You don’t have to be a witch to be boho or to love the boho chic style. You don’t even have to be spiritual.
Though it certainly helps.
But if you’ve been wondering how to aim for more of a boho chic style in your life, in ways that work for you, I’ve got some tips to ease, or blast, your way into it.
Table of Contents
What Is Bohemian?
Bohemian is a term that was used to describe the Gypsy Romani people in Europe, particularly in France, during the 1800s.
Bohemia was once an actual place in what is now part of the Czech Republic, and the Gypsy Romani were well known for their nomadic lifestyle.
As 1800s France was also a time of high arts, literature, music, and a passion for adventure, and the Gypsy Roman were known for their spirituality and their psychic powers, the term simply came to be used to refer to people who lived an unconventional lifestyle.
Lovers of the arts, artists, musicians, writers, poets, wanderers, vagabonds, all came to be known as the Bohemians at the time.
In the 1960s and 1970s in America and Europe, this term was reinvigorated by the cultural revolution and the many young people who decided to opt out of the traditional lifestyle – 9 to 5 job, husband and two kids, white picket fence, bologna sandwiches, all that.
Instead, they took the roads, reading Jack Kerouac and admiring Andy Warhol paintings.
Today, we are seeing a resurgence of that lifestyle – more people turning to freelance work and the gig economy, making their own schedules, staying in interesting Airbnbs rather than hotels.
This has been an embrace of boho chic.
More and more people, young adults and full-grown adults, are deciding that they would rather have a life filled with fun, joy, adventure, and freedom than be locked into a job that does not interest you just to make money to pay bills.
There has to be something more to life, right?
And that’s the Bohemian way.
What Is the Bohemian Style?
The Bohemian style then reflects that carefree, wanderlusty, art loving life.
Loose clothes, wild hair, natural fabrics, interesting patterns, leather boots or sandals.
The key with Bohemian clothing is to show yourself to have an adventurous spirit, to embrace peace and love and life in general, to go with the flow, to adapt and shift with the time.
The Bohemian style declares its own style, its own sense of self; it is confident and unconventional.
You definitely make a statement, but not in a gaudy, garish, or offputting way.
More in a come hither, check me out, you want to chat me up don’t you way.
It’s casually sexy, laid back and yet engaging.
It is mature, interesting, and unique to each person.
You’ll notice lots of earth tones and neutrals with pops of saturated color and wild patterns.
You’ll see a mix of leather and lace, silk and metal, feathers, fur, and jewels accenting soft cotton or cashmere.
It is the ultimate experience in just chill and have fun with life.
What Is Boho Chic?
Boho chic is a more curated, updated take on the Bohemian style.
It reached its peak in 2005 with actresses like Sienna Miller and Mary-Kate Olsen embracing a more close-fitting clothing, shorter skirts and dresses, cut off ripped jean shorts, tall boots, and long slouchy handbags.
And now, as so many of us head more toward a carefree, unattached, unencumbered way of living in general, it is time to embrace the boho chic effect in your life.
How to Embrace the Boho Chic Style in Your life
Boho chic is more than just a look; it is an entire life. And if you think you’re ready, take a look at what that might mean for you.
Embrace the Arts
Boho is nothing if not artistic.
If you want to go more boho, you will have to get into the arts.
Listen to music you don’t usually listen to, go to a museum or an art show, show up at a gallery opening.
Maybe head to your local bookstore for a poetry reading.
The critical piece of all Bohemianism is a love of the arts and humanities.
Embrace your artistic side.
In fact, think about how to get more creative in your own life.
As Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic, create for the sake of creating.
Take up painting, find a dance class, write poetry.
Do something, every single day, that brings out your creative side.
You don’t have to get paid to be an artist.
In fact, most artists are not paid.
The boho in you wants to wander.
You don’t have to go far.
Wander the streets of your city, find backroads and cute little shops no one knows about.
Venture out into nearby towns, take a short day trip to a spot a couple hours away.
These are things we all put off, we mean to do, we mean to get to, but the true Boho spirit will insist we actually do them.
And once you start getting out and having new experiences in new places, and you see how easy it really is, you will find yourself saving up or picking up extra gigs to wander off even farther.
Maybe even, gasp, invest in a camper van and hit the road!
Minimize Your Demands
Cut back on the hustle and grind and embrace the chill.
If you find yourself maxed out on your to-do list, cut it down.
You don’t have to do it all today, all right now, all this year.
You have a whole life ahead of you and you’re going to send yourself into an early grave pushing yourself so hard.
The boho chic chick knows this.
She takes time for coffee with friends, for a long walk in the park, for a jam session on a Friday night just rocking out to good music.
Minimize your schedule.
Reading is a favorite pastime of the boho chic chick.
Read outside the box, read what everyone else is reading, read a random book recommended by the bookstore employee.
Turn off your screen, put down your phone, make yourself a cup of tea, and read.
Then, you will have so many interesting things to talk about with all those people you’ll meet on your travels.
Attend Festivals and Community Events
Get out and be part of your community.
Hit the wine and cheese festival, the art festival, the Halloween parade.
Share the love.
Take Care of Yourself
Perhaps the single most important piece of advice I ever give is this one.
Take care of yourself.
Whatever self-care looks like to you, do that.
Take long baths with sugar scrubs, put cucumber slices on your eyes, do a clay mask in the shower, go for a run, hit the gym, eat good food.
You need to love yourself so much that it shines from your skin.
That’s boho chic.
Get Rid of Clothes that Make You Uncomfortable
You should not be squeezing into clothes that don’t fit or that make you “suck it in” all day.
Boho chic might be more form fitting, but it is form fitting in a flattering way.
You want to embrace your body, not squish it into a sausage casing.
Find clothes that hug your curves, love your skin, and make you feel amazing.
Ditch everything else.
Layers and Accessories
As you minimize your life and your schedule, layer on your clothes, accessories, and decor.
Your clothes and your accessories tell a story.
Pick up a cute scarf in that little shop by the sea, purchase a cool pot in a vintage store, grab a boho bag from that festival.
Express yourself with your purchases.
The boho chic chick is well rested.
So get your 8, or 9, hours of sleep.
You cannot look like a laid back lover of the arts with wanderlust while you sport bags under your eyes.
Spend Time in Nature and with Plants
Yes, you must plant your bare feet on the earth regularly.
Buy some plants for every room in your house and learn to keep them alive!
You are a hippie in many ways, and nature loving is one of them.
What good is travel if you don’t embrace the earth you are traveling?
Do Work You Love
Whatever you do, love it.
If you don’t love it, don’t do it.
I know it sounds easier than it actually is.
But a life you love is worth a little extra effort, right?
Be True to Yourself and Everyone Else
And finally, tell the truth, or at least don’t lie, especially to yourself.
The true wandering vagabond is honest, confident, and forthright.
Work to hone those qualities, and you will be welcomed every which way you wander.