The History of Bohemian
The term bohemian, of French origin, was first used in the English language in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional life styles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty.
The term emerged in France in the early 19th century when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class gypsy neighborhoods. The term bohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who had reached Western Europe via Bohemia.
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.
Literary Bohemians were associated in the French imagination with roving Gypsies (called bohemians because they were believed to have arrived from Bohemia), outsiders apart from conventional society and untroubled by its disapproval. The term carries a connotation of arcane enlightenment (the opposite of Philistines), and also carries a less frequently intended, pejorative connotation of carelessness about personal hygiene and marital fidelity. The Spanish gypsy in the French opera Carmen set in Seville, is referred to as a bohémienne in Meilhac and Halévy's libretto (1875).
The term 'Bohemian' has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gypsy, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits ... A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art.
The influence of the “Bohemian” style started with the hippie movement of the late 60s and early 70s picturing a relaxed and natural free-spirited way of living by the young generation of that time. Most involved in this cultural movement were musicians, artists, poets, writers and the list goes on. From the outside point of view from the anti-hippies of the early days, the look was associated with dirty and sloppy, but for the hippies it was a state of mind without intention of making a fashion statement. They wanted just to feel free to express themselves with artistic candor.
The Bohemian of Today
Today's 'Boho Look' (formerly Bohemian) still influences the fashion world combined with more sophisticated styles. I noticed these days you can wear earthy looks with lots of browns as well as the complete opposite with a lot of bright and vibrant colors ranging from oranges to purples or from navy blues to yellows.
It’s a timeless style, all about personalizing it and figuring out what suits YOU best. You can live anywhere and incorporate a lot of your own cultural elements into that look.
You don’t have to wear a Boho outfit from head to toe. The fun part is always experimenting, playing with accessories, mixing it up with other items, and creating interesting layers. You will be surprised with the different looks you can achieve with only a few clothes. It all just depends on how you put it together!
The trick is to find Boho style in your favorite colors, cuts and fabrics. Also look for texture, length, volume and patterns when choosing your layers. Wear a pretty, floral, flowing dress, add a belt, a pair of flat sandals, cool hoop earrings and aviator sunglasses.
Even soft chiffons or silk fabric dresses are welcome and can go with low to medium heels. For a more polished look, this can be combined as well with silk blouses and dark faded or white jeans, heeled shoes and a pearl necklace to create an urban, modern style.
Pieces that can make any outfit so much more interesting and intriguing are those with intricate design details, trims with embroideries, beads, macramé, handkerchief hems, smocking, florals, stitching, wooden, buttons and fringe, lace, tassels ...
To imbue your hair with bohemian vibes blending it with your outfit, consider the following: headbands, broad brimmed floppy and Viola hats, knitwear, even fewer simple braids hanging between the hair is quite lovely.
Wear shorts, prairie skirts with soft peasant cotton, crocheted toppers and gladiators leather sandals or metallic flats, medium boots adorned with fringing, ... The final touch is one of natural accessories made with some organic Boho style materials such as wood, seeds, pearls, ... different types of beads for your necklace can be layered with different heights. Arrange them with a long chain and in the middle with stone pendant or chunky medallion, shells, rings.
The Hobo bag can go either way, depending on how you feel in that moment, a simple Boho style or sophisticated Boho style, there are so many styles that can be paired with anything. But the most important is what makes you feel comfortable and specially happy in your own unique style.
Embrace the earthy and cheerful styles, as neither ever goes out because rules don’t apply. Choose from super casual to a very glamourous look, but always with a bohemian spirit of artsy and sassy. With those tips & tricks you will never overdo your look in any outfit, always expressing your own bohemian vibes. In this way, your style will be admired from others because it suits your eccentricity, your exotic personality and inner charm, ... and now you are ready to go.
Oh! Remember sparkle is at a minimum...
Viva la vie Bohème!!!
PS: Celebrities known to dress in boho chic style: The Olsen Twins, Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie, Rachel Zoe, Sienna Miller and Lindsay Lohan.