Boho chic, short for “bohemian,” refers to a style of fashion defined by its relaxed and nonconformist aesthetic. Flowy silhouettes, natural textures, embroidered accents, and vintage vibes characterize the boho look. While boho is a year-round staple, it feels especially fitting for summer with its carefree spirit and lighter fabrics. As festivals, vacations, and social events pick up during warmer months, boho fashion simultaneously allows you to feel comfortable and stylish.
The Origins of Boho Style
Bohemian style traces back to the mid-1800s when artistic communities adopted looser silhouettes and rebelled against structured bourgeois fashion norms. The term came from French gypsies who were believed to have come from the region of Bohemia, located in the western Czech Republic. Art districts from Paris to New York saw creatives don flowing peasant skirts, headscarves, sandals, and billowy garments. The romantic look aligned with their artistic, nonconformist lifestyles.
Over time, boho culture became associated with the 1960s hippie movement and the 1970s free love era. Icons like Janis Joplin performed in funky bellbottoms, maxi dresses, and circular sunglasses that exuded bohemian flair. Brands like Anthropologie and Free People helped it gain mainstream popularity in the early 2000s. Music festivals, beach vacations, and urban farmers markets provide the perfect backdrop for boho style, securing its place in our closets each summer.
Why We Love Boho Fashion
There are many reasons the boho aesthetic continues to trend each summer season:
It’s ultra-feminine. Boho style embraces delicate details like lace, florals, crochet trim, smocked peasant blouses, and textured fabric accents. Tassels and pom poms add artisanal embellishment. The relaxed silhouettes and soft natural fabrics provide an ethereal, romantic vibe.
It’s versatile. Boho essentials like off-shoulder tops, kimonos, gladiator sandals, and woven bags transition seamlessly from the beach to the farmer’s market to evening cocktails. The laidback aesthetic works for various ages, too.
It’s free-spirited. Boho dressing encourages you to have fun with prints, embroidery, layers, and accessories. Bold bohemian elements let you showcase your unique personal style.
It’s universally flattering. Empire waists, wrap dresses, maxi lengths, and wide-leg pants suit petite and curvy figures equally well. You can comfortably hide problem areas or show skin.
Whether dressed up with heeled booties and layered jewelry or worn casually with Birkenstocks and a top knot, boho empowers stylish summer looks aligned with your spirit.
Boho Dresses & Outfit Ideas
The boho aesthetic shines best in dress form. Look for tiered maxi dresses, off-shoulder tunics, embroidered kaftans, strappy camis, or rug-inspired slips when shopping. Pair with heeled sandals or flat leather slides, depending on the occasion. Then load on turquoise jewels, woven pouches, and floppy sun hats for vacation-ready appeal.
Some chic boho summer outfit formulas include:
The Boho Beach Babe – Crochet bell sleeve mini + floral bikini + brown leather slides + circle straw bag
The Boho Bridesmaid – Dusty blue smocked bodice maxi + rose gold wedge heels + floral crown + silk kimono
The Boho Goddess – White lace trim midi dress + tan braided sandals + beaded necklaces + floppy hat.
The Boho Wanderers – Printed palazzo pants + off-shoulder crop top + flat sandals + woven backpack
For the best style of white boho dresses, look for an off-shoulder maxi in sheer white fabric with embroidered trim or lace accents. A white boho dress makes a gorgeous choice for summer weddings, bridal showers, engagement photos, or your own backyard parties. Go barefoot or pair it with a floral crown, tan leather sandals, and boho jewelry for a dreamy woodland nymph style.
Year-Round Boho Style
While boho fashion peaks in the summer months, you can tap into its effortless vibe all year long. As fall approaches, transition the look with darker floral prints, crushed velvet fabrics, leather jackets, cowboy boots, and felt cowboy hats. Layer peasant blouses, patchwork cardigans, pullover sweaters, and blanket scarves over jeans or leggings. Add crochet sweaters, faux fur vests, fringe accents, cowhide bags, and Pendleton designs for extra texture. Just incorporate cozy accents while maintaining a relaxed boho silhouette.
In winter, boho translates to cable knits, fuzzy pom beanies, thermal leggings, and shearling coats. Look for sweatshirts, cardigans, boots, and cold-weather accessories touched with Bohemian embellishments like pom poms and embroidery. Turkish kilim rug coats provide literal inspiration.
In spring, remerge with off-shoulder floral tops, embroidered denim shorts, gladiator sandals, and woven straw bags. Festival season provides the perfect occasion for boho fringe pants, crochet bralettes, and headscarves. No matter the season, bohemian style empowers authentic self-expression through vintage vibes and artisanal accents.
Boho Beauty & Lifestyle
Besides influencing fashion choices, the bohemian philosophy also impacts beauty routines and overall lifestyle. Adopting a touch of boho spirit means embracing a more holistic, intentional way of living in harmony with nature.
Boho beauty emphasizes natural, carefree hair and skin with minimal makeup. Think beachy, undone waves or braids accented with hair scarves. Play up features like the eyes and lips with earthy, metallic, or desert-inspired accents. Common boho beauty products include sea salt sprays for texture, cleansing face mists, body bronzers, and highlighters for a sun-kissed glow. Let your natural features shine through while keeping routines low-fuss. The bohemian philosophy values health and creative self-expression over perfection.
Boho Home Decor
Incorporate boho vibes into your living space with elements like hanging plants, woven blankets, goat skin rugs, candlelit lanterns, tapestry wall hangings, and earth-tone palettes. Opt for handmade ceramics over mass-produced dishware, and use real flowers rather than synthetic arrangements. Create cozy reading nooks filled with velvet pillows and curate shelves with stacks of art books. The boho home feels lived-in, collected, and connected to nature.
Boho Wellness Rituals
Embody the boho lifestyle by starting mindfulness activities like yoga, breathwork, and meditation. Keep a dream journal or creative inspiration board. Spend time crafting, gardening, or cooking nourishing meals. Source decor, clothing, and beauty products from local artists and ethical brands. Attend art walks, community gatherings, music festivals, and other consciousness-raising events. Unplug often to admire simple pleasures without filtering through a mobile lens. Focus on inner fulfillment, self-development, and purpose over tangible rewards.
Boho Treasure Hunting
An essential part of bohemian living involves curating your distinctive style. Seek second-hand shops, vintage stores, antique markets, and estate sales for rare retro finds that speak to you. These provide more unique options than mass retailers while aligning with the boho values of sustainability.
Thrift stores in artistic communities or university towns tend to offer the best selection of boho styles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Look through the dress and jacket sections for flowy peasant tops, maxi skirts, kimonos, and vibrant prints. Peruse accessories for beaded handbags, engraved jewelry, and funky sunglasses. Feel fabrics for crushed velvet, lace, crochet, and embroidered accents that capture the bohemian vibe.
For one-of-a-kind boho dresses, explore vintage boutiques specializing in festival wear or wedding gowns. Consignment shops in wealthier metro areas also yield quality investment pieces by designer brands like Gucci, Pucci, and Valentino with bohemian appeal. Peer through antique shops and second-hand stalls for other unique additions like turquoise displays, retro luggage, and Persian rugs for style and decor.
With some dedication, these local treasures provide affordable options to create distinctive boho looks that embody your individual essence. Ultimately, the bohemian spirit isn’t just about a certain aesthetic – it’s an intentional approach to living artfully and freely.