Practically Boho

The Practical Blog for Your Inner Dreamer

What’s Your Signature Bohemian Style?

Bohemians are an eclectic bunch. Our styles can run the fashion gamut and often transcend trends. We may draw inspiration not only from current fashion, but from the wide history of fashion, even going way back before Coco founded Chanel. As Bohemians, I like to think we are timeless, dressing to let our personalities shine out, rather than according to society’s rules. For bohemians, dressing becomes an act of the soul.

But for some of us, we’re still searching for a signature style. Below I cover the flavors your boho style may take on.


For a long time, this was the style people traditionally thought of when picturing followers of “la vie Boheme.” Lovers of classic romantic boho can often be seen flaunting luxe details like lace, ribbons, ruffles, and intricate details. They like to wear a combination of billowy or fitted shapes, like wide-leg pants with an embroidered, balloon-sleeved blouse.

Classic romantics desire to be draped in rich, luxurious fabrics and may love chiffon, velvet or velour, brocades, silks, and even wools. They love intricate, fine details like carved brass buttons or thick embroidery. They love a laced bootie, calf-high boots, and artsy shoes. Their jewelry is either antique or based on vintage pieces, carefully chosen, and precious.

Lovers of this style may swoon at the thought of bygone eras, especially the Victorian, Edwardian, or the Regency periods. Colorings for this style tend to be rich jewel-tones with lots of black or dark foundation pieces. When I see a classic romantic, I’m immediately swept into a Wuthering Heights-like reverie. If this is their personal style, chances are they’re 100% committed to it. In fashion terms, they are boho royalty.

Photo by 湉双 陈 from Pexels


Modern romantics share some similar tastes with the classic romantics, but their pieces tend to be a newer reinterpretation of classical pieces. The look is much softer, fresher, and decidedly less heavy-handed. Modern romantics prefer neutrals (light to dark), earth tones, and pastel colors, with the occasional bold pop of color in their closet.

They prefer lighter fabrics (sheer fabrics, chiffons, etc.) and so the shapes they adore are similar to classic romantics, but easier to wear and less heavy. Modern romantics aren’t afraid to mix a few trendy pieces into their wardrobe. As far as accessorizing, lovers of this style may choose more minimalistic, modern jewelry or big, chunky statement pieces. Both the classic and modern romantics can work a hat like nobody’s business. This style looks heavenly with rose gold, copper, and metallic accents.


If this is you, you are enamored with exotic cultures and their gorgeous textiles and prints. Folks who love this style may feel a past-life connection or draw to a specific culture and will surround themselves in bold patterns and colors. Think: the American Southwest and their obsession with native peoples’ textiles.

Tribal-inspired aficionados will travel all the way to Colombia for an authentic Andean ruana, or journey to India to window-shop in the world’s greatest kaleidoscope. Folks who gravitate toward this style often embrace body art and piercings as a further extension of their devotion to pattern.

Photo by Criativithy from Pexels

One note for lovers of this style (like me!): let’s be careful of cultural appropriation. If you love the style and want to sport it, wonderful! But be mindful of where it comes from and who the originators are. Always give credit where credit is due. We may wear it, but it represents someone’s roots. As an admirer of someone else’s culture, let’s treat it with respect and not pretend it’s ours.


This is often what most people today think of as the “boho” style. Lovers of this style love flowy things, fringe, and embroidered flowers. As you walk, it looks like you’re caught in a swirling breeze. You may even jingle.

Real Roma Gypsies originated the foundations of this style hundreds of years ago. Lovers of modern gypsy-chic love an accessory…or 10. You love an exotic scarf, shawl, clinking accessories, feathers, fringe, colors piled on colors — basically, more is more. It may look like you recently robbed a Renaissance fair, bartered with Bedouins, and danced flamenco in the streets of Madrid.

If this is your style, you live for the exotic. You feel most at home in a skirt and a peasant blouse, chunky belt, walking barefoot with tinkling anklets, and sporting obscenely huge earrings. Your hair is likely long and wild. Your mood is untamed. Your makeup may be dramatic. This is a personal style favorite of mine as my mother’s family is descended from Spanish Gypsies (Gitanos or Calo) from the Canary Islands.

A word on Gypsies. Real Gypsies are an ethnic group, the Roma (or Rom), and believed to originate from India hundreds of years ago before they spread to different parts of the world. This is another case to be careful of cultural appropriation. Wearing this style does not make you an actual “Gypsy,” unless that is your heritage.


If you’re a vintage addict, you may be very eclectic in your choice of pieces. You scour second-hand boutiques for the perfect find and your dream is to vintage-shop in Paris. You may rock a 70s glam look, vintage haute couture, look for one-of-a-kind pieces, or a giant faux-fur coat — basically, the sky’s the limit! You have the most badass closet on this list and people notice you. And while you may like vintage items and antiques, you often mix them in unexpected, fresh ways. This style can even venture into the territories of the surreal and Avante-garde. This is a look often seen sported by artistic, introspective, or daring types.

Photo by nappy from Pexels


If you own this look, you may be paying homage to your ancestors and channeling their power. You may rock a classic dashiki top, woven pants, and sandals. Or perhaps sport traditional mud cloth, batik, the famous kente cloth, or African tie-dye (gorgeous!). Moroccan textiles are definitely having an “it” moment right now and can be seen everywhere. I can’t even get started on accessories inspired by the many African tribes; they are to die for!

Another gorgeous style that is so vast, it contains many sub-categories, is the African-inspired. In case you’ve been buried under a rock your whole life and didn’t know, the great continent has likely produced more memorable textiles and patterns than any other.

As with other styles before, please be culturally sensitive about appropriating this style. Give respect to this vast continent and it’s many countries, tribes, and traditions. Understand that the elements of this style are powerful identifiers for entire populations’ roots.


I adore the tropically boho tribe. I think they are often overlooked as boho because many of its members are ethnic. This look is one of the most colorful on this list. You are all about florals, bold color, bold patterns, and vintage throwbacks. You may channel a Latino, Pacific Islander, Indonesian, or other tropical bohemian. The colors worn by this group are reminiscent of colors you’d see fitting into a rainforest jungle, on a tropical beach, or a steamy nightclub in Brazil.

Tropical boho lovers also love stark white to offset and freshen their look, which they then accessorize with intense color. Jewelry is often chunky. This look works better in summer or warmer climates, for obvious reasons. If you love this look, you probably despise enclosed shoes and coats; as a matter of fact, you dread wearing them.

Leafy patterned caftans, fruit-colored earrings, a patterned headscarf, naturally-woven sandals, and a red lip may scare others away, but will tantalize the lovers of the tropical style. You are prone to enter a room in a stunningly bold yellow maxi dress that would make a canary swoon.


This is the unicorn of the group. The music-festival enthusiast plays it wild with their fashion choices. This style evolved from the 90s raver-look, but since then has taken a very boho direction. Even non-bohemians will try to mimic this look at Coachella and countless other festivals.

This look can go in many directions but loves a high-low contrast, such as pairing sexy short cutoffs with a long lace kimono with fringe. Lots of midriff or lots of leg or both. A flower-crown, glitter in abundance, gold accessories, Aztec-inspired patterns, and booties not optional. There are no fashion limits here, just fun!


Yoga is so huge right now, and this group deserves a mention. The boho yogi loves to wear printed or colorful yoga pants, owns too many OM symbols or Namaste tops, and adores a wrap-top or giant scarf topped with a gorgeous quartz mala. There’s a whole spandex-empowered, body-hugging style that includes things like artfully shredded/cut tops, bell-bottomed and ruffled yoga pants, and more!

I called them energetic because this group also gravitates toward adorning themselves with sacred patterns and designs. Everything from the flower of life to Metatron cube and Celtic symbols. This group also lusts after crystals the way others lust over ice cream.


First of all, hippies are lovely people (and are often wrongly maligned). The world’s flower and crystal children are likely the most social of the bunch and their style reflects their extroversion. This look is all about counter-culture, mindfulness, embracing nature, or breaking-free from conventions. Whether you are a vintage-lover or prefer to rock newer pieces, chances are you are fearless in mixing and matching items.

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Lovers of this style may gravitate toward natural, organic materials, like cotton, bamboo, linen-blends, leather, and wool, as well as some luxe items like velvets. Its devotees may sport a look that’s decidedly American hippie, circa 60s-70s, but with a modern twist. Wearers of this style may draw fashion inspiration from Native-American or indigenous cultures of the Americas. They own more scarves than anyone else on this list (except perhaps the Gyspy-inspired) and look fabulous in a printed kimono dripping in fringe. They may lament the decline of bell-bottoms as the decline of civilization.

One of the most colorful on this list, they can choose from any color palette. Some prefer natural, earth colors or bolder shades, but even neon is not forbidden. The modern hippie may have a healthy rainbow obsession and likely own at least one tie-dye, shibori, mudmee, or hand-painted item.

They are nature-lovers, hand-made/artisanal aficionados, tree-huggers, and sometimes dreadlock wearers. As such, some modern hippies are very practical in their clothing choices, choosing to look more outdoorsy on a daily basis, but wearing their signature pieces on their downtime.

This group may have many fashion subsets, but they are all kindred spirits.


Some people may argue that New Wavers are a long-gone group from the 80s. I disagree. Since melancholy never dies, I think they simply evolved. This look is being reinterpreted for the 2020s and is very popular with hipsters. Others may argue that they don’t belong on this list, but this group has a post-modern take on bohemian.

There are two ways this look can generally go: very dark and cool-chic (pure retro 80s new wave with a fresh twist) — for an arthouse vibe. Or mix-and-match patterns and fabrics (also 80s – 90s inspired, with a modern spin). The former looks sleeker and more futuristic, and the latter is more playful and bold in mixing items.

This is a great look if you want to stand out from the crowd. It’s a bit eclectic and trendy at the moment. In general, lovers of this style tend to be serious audiophiles, musicians, artists, or creative types. You’ll see this look rocked in some of the world’s power cities: Tokyo, Paris, or London, as well as Hipster-capitals like Brooklyn and Portland.


Admittedly, I’m a mixture of quite a few of these styles! I love to mix up my style depending on my mood and the occasion. Which style(s) are you? Let me know in the comments below!

Image at the top by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

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