What comes to mind when you think of bohemian style?
If you are anything like me, you may see visions of Zoolander’s Hansel traipsing around with his embroidered paisley tops and golden beachy tresses as the world marvels at his chisel and charm. He was so bohemian – and “so hot right now!”
Or perhaps you have witnessed the recent resurrection of the Coachella arts and music festival and you envision a brood of cackling millennials, booty shorts, technicolored bralettes and an unapologetic amount of shimmering body paint.
While I love the whimsy and comfort that boho style can offer, as a self-possessed woman in her 30’s it’s safe to say I have outgrown the world of technicolored bralettes and maniacal group cackling. If you adore the offerings of boho style but are lost in how it translates into a wearable ensemble, fret not. Let’s take a look how to get the best out of bohemian vibrations without feeling like you raided your niece’s closet.
Kimono + Pencil Skirt + Top
The ethos of bohemian style oozes all things unorthodox and champions coloring outside of the lines. There’s nothing that says “I’ll wear what I want whenever I damn well please” like a fun patterned kimono. It’s somewhere between a bathrobe and a swimsuit cover-up with its loose-fitting silhouette and boisterous pattern, and it offers unparalleled comfort while breathing new life to any outfit.
The key to elevating a kimono is to pair it with a classic - think balance. Since the kimono has an unstructured silhouette, a classic black pencil skirt and neutral tank will bring form to the outfit and temper the kimono. The result is fun and class all in one ensemble. To ensure that I still have a good bit of playfulness in this ensemble, I’ve finished it with a pair of chunky platform heels. If platforms are not your flavor, a simple pair of ankle booties or pumps will conjure up the same kind of magic.
Headbands are a contentious topic in my household - mainly because I have a robust head and ill-fitting headbands make my cranium pulsate with rage. Fortunately, I have found a gorgeous and forgiving headband that does not discriminate on head size.
This is a show-stopping piece that will sprinkle bohemian flare into any outfit. The key to incorporating this statement piece to your outfit is to remember that less is more. The headband will be the diva of your stage, so everything else must play a supporting role. A simple black wrap top or tee shirt with dark washed jeans will communicate bohemian without teetering on “too much.” This is a delicate piece that can go from Frida Kahlo-esque magnificence to kitchy second grader with one mis-step. The key to playing well with colorful bohemian pieces like this is to ensure that you have a grounded and classic backdrop.
Off-Shoulder Maxi Dress + Large Hoop Earrings
Maxi dresses were my first entry point into dresses as a 20 something. Before them I swore off any kind of dress and skirt under the sun as I could only find them in lengths that barely covered the backside. My love for this style staple runs deep as it tows the line between femininity, comfort, and modesty.
There is no dress that says “bohemian” like a maxi. With a dress that is floor length there is much that needs to be done to ensure that you don’t look like an adult baby that is being swaddled. To that end, I have chosen an off-shoulder deep red maxi. The exposure of the collar bone and shoulders elongates the neckline and lengthens your frame, making you appear taller and leaner while the monochromatic color of the dress provides one undivided line that draws the eyes against a vertical silhouette. To finish this look, I like to pair it with oversized gold hoops. Yes, I said it - oversized gold hoops. Combined with the simplicity of this dress, they bring visual interest and elegance.
Boho: “So Hot Right Now”
Let the little ones have their bralettes and body paint - we have our own version of bohemian fun. With muted staples paired with boisterous bohemian pieces, you will find that whimsy and sophistication can coexist in one scrappy ensemble without butts or boobs ever needing to make a single appearance. If you enjoy bending social mores and coloring outside of the lines but have not found yourself in a maxi dress or kimono in the past 6 months, I implore you to reconsider all that bohemian style can offer – Hansel approves.
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