Shop Class: Boho-chic is a favorite this spring

This season, bohemian florals and leather fringes are spicing up wardrobes.

If there is one trend that we cannot keep tabs on, it is bohemian-chic. Bohemian accents in fashion appear to be up and down and on and off the runways. Its trends are sometimes hit or miss, but this spring, bohemian styles can offer a little mix to hum-drum winter wardrobes.

This season, “boho-chic” is back.

Spring 2009 Fashion Week showed that bohemian-chic, a style made popular by British “it girls” Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, has made a nice home for itself in spring inventories. Although boho trends have been on and off the shelves this past decade, we cannot argue that bohemian fashion has prominence in stores this spring.

The word “bohemian” was not originally used to refer to the style. The word was used in Europe around the 1900s to describe gypsies. At the time, bohemian meant free-spirited and liberal. Although bohemians would typically wear whatever they could find, their dress became an iconic style. Now, bohemian is often used to describe very colorful, over-accessorized, flowing styles that are full of ethnic details. Hippie attire of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s was often referred to as bohemian.

Since 2004, bohemian style has been revived and transformed into a long-living fashion movement.
“Boho-chic” mixes wild styles with structured pieces, blending hippie fashion with haute couture. An iconic “boho-chic” outfit pairs a corduroy vest over a paisley peasant blouse with tailored khaki shorts. Braided leather sandals, peacock feather earrings and beaded necklaces accessorize the ensemble to make a refined yet funky look.

On the New York runways, Anna Sui exercised bohemian style with sheath dresses of bold, floral textiles with beaded embellishments. Charlotte Ronson dressed her models in gorgeous flowing dresses of soft, floral chiffons and silk, while Diane von Furstenburg experimented with bright headbands made of flowers and braided ribbon.

This season’s hottest bohemian staple is the maxi dress. BCBG Max Azria has a taupe polka dot and paisley halter-topped version. French Connection used giant paisley prints to adorn a simple black maxi dress. For a spunkier look, try one of the many breezy floral dresses that are popping up in stores. Forever 21 has a multi-colored floral chiffon scrap dress for a very friendly price.

They may be a bit daring to wear to class, but harem pants are another true bohemian must-have. This season, Free People has a convertible harem pant in both black and wine. They can be converted into a jumpsuit or pants, and the lengths are fun to switch up.

Braided or tasseled leather goods are common “boho-chic” accessories. A tasseled, suede saddlebag purse is the perfect accessory. Braided leather belts help to define shape when wearing maxi dresses. Give your gladiator sandals a rest and try a simple, braided leather design to complement your spring look.

The best part of bohemian fashion is that it can be worn year-round when paired with the right staples. Mix a little bit of boho into winter wardrobes to make a smooth and stylish transition into the spring. Can’t wait to wear a ruffled floral dress like one of Charlotte Ronson’s beauties? Pair it with neutral tights like brown or beige, and get some extra mileage out of those Minnetonka moccasin boots. Top it off with a cardigan, and voilà – you have a fresh outfit that is still warm enough for the rest of the chilly months.

Nicole Saylor can be reached at

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.