style and puts them together artfully.

Steal her look with this similar maxi dress, cardigan, handbag, booties, belt and layered necklace.

boho accessories to wear | 40plusstyle.com

Tom Clovers saddle bagChangnoi pompom clutchBocar multilayer statement necklaceCanvas Jewelry layered necklaceCanvas Jewelry hoop earringsEric Javits straw sun hat

Below are 9 bohemian style looks using our capsule wardrobe elements

There are so many different ways that you could combine the clothes and accessories above.

Part of the beauty of bohemian style is the ability to put together outfits in unusual ways, so you could wear these in dozens of combinations.

Here are 9 boho chic style outfits to get you started.

A capsule wardrobe for the BOHEMIAN style personality | 40plusstyle.com

More boho inspiration

Below is a previous capsule wardrobe, featuring bohemian style clothing for fall. You can see that even though these boho clothing pieces and accessories are from a previous season, the bohemian look is truly timeless:

A capsule wardrobe for the BOHEMIAN style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Boho summer dresses

Below are more boho summer dresses for you.

If you love these styles but you are in winter and fall in your part of the world, you could always team with warm outer layers and boots.

boho summer dresses | 40plusstyle.com

VIISHOW maxi dress – H&M embroidered cotton dress (regular/plus) – Milumia button-up printed maxi dressMANGO elastic wait long dress

The history of bohemian style

If all of these styles resonate with you, I’m sure you will be fascinated by the origins of bohemian style, which refers to a way of dressing which is different from the mainstream at any point in time.

The first mention of the Bohemian movement was way back at the time of the French Revolution and ever since then, it has been a style associated with artists, creative types and those who wish to express their personality through their clothing. In the 60s, hippies made the boho look their own and this way of dressing will be forever synonymous with this decade and the one which came after.

Boho clothing stores

If you know that you have a bohemian style, where are the best places to shop? You probably pick up clothes and accessories when you travel, and also from vintage stores.

Here are some of the best stores for you to create your capsule bohemian closet.

Have you tried adding bohemian style elements to your own wardrobe?

Continue reading:

  1. Understanding The Different Styles
  2. A Capsule Wardrobe And Style Guide For The ROMANTIC Style Personality
  3. A Capsule Wardrobe And Style Guide For The NATURAL Style Personality

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A style guide and capsule wardrobe for the BOHEMIAN style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Galiya

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