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5 Tips on Creating a Bohemian Style

Pulling off a bohemian look is as much about attitude as it is about style.
Pulling off a bohemian look is as much about attitude as it is about style.
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Sometimes you need a fashion shake-up to breathe new life into your personal style. If you're interested in embracing a look that's synonymous with creativity and a laid-back attitude, consider picking up a few bohemian pieces on your next shopping excursion!

The term "bohemian" first emerged to describe a way of life, rather than a particular look. Beginning around the 1500's, the Czech province of Bohemia was the center of much political, cultural and religious discord, which lasted for centuries. Full to bursting with outspoken artists, musicians and others with less traditional views and lifestyles, residents of the area and their overall style and mentality became known as "bohemians." The tag has managed to stick in modern times, although some use the abbreviation "boho." Fortunately for fans of casual, creative apparel, boho style is no longer limited to people with unconventional politics or world views. Keep reading to learn more about how you can sport this fun, friendly look.

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In keeping with the free spirit attitude of Bohemia, style dictates that the true boho fashionista must have some flowing, lightweight garments in her collection. For example, airy peasant blouses or lightweight, ruffly skirts (long or short) in eclectic patterns are staples of the boho wardrobe. Another must-have is a maxi dress, which is typically long, non-binding and carefree in nature. Maxi dresses come in just about every color, design and fabric imaginable. Plus, they're so versatile that they can be easily dressed up or down, depending on your destination.

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Crazy color combinations are a big part of the bohemian style.
Crazy color combinations are a big part of the bohemian style.
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There's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking with the faithful jeans and tee combo that's served you so comfortably in the past. If your desire is to channel your inner bohemian, however, you'll have to learn to stray from your roots and embrace riskier fashion choices. The truth of the bohemian look is that it's not one that's easy to pinpoint. Instead, it's all about pairing pieces that the more conservative dresser wouldn't think to put together. Start by sporting bright color combos. Next, play with patterns that a regular fashionista might hesitate to pair. You'll be surprised what garments look mismatched on the hanger, only to work together beautifully once you actually put them on. Remember -- the boho style isn't about looking put together as much as it's about having a good time with fashion.

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The beauty of the bohemian look is that no piece of jewelry or other accessory is off limits. So raid your jewelry box for long-forgotten pieces and hit the stores for a few new items to properly stock your boho closet. Berets, chunky necklaces, layers of bangle or leather bracelets, headbands, stand-out belts, earth-toned handbags or even mismatched earrings are all common, celebrated staples. Whether you pick a couple of choice items or flex your jewelry muscle with a bunch of pieces at once, there are no rules when it comes to bohemian accessorizing.

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Try to infuse multiple eras into your bohemian look.
Try to infuse multiple eras into your bohemian look.
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Bohemian style isn't necessarily one that's static and easily pinpointed to a particular time period. Instead, many bohemian enthusiasts take elements from various eras and incorporate them into a playful, fun overall look. For example, wide belts straight out of the 1980s can be used to cinch a traditional peasant blouse worn over skintight leggings or skinny jeans. So resist the urge to focus on a specific time frame when developing your boho style. Instead, incorporate the best elements from all of your favorite eras! Besides looking fabulous, you'll be totally assured that you'll never bump into someone else sporting your one-of-a-kind outfit.

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Sure, you might be a computer programmer or accountant by day, but there's no reason that your wardrobe can't express your inner creative tendencies. For example, if you've always longed to sport the look of a professional dancer, but never managed to hit the stage, pick up some fitted, scoop-necked shirts or leotards and pair one with a flowing skirt. Tie your hair up in a chignon on the nape of your neck and you practically scream "starving artist with underappreciated talent." Or, if you lean toward the more ethnically-inspired bohemian look, simply don a peasant blouse, minimalist makeup and natural, product-free hair style.

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Sources

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  • Peter, Joanna Christy. "Maximise that look." Deccan Chronicle. April 25, 2012. (May 3, 2012). http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/lifestyle/trends/maximise-look-460
  • Veitch, Harriet. "How did the Czech province of Bohemia come to be associated with smelly artistic types?" July 23, 2005. (May 3, 2012). http://www.smh.com.au/news/big-questions/how-did-the-czech-province-of-bohemia-come-to-be-associated-withsmelly-artistic-types/2005/07/22/1121539134940.html
  • Yaeger, Lynn. "The History of the Bohemian Fashion World, part one." Village Voice. May 17, 2005. (May 3, 2012). http://www.villagevoice.com/2005-05-17/nyc-life/the-history-of-the-bohemian-fashion-world-part-one/

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