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Bohemian Look on a Budget

Updated on July 13, 2015

The Boho Look

The Bohemian (also called Boho) chic look is not for everyone. It is a self- expressive, non-conforming, free spirited and even minimalist style all in one. And no, it is not the same as the hippie style. Unfortunately, achieving the Boho look can be difficult if you don’t know where to start and it’ll probably cost you a pretty penny. But, with a little patience you can have that look without cashing out your entire savings or looking like a bum on the street.

Photographer: Douglas A.
Photographer: Douglas A. | Source

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

Express yourself! If there was only a few things that defined the Bohemian look, accessories would definitely make it to the top of the list. Head bands, scarfs, sunglasses, necklaces, earrings, cuffs, bracelets, rings, and ankle bracelets are all must-haves. Accessorizes are such a huge part of this style that I’m going to break this part down into separate sections.

  1. Jewelry: The more unique and vintage the better. Search for earthy tones, a mix of materials (stones, metals, hemp, glass, beads, etc.), handmade items, and simple carefree designs. Don’t go to the department stores for this; instead search EBay, Amazon, Instagram, and etsy. Even better, go to your local swap meet or farmers market (farmers market almost always have great prices). Also, think of this as you inserting your personality into the style. Look for items that are meaningful to YOU.
  2. Purse and shoes: The right bag and shoes will tie your look together. Period. Think over the shoulder fringe purses, distressed leather bags, or even oversized hobo bags. For the shoes- gladiator sandals and boots (combat boots, ankle booties) are the most common. Thrift stores usually have tons of purses to choose from at killer prices.
  3. Head: Dress up your hair with headbands, head wraps, flower crowns, and even hats can be tied into this style (think oversized sun hats). Best part? Head wraps and head bands never cost more than a few dollars.
  4. Sunglasses and scarfs: You have a few options here. You can go with the classic aviator’s, or be daring with heart shaped sunglasses, or even the hippy round glasses. And remember, think VINTAGE. Scarfs are pretty self-explanatory and you really can’t go wrong here. Pick solid earth colors to go with your printed dress, or wear solid colors and choose a scarf with a fun pattern.

Photo Credit: PurpleBeetle
Photo Credit: PurpleBeetle | Source

All About that Hair!

Remember this is a free spirited style! Wear your hair down, let it be its natural beautiful self; let it be wavy, or put it in a loose braid. Braids are always a great option. Dirty hair? Put a headband in your hair, wrap your hair around it. Even better, go past the fashion statement and adopt the bohemian life style little by little- join the movement against shampoo. Not to mention, it doesn't cost a thing!

Less is always best when it comes to makeup!

Don’t overdo the makeup. In fact, the less you wear the better. So save your money, stop investing in needless makeup items. If you insist on wearing makeups, keep it as natural as possible and go with natural colors. Start with your moisturizer, add some concealer, and stick to nude colors.

Strut your stuff in the right outfit!

What I love most about the Boho chic look is that you have so many options to go with. First off, dressing Bohemian means not feeling constricted in your own clothes. You want to wear free flowing clothing. Tunics, peasant tops, loose tanks, printed dresses, maxi skirts, faded skinny jeans, cropped jeans, flare jeans. You name it and you can probably find a way to incorporate it into the look. Don’t forget to add finishing touches such as a vest (fur, crotchet, fringe or jean)or a cardigan (fringe, or crotchet).

Need some simple outfit ideas?

  1. For the girl next door: Keep it simple! Wear a loose white tank, light-distressed-faded low rise jeans rolled up above the ankle. Pair it with a cream colored crotchet cardigan and ankle gladiator sandals.
  2. The rocker girl: Just because earth tones are best doesn’t mean black doesn’t fit into this style. Wear a plain black or dark brown dress, dress it up with black ankle or biker boots, a black oversized purse, tie it off with an oversized necklace and chocker. Studs on your belt, shoes, or jewelry can amplify the look.
  3. For the spiritual being: Dress up as much or as little as you want. Choose a loose, long, flowy dress, add barefoot sandals, a faux fur vest, and even your mala beads to the mix.
  4. The ‘I don’t know what I am’ girl: Mix and match! Wear a long flowy printed maxi skirt, a solid top, ankle booties (gladiator sandals, or barefoot sandals), arm cuff, flower headband; solidify the look with a fringe purse! Or find some distressed shorts, add a floral tunic, with a fringe purse, ankle or biker boots and you’re good to go.

Things to avoid when trying to achieve the Boho Look:

- Do not go ‘layer crazy’ more is not always better. Trust me on this. You don’t want to look like you’re swimming in your clothes.

- Don’t go color crazy, avoid neon, remember to keep it warm, earth tones.

- Don’t straighten your hair.

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