How Boho Clothing Got To Us

Boho clothing evolved fast into boho-chic, popularized by Sienna Miller and Kate Moss. Women took what they liked from hippie fashions and used it as a base for declaring a kind of fashion independence. Let’s take a quick look at the history and then, see some places where you can find great stuff.

Of course, men go boho, too. Steve Jobs was probably the best known example, traveling all the way from hippie to boho-hip before in his adult lifetime. But the fashion trend seems to be dominated by women. After the casually dressed man on the homepage for Soul-Flower Online, you’ll have to look long and hard to find another.

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Boho Clothing, A History

Bohemian was used to describe someone who came from what is now The Czech Republic and eventually got attached to gypsies who were thought to enter Europe from that area in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

They were not ethnic Czechs, but free spirits with mixed ethnic backgrounds who refused to settle down. Gypsies were often reviled as outsiders, but the diaspora continued throughout the 20th Century.

Growing up in upstate New York, I remember a family that parked their trailer in a state-owned field during my childhood. It was eventually abandoned. Alex and The Gypsy, starring Jack Lemon and Genevieve Bujold, was a 70s movie that posed the depressive Lemon and the lively Bujold as unlikely lovers, but had a lot of gypsy flavor from communities of that time and a breathtaking look at Bujold’s naked behind.

All this was made possible by the hippie movement when bohemian attitudes flavored dress and ideas. It’s not that bohemian was a forgotten attribute before, but it was usually restricted mainly to people in the arts. And freethinkers were bohemians. Some even argued that Jesus was bohemian, more that 1,500 years before the word was coined.

But it’s not as if boho clothing disappeared as the hippie movement became less visible after the 70s. The look and style–hippie headbands, for instance, furry gilets–never went completely away. But with a top fashion model and a popular actress leading the way, boho clothing, now more upscale as boho-chic began to be seen everywhere in big cities.

Kate Moss and Sienna Miller just made it all look so great.

Why Boho Clothing?

Boho clothing has stayed popular to some extent in the fifty years since the hippies inadvertently brought it back, and the reason simple: on a lot of people, especially women, it just looks good.

Gypsy WomenMoreover, unlike many fashions, boho has something to say about women’s growing independence and, more than most, lets them find originality among less strict rules. Twenty years ago, did anyone imagine UGG Boots would become a fashion statement.

(Here’s some trivia for you: UGG Australia has its headquarters in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s footwear is made in China.)

As even the business world grows more casual and women more free spirited, I expect boho-clothing, whether chic or just everyday, to become more popular. We’re all individuals, after all. Without going crazy, why not dress as though we are.

Here are some great places online to find boho clothing:

(Author’s note: I have no personal or financial connection with any of the following recommendations. It’s simple. I just like ‘em and hope you do too.)

I like handmade stuff and admire the artists who create unique jewelry, art and clothing. My first suggestion for shopping is Boho Clothing On Etsy. With nearly 36,000 items available, you might just get lost surfing through the real originals.

Soul-Flower Online (Cool threads for kind heads) has a distinctly hippie point of view that should keep those nostalgic for the 60s smiling through the materials. They even have a well-stocked men’s department.

Another shop with a more boho-chic slant is Free People. If you like glamor, you’ll like them. It’s probably the kind of place where you’d find Sienna and Kate, assuming they haven’t moved on to other fashion platforms.

That’s all. Happy boho clothing shopping!