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.

what are the traits of bohemian style?

Bohemian style is about freedom, with lots of relaxed, free-flowing silhouettes.

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

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 |

ZimmermannEtroUlla Johnson

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, Zimmerman, Ulla Johnson 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. 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.

2. 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.

Dayle's boho inspired outfit |

Dayle @artfulcitystyle above (read her style interview here)

Get her look with this similar top, kimono (another option here), wide pants, flats and necklace.

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

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.

You can layer different prints and patterns, or you can keep your look simpler and just add some subtle boho touches.

2. Choose long, flowing pieces

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.

Mel in a printed boho inspired dress |

Mel @curvycartel above chooses a loose, peasant style dress that is perfect for the bohemian style personality. Wear with boots in cooler weather or sandals for summer.

Recreate her outfit with this similar dress (another option here) and boots.

3. Add plenty of JEWELRy

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.

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

4. Think about the prints you use

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.

Striped dress and crochet cardigan |

BDG Open Stitch Tie Front Crop CardiganHevron Amber Stripe Tiered Midi DressFree People Mantra Mirror Sandals Tribe Azure Fair Trade Large Quilted BagDvacaman Tassel Dangle Drop Earrings

5. Choose natural colors

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.

6. Choose natural fabrics

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.

Elizabeth mixes her prints to create a boho look |

Elizabeth @timeless_styling above (read her style interview here) opts for a linen poncho over her stripe pants.

Get her look with this similar poncho, pants, mules, earrings, bracelet and headband.

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

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

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. Below, you can see the shapes, textures and prints you could choose to get a bohemian look.

Boho tops to wear |

Johnny Was Ambrosia Embroidered Mesh BlouseRails Marli Cotton Peasant Shirt – Alice + Olivia Willa Floral Bell-Sleeve BlouseD Ô E N Aphra Lace-Trim Top

Carmen in printed top and linen pants |

Carmen @carmen_gimeno above shows how you can still get a bohemian look and add structure to your outfit with a belt.

Check out this similar top (another option here), pants, sandals, handbag, necklace, belt and sunglasses.

Cardigans and jackets for your bohemian outfit

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, tassels and ties, shearling or suede vests for a bohemian rocker style, capes or ponchos, duster jackets and faux fur vests to layer.

Jackets and cardigans for the bohemian style personality |

Kobi Halperin Anya Paisley JacketAllSaints Dalby Slim Fit Suede Biker JacketFree People Quinn Cropped Quilted JacketBDG Open Stitch Tie Front Crop Cardigan

A suit for the boho style personality |

Kobi Halperin Anya Paisley JacketKobi Halperin Miley Paisley Wide-Leg PantsDansko Teagan Peep Toe SandalsCult Gaia Bella Leather Top-Handle BagXAXA FEYA Rattan Earrings

Also check out how to style a duster jacket.

Bohemian pants and jeans

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.

You are also likely to want some plain colors to offset your print tops.

Pants and jeans for the bohemian style personality |

Joe’s Jeans Molly Mid-Rise Flared JeansL’AGENCE Kendra Cropped Flare JeansMOTHER Rambler Printed Ankle-Crop JeansKobi Halperin Miley Paisley Wide-Leg Pants

Peasant top and print pants |

Rails Marli Cotton Peasant Shirt – MOTHER Rambler Printed Ankle-Crop JeansDansko Teagan Peep Toe SandalsTory Burch Mini T Monogram Perforated Bucket BagEttika Love To Love 3-Piece Necklace Set

Bohemian style dresses and skirts

When choosing skirts look for spirited details like waterfall hemlines, fringe, embroidery, crochet, and lace detailing. Tiered dresses will add a relaxed feel.

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, wear a crochet cover-up over your dress, or a tassel jacket with your skirt.

Dresses and skirts for the bohemian style personality |

Eileen Fisher Tiered Silk Midi DressHevron Amber Stripe Tiered Midi DressFarm Rio Toucans Scarf Bishop-Sleeve Maxi DressVineyard Vines Cotton Tiered Maxi Skirt

A style guide and capsule wardrobe for the Bohemian style personality |

Lisa @madamehall above (read her style interview here) wears a dress from her Etsy shop (similar here). Check out this similar pair of sandals and ankle bangles to complete the look.

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

Bohemian chic boots and shoes

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, or lots of ties and tassels.

Look out for booties with details like grommets, and laces, and booties made of surprising materials like sumptuous velvet. You can even add some extra prints on your shoes.

Bohemian shoes to wear |

Dansko Teagan Peep Toe SandalsFree People Mantra Mirror SandalsDirty Laundry Recreation Crochet SneakerJack Rogers Timber Tassel Suede Bootie

Peasant blouse and tiered skirt |

D Ô E N Aphra Lace-Trim TopVineyard Vines Cotton Tiered Maxi SkirtFree People Mantra Mirror SandalsTory Burch Mini T Monogram Perforated Bucket BagDvacaman Tassel Dangle Drop EarringsXYJKIDSES Fedora Hat

Accessories to wear with your boho outfit

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.

Boho accessories to wear |

Tribe Azure Fair Trade Large Quilted BagTory Burch Mini T Monogram Perforated Bucket BagCult Gaia Bella Leather Top-Handle BagEttika Love To Love 3-Piece Necklace SetXAXA FEYA Rattan EarringsDvacaman Tassel Dangle Drop EarringsXYJKIDSES Fedora Hat

Tamera wears a neutral boho outfit |

Tamera @tamerabeardsley above (read her style interview here) shows how you can get a boho look by adding texture rather than color.

Check out this similar top (another option here), shorts, earrings, sunglasses and 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.

A capsule wardrobe for the bohemian style personality |

shop the best bohemian pieces above here:

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 |
A capsule wardrobe for the Bohemian style personality |
A capsule wardrobe for the BOHEMIAN style personality |

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.

What is the difference between boho and bohemian style?

Boho is simply a short form of bohemian. Just as in interiors, bohemian style in fashion tends to be more colorful, while boho-chic can also include plenty of neutrals, so thinking about a boho look is a great way to modernise your bohemian style.

What is bohemian style dress?

As you’ve seen in this article, bohemian style is all about a relaxed style of dressing that reflects your personality with plenty of textures and layers. So, don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with your bohemian outfits.

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

Like this post on the bohemian style personality? Share it on Pinterest!

A style guide and capsule wardrobe for the Bohemian style personality |

Feature image by Lisa @madamehall


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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