Why Boho Chic Will Never Die (Updated)
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
There are so many reasons why bohemian chic (aka hippie style) will never die that I don’t know if I can fit all the reasons into one short article. But, for you, I’ll give it a try... because so many of us will always love boho hippie chic.
Boho Women vs Preppy Women
I will come right out and admit it. I am an unconventional, creative, artsy, unique person, so I like to come up with my own theories about people; and I believe that, in general, women can be divided into one of two fashion categories:
- Tailored Preppy (for lack of a better term)
Some chicks can wear both types of clothing, but as women get older, I think their personal styles sway more towards one classification or the other.
Why Do So Many Women Love Boho?
I’d like to give you fashion designers and professional buyers five reasons why there will always be a diverse set of women who will continue to scour eBay, thrift shops, Etsy, traditional online websites, and conventional stores in an attempt to find clothing that’s a bit different from the classical, tailored norm:
- 1. Many curvy chicks look better in loose, flowing bohemian apparel.
- 2. Most women find it easier to breathe and to move in loose, flowing bohemian apparel… and this seems to become more important as one gets older.
- 3. Many females find that their bodies are naturally suited to gypsy and ethnic styles rather than to tailored ensembles.
- 4. Relaxed, abundant garments seldom need alterations, and this means that bohemian styles are often less expensive from the customer’s point of view.
- 5. It is one hell of a lot more fun to mash together beautiful elements from more than one time period than it is to wear a designer-perfected ensemble that comes with pre-ordained accessories, jewelry, footwear, and all that.
Also, there is a very large contingent of baby boomer women who have extremely fond memories of their carefree youth during the 60s and 70s. And, we like to relive that era in our minds... even if it's just in little rebellious ways.
Loose, Flowing Clothing Can Balance Your Body
I often wear long skirts because they give my German-peasant bone structure a more feminine and proportioned silhouette. If I wanted to buy a structured suit or dress, I’m afraid I would have to go to Hong Kong or London to have it custom made. I was not born with an “off the rack” body. And, I’m certainly not alone in this situation.
How Boho Can Cover Flaws
Yes, after years of fashion flubs, particularly during the structured and shoulder-padded 80s, I’ve discovered a boho trick or two. (Hey, if you’re a woman who has a perfect body, skip this part, but don’t let me hear you whining about anything…not even the price of gas.) Yes, boho covers a multitude of sins:
- Women who are top-heavy (with big boobs and/or shoulders that are too large for one’s height) often look better with more volume below the waist. The right maxi or midi skirts (not too full, not too tight) will balance out a busty or triangular silhouette.
- Women who are bottom heavy can use these same hippie-style skirts to camouflage their big butts and huge hips. However, most pear-shaped women will need to wear puffed-out sleeves or some type of upper-body detailing to give their outfits the correct balance. Most of the time, a belt or nipped-in waist will make an outfit like this look just right.
- Lightweight, loose, gauzy tops with interesting, but subtle, detailing can give you a sexy, veiled look. And, gauzy blouses or sheer unstructured “jackets,” worn over camisoles or sleeveless tops, will camouflage heavy arms or help balance out bottom-heavy silhouettes.
- A gauzy caftan or kimono (long or short) can be used in a similar way to alter the look of a conventional, boring outfit, like an ordinary black tank top with black trousers or a long, jersey, T-shirt dress.
Look for Great Fabrics
For centuries, Eastern European gypsy styles have been worn by everyday women. Now that we can construct these garments from stretchy fabrics, the range of fashion options has become immense, and I think designers are just starting to learn how to make flattering, stretchy clothing that can be sold (online) without the obvious flaw of ecommerce: the return factor.
Garments that can be stretched, wrapped, layered, and pulled into some type of flattering outfit are more likely to fit women like you and me and are less likely to be returned... Stretchy fabric just makes everything that much easier for shoppers and retailers.
However, some boho clothing does not need to be stretchy in order for you to get a good fit. It depends on the cut of the item. One obvious example would be a boho tunic made out of gorgeous silk with awesome drape. Most of the time, a tunic like this will be loose enough that you will just pull it over your head. And, the beauty of this kind of boho top comes from the way the fabric drapes over your figure. If the tunic is loose, you'll have the option of belting it or just letting it flow and skim over your body. Either way, a good design made of fabulous fabric will be easy to fit. And, that is SO important when buying clothing online.
Skinny Girls Like Boho Fashions, Too
You don’t have to be curvy to like boho. Some artsy types, such as artists, fashion designers, writers, musicians, and intellectuals like to shock and push the boundaries of conventionality just for the thrill of it; while other women turn to unique styles out of necessity, because wearing unusual, ethnic clothing or old, discarded threads is less expensive than buying those boring, current fashions found in every mall in every suburb of every city in every country on earth...
I’m still not sure if people become artists intentionally because they are bored with cookie-cutter conventionality or if people become artists because they are forced into the role by some quirk of birth. For me, it’s definitely a combination of the two. Without creativity I would die. And, when it comes to clothing, I need to have a lot of options because, for some reason, I just don’t look all that hot in a Chairman Mao suit. Maybe, women of great beauty can wear whatever is put in front of them, but most of us need clothing (and jewelry) that attracts the eye to the best parts of our bodies and camouflages the rest.
And, for that... you will need a lot of unique options. And... of course... you will need to take the time to experiment with all those different options. Hey... I suppose you could just give up and dress like an old Russian granny with weird shoes... you know... the European equivalent of the older American male (tourist) who wears shorts, sandals, and black socks. Oy. Please don't.
The Return Of Bohemian Chic: Deja Vu All Over Again
I have seen so many articles that proclaim bohemian fashion to be back in style or that tell us how fashion houses and celebrities have rediscovered the wonder of boho chic. Well, I find that laughable.
And, though many of us young rebels from the 60's and 70's grew up and did our best to appear “normal” when it was to our advantage, I think we were always looking for something that gave us that little rush... that thrill of discovering some kind of unique or unconventional outfit that would turn us into magical, dramatic creatures… unlike any other.
So, I think boho is here to stay, in one form or another, for the next hundred years… or longer.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Apricot 2012.
- Boho Chic Hippie Caftan: East fall 2015.
- Boho Clothing Liberates Women - Plus Size Caftan Top: Evans 2015.
- Boho Hippie Dress & Crochet Jacket With Fringe: East 2015.
- Plus Size Boho Clothing on Sale: LaRedoute (only some sizes available, check out long dresses or ethnic for more) 2015.
- Ethnic Bohemian Style: LaRedoute sale (a few sizes) 2015, Very 2015.
- Boho Hipster Girl: River Island 2012.
- If you came here looking for the source of an older photo, the item is no longer available but if you tell me what it is I can help you.
What do you think of boho chic? What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Your comment won't show up until I have time to approve it. Thanks.