story of boho chic

The Story Of Boho Chic

The boho chic wear gets its fashion influence from a fusion of bohemian styling and chic styling. The integration of these two elements creates the authentic but charming ensemble we know of today as boho chic.

Today I caught up on the hype on trendy hyper-realistic cakes—everyday objects, like a bottle of shampoo or potted plants were revealed to be baked cakes when sliced in half! People just seem to have an interest in integrating two different worlds together. Integrations lead to divided opinions from the masses, but nevertheless, they do make this world a very interesting one!

These creative integrations gave birth to a lot of fashion trends including the popular bohemian chic fashion style, also known as boho-chic fashion. This fashion style quickly turned into a worldwide trend, extending its influence beyond the fashion scene, to include home décor and event styling as well.

What does boho chic mean?

The boho chic wear gets its fashion influence from a fusion of bohemian styling and chic styling. The integration of these two elements create the authentic but charming ensemble we know of today as boho chic.

What is boho chic clothing?

Bohemian styling is influenced by the way of clothing of the gypsies who originated from Bohemia in central Europe during much of the Renaissance. Gypsies are nomadic and are therefore known to move around for most of their lives. These free-spirited and nonconforming aspects of their lifestyle are very much reflected in their clothing. Read more about the Bohemian styling, its history and its elements in our ‘What is Bohemian Style?’ blog post.

Boho Fomo - Bohemian lifestyle - Gypsies
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Chic styling predominantly utilizes the stylish or smart elements of fashion. “Chic” was originally a French word before it was identified by English dictionaries as a slang word for “classy,” loosely linked to the bourgeoisie.

The rise of this bohemian chic style is believed to be around 2004-2005, led by what most people consider the boho-chic icon, actress Sienna Miller.

Sienna-ishness: boho chic in the 2000s

Most people trace the early beginnings of the boho chic influence back to 2004, around the time actress Sienna Miller was promoting her romantic comedy-drama film Alfie. She first shot to fame for then being the girlfriend of Alfie co-star Jude Law. As she moved forward to the spotlight, so did her fashion style, which had its boho chic leanings. At this point, boho chic eased its way into the mainstream. From paparazzi photos to red carpet snaps, her unique fashion sense grabbed the attention of fashion enthusiasts who quickly called the trend “dressing with Sienna-ishness.” By 2005, almost all the London fashion stores have released a boho chic selection, following a great demand from its adherents fondly referred to as the Siennas.

Other significant personalities for which the rise of boho chic is credited include, supermodel Kate Moss, actress Kate Hudson, jewelry designer Jade Jagger, and even the Olsen twins.

Boho chic clothing has successfully entered the mainstream fashion scene with the help of these icons. However, nailing the look can get confusing because it literally is the fusion of two opposing concepts—the free-spirited and loose touch of boho and classy elegance of chic.

The boho chic style guide

During the 2004 Glastonbury Festival Sienna Miller wore an outfit that probably crowned her as the queen of boho chic. This was a simple ensemble that perfectly nailed the aesthetic. It looked effortlessly put together, and yet very fashion forward during that time. She had a tiered black dress on, accessorized with a studded belt and a silver chain necklace, a pair of Uggs, and her hair in beachy “untamed” looking waves accessorized with section braids.  

With Sienna Miller as our guide, here is a cheat sheet for those of you who want to know how to dress like a boho chic. Make sure to utilize these fool proof pieces for a sure success!

1. Boho chic dresses

Common knowledge about boho chic is almost made synonymous to flowy printed dresses that come in light and dreamy colors. The highlights of the boho chic dress is its material, form and design. Usually, the material is lightweight and soft touching such as polyester material. The form is baggy, and all but form-fitting, because flowy movement is key to a bohemian dress. Lastly, design must include pattern; flowery patterns are common but geometrical patterns are also good alternatives. When you have chosen the perfect boho chic dress for yourself, half of the work is done, for sure!

2. Boho chic belts

If you decided to move away from the patterned dresses, a boho chic belt on top of a plain colored dress or blouse will do the pattern work for you. Fool proof options include crocheted belts, leather belts and vintage styled belts.

3. Boho chic maxi skirt

If one-piece dresses don’t quite suit your taste, a plain colored top (preferably white or black) will work best with a boho chic maxi skirt. Opt for long a-lined skirts with side slits or asymmetric hems to add dimension and style, making up for the simplicity of your top.

4. Boho chic style boots

While other footwear will do, boots will establish the boho-chic aesthetic that you are trying to go for. It simply finishes the look. Most outfits that move away from dresses or maxi skirts, will for sure, complete their look with vintage-designed boots. Even Sienna Miller made a pair of Uggs work for her outfit!

5. Braids and waves

The best hairstyle for this look must convey a laidback and simplistic statement. To achieve this, remember the b-w-c formula—braids, waves, and crowns. Braids work well to achieve the I-didn’t-put-too-much-effort look. It pairs well with beachy waves too when braided in thin sections. Top this braid plus waves combo with a flower crown or any boho hair accessory. Suit this formula to your style. You can do away with one element to make sure you’re not doing too much with your hair. Make sure to balance your hairstyle with the energy of your outfit.

6. Accessorize!

Hairstyle and accessories are the last two items on the list because you have to balance them with the existing outfit you have already assembled. If your outfit lacks color or lacks elegance, then have your accessories do the remaining job.

Do not overdo your outfit. Remember that the key to boho chic, is having an elegant touch to all the bohemian aspects of your ensemble. If bohemian style is 100% laid back, boho chic needs to tone it down to 60%, to make way for the classy and elegant aspects to contribute to the outfit as well.

The boho chic trend continuous to find itself in everyone’s closet, through one floral piece or another. It is after all, timeless and versatile. Although not everyone is a fan of this aesthetic, boho chic is here to stay, especially for the people who choose to stand bold over the conventional. Maybe the real answer to the question “what does boho chic mean?” is to be bold; what seems to be outside others’ preferences does not necessarily mean it’s wrong and that it can’t be done.

Creative integrations, like the trendy hyper-realistic cakes and the boho-chic fashion style, may be a simple reminder that the sky is the limit, and that you have the authority to dictate where your skies are at.

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