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What Kind of Boots to Wear With Boho Dresses?

what kind of shoes for bohemian tops and dresses?

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

I really like wearing hippyish, bohemian-chic clothing… especially long, flowing dresses and skirts.  And, I really like wearing boots… all kinds of boots.  So, how could I not write this article?  It was preordained.

Rules for Boho Chic Boots

Always remember that boho has no “rules.”  It’s a street style that goes back to the 60’s and 70’s, and it’s ever-changing.  Because of this, boho chic is adaptable and easy to wear.  You can include whatever you like, whatever looks good on your body, and whatever fits into your lifestyle.  And, if you’re a Boomer, you’re old enough to know what you like and don’t like.

Different Kinds of Boho for Women

Even though there are no rules for bohemian clothing, different styles of boho have evolved naturally and organically over the years.  Here are some of the genres and a few pairs of boots that might look good with each style, but don’t be afraid to mix and match elements from different categories.

(Note: If you came here from Pinterest, I lost almost all the photos for this article when we updated the site. If you want to know where a Pinterest photo is from, leave a comment at the bottom of the page. I know where most of the boots came from.)

Read fashion tips about boho boots for dresses

Cowgirl Boots for Boho Dresses

1. Cowgirl Chic or Prairie Chic

If your dress (or skirt) has a casual, “Little House on the Prairie” feel, cowboy boots are a natural fit.  The “classic” prairie look often consists of a lacy, floral skirt or dress, which is usually midi length, but can be knee length or mini length.  High moccasins are another “boot” that works well with cowgirl chic.  Other elements of this look include jean skirts, dresses with ditsy-floral prints, silver and turquoise jewelry, and fringed bags.

read about boot tips for boho fashions

Boho Gypsy Flat Boots

2. Jetsetter Gypsy

When I think of a gypsy skirt or dress, I usually conjure up images of tiered skirts and embroidery, but you can have a gypsy look without all that.  I feel that gypsy skirts look best when you’re barefoot (or almost barefoot) or in boots.  However, gypsy styles also look great with flat boots, slouchy boots, ankle booties, and high-heeled boots. (Older Boomers may need chunky heels for better balance).  You should avoid anything too cutesy, pretty, or precious with gypsy wear.  I think you're better adding a few masculine elements with gypsy looks so you don't float away (visually).

Read fashion tips for boho hippie boots

Earth Mother Hippie Boots

3. Earth Mother or Natural Hippie

The earth-mother dress usually has one or more hippie elements like patchwork (a type of recycling), denim, tie-dye, or an Indian bedspread print. The main concern with this style (and most styles) is to keep the look balanced.  Usually, you want the heaviest-looking pieces to be on the bottom or you might appear as if you’re ready to topple over.  However, there are exceptions and everyone has a different body type, so you need to experiment to see what looks best on you.  (If you’re tall and thin, you can wear anything.  If you’re short and squat, you need to experiment more to balance your look.)

For earth-mother boots, try work boots, cowboy boots, high moccasins, flat suede boots, or comfortable thrift-store finds.  I always wear heels (because I need height to balance my broad shoulders and short legs), but in general, the earth-mother style is utilitarian and practical.  Would you wear spiked heels if you were planting seeds on a farming commune located in the hills of Colorado?

Read tips about different types of boho boots to wear with dresses

Boho Rocker Glam Boots

4. Eurotrash or Boho Rocker Glam

There is nothing terribly bad about the term Eurotrash. It is not in the same ballpark as trailer trash. Eurotrash is a put-down colored with a tinge of jealousy, while trailer trash is just a put-down. In America, the phrase Trust Fund Brat has a similar connotation, but a Eurotrash girl (or guy) is more into parties... with A-list rock stars.

To understand the concept of Eurotrash or haute bohème, think of lower-level royals with too much money and not enough time to spend it all (or unexpected rock stars with windfalls of cash).  While any boots will work for this bohemian style, I see Eurotrash ladies wearing high-heeled boots or booties with lots of flagrant detailing and shiny bits.

Read tips about boho boots for women to wear with dresses

Boho Boots With Eurotrash Vibe

The Eurotrash genre is expensive and decadent, but you can fake the look with cheaper clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  If you are Boomer-aged, you can get a sense of the Eurotrash style by picturing those two chicks from the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous... or Madonna in her British digs.  Eurotrash style comes from good drugs and bad morals, think Rolling Stones, but I prefer you not embrace the darker, pharmaceutical side of this look.

Anyway, you would certainly fall on your Eurotrash ash if you overdid the booze and drugs while wearing the proper footwear. Rocker Glam is probably the only boho style that doesn’t strive for comfort.

read tips about different boots for all kinds of boho styles of dresses

Grunge Boho Boots for Women

5. Grunge or Army-Navy Surplus Boho

For some reason, I like to call this look "Canadian boho", but that’s just because I think of lumberjacks when I think of plaid.  This is basically boho for colder climates, and you can add some nice warm velvet to feminize the look.  Boots for plaid boho could be combat boots (obviously), flat leather boots, or anything that looks cute and warm.

I could go on all day coming up with other categories, like Goth boho, elegant boho, punk boho, K-mart boho, and whatever… but these ideas are enough to get you into the right frame of mind.  My best advice is to have lots of different types of boots in your closet and try them all on with everything you own.

More Articles for Women Over 30, 40, 50, 60:

Embroidered Boho Tops, Dresses & More

How to Wear Leggings if You're Over 40 or 50

Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Celebration

Best Swimsuits for Women Over 40 & 50

Photo Credits: Prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Monsoon.
  • Cowgirl Boots for Boho Dresses: Miss  Selfridge, Topshop, La Redoute (2012).
  • Boho Gypsy Flat Boots: Love Miss Daisy Vintage, Linzi boots.
  • Earth Mother Hippie Boots: Dress Monsoon (2012), Simply Be plus size boots.
  • Boho Rocker Glam Boots: Dorothy  Perkins, Dune London (buckles), New Look (red), Miss  Selfridge (chunky heels).
  • Boho Boots With Eurotrash Vibe: Dune (two booties), CJG (try Topshop), Accessorizes rocker girl.
  • Grunge Boho Boots for Women: M&S (furry booties), Spy Love Buy (tan boots), Spy Love Buy (burgundy boots), plaid grunge boho chick is from prshots.com, but I lost the caption and credits.

Ready to go boho-hippie chic again? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Your comment won't show up until I approve it.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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