The Spirit Of Boho: The Bohemian Fashion Essentials

The spirit of Boho fashion is free, creative, earthy and feminine.

Siena Miller, Nicole Richie, Stevie Nicks, Carly Simon and Kate Moss are all poster child’s for Boho fashion and it is a style that is embraced by women all over the globe.

Sadly the true essence of Bohemian fashion is being fast forgotten as rich corporations cash in on the “Boho” style by mass producing items that are designed to look like thrift store rip-offs.

Glossy advertisements sell the ‘Boho’ style as trendy, and the more these factory rip-offs hit the shop shelves the more they are killing the heart and spirit of true ‘Boho style’.

So what is true Boho style? Bohemian is a played down style which can’t be taught or copied – no matter how much money you have.

To be classed as a true Bohemian you must have the Bohemian spirit and heart within.

It’s about appreciating the simple things in life, creating style on a shoestring and conjuring magic from the mundane.

The true Bohemian culture focuses on the freedom of expression, creativity, living with consciousness, practicing gratitude and embracing one’s authentic self.

It represents togetherness, harmony, spirituality and leading a life devoted to experiencing the world rather than chasing the superficial things in life.

Back in the day Bohemians wore whatever they had on hand, out of comfort and convenience, this was usually something from their ex-hippie mom’s attic.

In today’s modern era true Bohemians avoid the commercial mass market of fashion and mainstream trends.

The true bohemian is about living in harmony with one self and the planet.

It is about shopping consciously for hand-made and fair trade products and supporting local designers.

You will find Bohemians wandering in the aisle of thrift stores, markets and small-scale boutiques.

Some even make their own clothes.

Embracing the Bohemian culture is all about appreciating creative handmade treasures which can be anything from a forgotten coin; a hand crafted embellished bag or a beautifully coloured artisan fabric.

If you are inspired to awaken your inner bohemian and adorn yourself with colour, spirit and gypsy beauty then here is the ultimate style board for all the bohemian fashion essentials:

Colourful florals and paisleys are feminine and uplifting

Fashion Pieces:

Every woman, Boho or not…. needs a kaftan. Kaftans are versatile, stylish and timeless.

They are the jewel of summer and they inspire free spirit, beauty and creativity – everything that represents the Boho culture.

Forget those tent like kaftans from the past; creative designers have given a new lease of life to the humble kaftan.

Beautiful billowing chiffon creates a dreamy masterpiece – a look that is casual yet elegant.

Simply slip the kaftan over your swimsuit for walks along the beach or dress it up a little by complementing it with classy wedge heels and a piece of statement jewellery.

With Boho fashion the goal is to look authentic and create your own style- therefore there are no hard and fast rules.

Look for kaftans, light and breezy tunics, solid/printed maxi dresses, leggings, vests, flowy blouses, long skirts, jeans, ponchos, shawls, structured blazers, vintage-esque looks, cut off denim shorts; culottes and cropped shirts.


One of the easiest and most effective ways to embrace your inner Boho Goddess is with jewellery, giving you the option to add a simple statement piece or go all out.

When it comes to bohemian jewellery…the more unique…. the better. Look for original finds at the flea market, Etsy, or even make some of your own!

The key is to find pieces made from natural elements like wood, coral, turquoise or feathers. A statement necklace is a great layering piece that easily adds style to an otherwise bland outfit.

Look for intricately beaded styles or ones made from natural crystals and gems. Antique wood and metal bangles always look fabulous and will always be in style.

Also, look for hand engraved cuffs and arm bands.

Seek out wood, tribal, African, Indian, shells, crystals and gemstones, long necklaces, chunky silver and gold, beaded jewellery and mala necklaces.


Chunky belts, scarves, head jewellery, vintage satchels and clutches.The Trilby or wide brimmed hats are both great ways to opt for a low key boho look.


Feathers (please choose cruelty free), beads, metallics, florals, prints, embroidered, lace.


Wanting Boho beach waves, hassle free hair styling, not a hair straightener in sight.

A great tip to create the sea salt beach curls  when you don’t have time for a morning dip – fill a spray bottle with sea water the next time you are at the beach to keep in your bathroom cupboard.

Not only does it have a strong shelf life but is also a fraction of the price of some of the “beach hair’ products on offer at the chemist.

Boho hairstyles include ponytails, afro, beach curls, twist-outs and loose buns.


Soft and natural hues of apricot, bronze, browns, greys and creams. A splash of bold lipstick with natural makeup is also a great ethereal look.


Flat sandals, wedges, platform, gladiator, cowboy boots (beaded/other accent details).

Mix up your colour scheme:

Mix a combination of floral prints, earth tones, bold coloured statement pieces and beading details. Add bold yellows, purples, blues and silver/gold metallic accents to traditionally warm, earthy boho chic colours.

Layers are the key:

The most popular looks usually include long dresses and long skirts, which can be paired with either loose shirts or a fitted top/tank – for a luxe Bohemian look finish off the outfit with and structured blazer.

Invest in a Kimono:

These gorgeous accessories have recently had a fashion resurgence, and not in the oriental sense.

You can buy them in soft and exotic floral and paisley fabrics and they are perfect for wearing to the beach teamed with a short denim cut-off, long skirt or flowy culottes.

They have also made their way into the fashion mainstreams and are a great alternative to the summer jacket or cardigan, made using light cottons, with colourful prints.

Slipping on a kimono is a great boho statement piece.

Something that I love to do is either buy exotic fabrics from overseas or purchase some antique fabric from a local thrift store and make my own kimono.

They are super easy to make.

Buy Artisan Fabrics:

A hand made fabric adds a free-spirited and worldly edge to your wardrobe.

Buy original fabrics (either online, overseas or at your local markets) and get a local dressmaker in your area to sew you up a maxi dress or skirt.

Use simple patterns as you want the fabric to be the showpiece.

When travelling I like to drop in on local villages and local artists – this brings the age-old artistic traditions to my modern world.

Hand-made fabrics are true treasures, when you wear your newly sewn dress you can feel the soul of the artist through the colour, pattern and slight imperfections in the fabric – it’s very raw, earthy and grounding.

Look for geometric, Aztec, florals and paisley patterns.


These are a key accessory for any boho goddess. The scarves can be tied to your favourite handbag to add a splash of bold colour, worn around your neck or as a head band.

The scarf is a key piece in any women’s wardrobe, and a great place to search out a boho inspired one is often your local thrift store or weekend market.

I have also picked up some gorgeous hand died scarves on my globe-trotting adventures; Montreal and Vancouver have some great street markets where there are an abundance of handmade designer scarves.

Oh and I can’t forget Kathmandu – my gosh that is a treasure mine for scarf seeking boho’s – and they even come stained with the smell of Tibetan incense.

Head Jewellery:

Head jewellery has always been a key piece to bohemian fashion, be it a simple double headband or a lavish jewelled option which can be worn with messy boho beach hair.

There is no need to pay heaps of money for these headpieces as they are super easy to make.

Turn all those broken chains and necklaces that you have in your jewellery box into gorgeous headpieces.

Or go to the thrift store and buy a few necklaces.

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