What Does Bohemian Style Mean?

Have you ever asked yourself what bohemian style means? For some, it may spark visions of long, relaxed dresses, voluminous, ethereal fabric, and a mysterious air of freedom and creativity. But what does the bohemian style encompass? In this blog post, I’ll dive into exotic boho fashion, exploring what it is and how you can incorporate it into your wardrobe.

Also Read: Bohemian Outfit for Men

What Does Bohemian Style Mean?

What Does Bohemian Style Mean

The Bohemian style, often called Boho, is a fashion trend that draws inspiration from the Bohemian lifestyle and the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 1970s. It embraces a free-spirited, eclectic, and nonconformist approach to fashion. The Bohemian style is characterized by a relaxed and unconventional look, emphasizing comfort, individuality, and a mix of vintage, ethnic, and natural elements.

Here are some key features and elements commonly associated with the Bohemian style in fashion:

1. Layering:

Boho fashion often involves different textures and fabrics, such as flowing maxi skirts or dresses paired with loose, patterned tops, cardigans, or kimonos.

2. Loose and Flowy Silhouettes:

The Bohemian style favors loose, flowy, and oversized silhouettes, allowing for freedom of movement. Flowing maxi dresses, peasant blouses, wide-legged pants, and oversized tunics are popular choices.

3. Natural Fabrics:

Boho fashion embraces natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, and suede. These materials are often lightweight and breathable, contributing to the comfortable and laid-back feel of the style.

4. Vintage and Retro Elements:

Incorporating vintage or retro pieces is a common aspect of Bohemian fashion. It may involve wearing vintage-inspired clothing or incorporating actual vintage garments into the outfit. Vintage accessories like fringe bags, floppy hats, and statement sunglasses are often featured.

5. Ethnic and Global Influences:

The boho style often incorporates ethnic or global influences, such as prints, patterns, and embroidery inspired by different cultures and regions. These elements can include tribal prints, paisley patterns, ikat designs, or Moroccan-inspired details.

6. Earthy Color Palette:

The color palette in Bohemian fashion tends to be earthy and natural, featuring warm tones like browns, rusts, oranges, greens, and muted neutrals. However, pops of vibrant colors and rich jewel tones are also common.

7. Natural and Handmade Accessories:

Accessories play a significant role in the Bohemian style. They include long, layered necklaces, beaded jewelry, leather belts, fringed bags, headbands, floppy hats, and bangles or bracelets. Handmade and artisanal pieces are often favored, adding to the individuality and uniqueness of the overall look.

Also Read: Bohemian Outfit Ideas for Plus Size Women

History of Bohemian style

History of Bohemian style

The Bohemian style, often called Boho or boho-chic, originated in the early 19th century and has since become a popular fashion and lifestyle choice. It is associated with a free-spirited, nonconformist attitude that embraces individuality, creativity and a love for art and nature.

The term “Bohemian” originally referred to the unconventional lifestyle of the Romani people, mistakenly believed to have originated in Bohemia, a historical region in Central Europe. However, the term evolved to encompass a broader meaning associated with artistic expression and an alternative way of life.

The Bohemian style gained significant popularity during the 1960s and 1970s as a countercultural movement. Influenced by the hippie movement and the rise of folk and rock music, Boho fashion emerged as a rejection of mainstream trends and an embrace of a more relaxed and eclectic aesthetic.

The Dorelia Look- 1909

The Dorelia Look- 1909, bohemian clothes

The Dorelia look, also known as the “Gwen John look” or the “Dorelia McNeill look,” refers to a particular style of fashion and appearance popularized by Dorelia McNeill in the early 1900s, particularly in 1909. Dorelia McNeill was an artist’s model and the common-law wife of Welsh painter Augustus John.

The Dorelia look was characterized by a bohemian and unconventional aesthetic that reflected the artistic and avant-garde atmosphere of the time. The style emphasized simplicity, naturalness, and a rejection of the restrictive fashions of the Victorian era.

The Revolutionary Transformation of Women’s Fashion during World War I & ll

During World War I, women’s bohemian fashion underwent a revolutionary transformation. The war’s demands for practicality and mobility led to simplified silhouettes and the abandonment of restrictive garments like corsets. The Rational Dress Movement gained momentum, advocating for looser and more comfortable clothing.

Military uniforms influenced fashion trends, incorporating brass buttons and trench coats. Androgynous styles emerged as women took on traditionally male roles, donning tailored suits and trousers. The shift in women’s bohemian fashion during World War I reflected a desire for functionality and a challenge to conventional gender norms.

history of bohemian style

In World War II, women’s bohemian fashion continued to evolve under the constraints of rationing and limited resources. Utility clothing became prevalent, characterized by simpler designs and sturdy fabrics. Women became resourceful and practiced “make do and mend,” repurposing old garments, and getting creative with accessories.

Functional footwear and an emphasis on femininity coexisted with dresses featuring defined waistlines and full skirts. Despite the challenges of war, women maintained a sense of elegance and individuality through their bohemian fashion choices.

The Bohemian Wardrobe

The Bohemian Wardrobe is a style that embraces individuality, creativity, and a carefree spirit. It features eclectic prints, flowing silhouettes, and natural fabrics. Layering, accessorizing, and incorporating earthy tones are key elements. It’s a fashion movement that allows you to express your unique style and wanderlust. So embrace the bohemian spirit and unleash your free-spirited self with The Bohemian Wardrobe.

Difference Between Boho and Bohemian

“boho” and “bohemian” are often used interchangeably to describe a particular style or aesthetic. However, there are slight differences in their origins and connotations.

TopicsBoho StyleBohemian Style
OriginColor PaletteInspired by the bohemian cultural movement of the 19th century
FashionEmphasizes a more contemporary and trendy interpretation of bohemian aestheticsReflects a more vintage and eclectic approach to fashion
ClothingIt often includes modern bohemian elements like flowy maxi dresses, floppy hats, and fringe details.It often includes modern bohemian elements like flowy maxi dresses, floppy hats, and fringe details.
Colour PaletteInfluenced by current fashion trends and the modern interpretation of the bohemian styleUtilizes rich and earthy colors as well as muted and natural hues
DecorIncorporates modern bohemian elements into home decor, such as rattan furniture and metallic accentsFavors a more vintage and eclectic mix of furnishings, including Persian rugs, tapestries, and antique or handmade items
VibeProjects a more contemporary and fashion-forward bohemian aestheticReflects a more traditional and artistic bohemian vibe
Main InfluencesInfluenced by current fashion trends and the modern interpretation of bohemian styleDraws inspiration from the historical bohemian cultural movement and various ethnic and cultural traditions
OverallA trendy and contemporary take on bohemian aesthetics, often with a focus on fashionA more vintage, eclectic, and artistic approach that extends to both fashion and home decor
Difference Between Boho and Bohemian


What is modern bohemian style?

Modern bohemian style is a fashion and interior design aesthetic blends bohemian, eclectic, and contemporary elements. It emphasizes a relaxed, free-spirited vibe with loose, natural fabrics and a mix of textures, patterns, and colors. It features flowing garments and accessories like wide-brimmed hats and statement jewelry fashion. In interior design, it embraces an eclectic mix of furniture and warm, earthy colors.

What is the origin of the term “bohemian”?

The term “bohemian” originated in the 19th century and was associated with unconventional artists and writers. It was influenced by the Romani people and their nonconformist lifestyle. Today, it refers to a free-spirited, creative, and non-traditional way of living.

How does the bohemian style differ from the hippie style?

Bohemian and hippie styles share a free-spirited and nonconformist approach, but they differ. The hippie style emerged in the 1960s, focusing on peace and social change, while the bohemian style has a broader historical influence.

The hippie style features loose clothing, tie-dye prints, and symbols of peace, while the bohemian style incorporates a mix of textures, patterns, and cultural inspirations. In addition, the hippie style rejected consumerism, while the bohemian style may include luxury and personal expression elements.


The bohemian style is laid-back and artistic, linking the fashion world with movement and freedom. The bohemian style stands out for its eclectic mix of prints, colors, and textures combined with natural fabrics. Beyond fashion, bohemian style is a lifestyle that honors living in the moment and embracing life’s raw and natural elements. It is an example of personalization and creativity that can be translated in many ways.

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