Your Boho Style Starter Kit: 36 Must-Haves to Nail the Look

June 14, 2018 by Tiffany Tse

Designers continue to pay serious homage to bohemian (boho) style, which means the aesthetic that originated in the ‘60s and ‘70s will likely never go out of fashion. And we’re not complaining. The boho chic trend allows us to rock soft, dreamy fabrics and loose, flowing silhouettes—and who wouldn’t love the inherent comfort factor of a chiffon maxi skirt or peasant-style white dress? If this distinctive look sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve probably spotted it at a music festival (hello, Coachella and Glastonbury) or on icons like Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Sienna Miller—all of whom are heralded for their cool, boho wardrobe and personal style.

The Definition of Boho Style

There’s a reason why boho fashion has endured for decades and continues to cycle back into our closets again and again. It’s more than just a fleeting trend; the boho lifestyle is associated with freedom, an escape from bourgeoisie conventionalism, and a deep interest in different cultures. That’s why boho chic clothing often boasts flowing fabrics, Moroccan kaftans or Ukrainian-inspired folk blouses, and other staples that encapsulate a free-spirited attitude.

The key to mastering boho fashion lies in making sure your outfit has an easy, unstudied feel as if you’ve just happened to throw it all together. But hey, we know even the most effortless looks require a little planning and coordination, which is why we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet on boho style. Familiarize yourself with the essentials below and we promise you’ll be ready to mix, match, and experiment to your bohemian heart’s content in no time.

Boho Style: Printed Maxis are the Perfect Boho Dresses

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The epitome of boho style, a collection of breezy maxi dresses is a must-have for anyone interested in trying this trend. Look for maxis in neutral or muted shades, flowing fabrics, and understated patterns—like ditsy florals, pretty paisley, or geometric shapes. Bonus points if you opt for a diaphanous caftan (popularized by celebs like Elizabeth Taylor and Talitha Getty in the ‘60s) or a long-sleeved dress à la Stevie Nicks. Better yet, these maxis are surprisingly versatile. Pair yours with low-heeled ankle boots and a fringe vest to epitomize urban-boho style, or combine a boho beach dress with a floppy hat and gladiator sandals for a vacation-ready ensemble.

Boho Style: Flowing Maxi Skirts are a Staple Boho Clothing Piece

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Surprise, surprise: A floor-sweeping skirt that channels your free spirit will also go a long way in your urban-boho style wardrobe. Team your maxi skirt with a crochet top, semi-sheer kimono, or drapey cardigan to strike a modern gypsy vibe that would make Ali McGraw and Jane Birkin proud.

Boho Style: Peasant Blouses are a Must

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Nowadays, the peasant blouse comes in dozens of stylish variations. There’s the traditional cotton style, which typically comes with puffed sleeves, a wide neckline, and detailed embroidery that reflects bohemia’s love of handcrafted clothing and jewelry. Then there’s the modern-day incarnation—usually a printed silk blouse that boasts a few boho elements, like a billowy fit and tassel ties. Luckily for you, either of these peasant blouse iterations work well worn with flared jeans and wedge heels or a flowy maxi skirt.

Boho Style: Kimono-Style Boho Tops

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During the trend’s heydey, boho style icons often donned kimonos—popular for their loose, unstructured shape and voluminous sleeves. In the form of versatile floral robes and silk tunic tops, this au courant piece is back in a big way. The floaty Japanese-inspired silhouette lends a hint of drama to your boho look while remaining totally effortless, especially thrown over an easy T-shirt and faded jeans.

Boho Style: Textured Vests & Jackets

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Complement your breezy boho dresses and folksy embroidered blouses with furry vests or shearling jackets. These cozy outerwear pieces add layers and necessary texture to your look (remember Kate Hudson’s coat in Almost Famous or Janis Joplin’s look at Woodstock?). Keep it neutral in earth-inspired tones—such as rich browns, beiges, taupes, and creams—for an authentic look.

Boho Style: Relaxed Bohemian Pants

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In addition to flared jeans and patchwork corduroy pants, a pair of relaxed trousers is the perfect addition to your boho wardrobe. In this case, “relaxed” can mean anything from harem pants (loose throughout the leg and tightly fitted at the ankle) to wide-leg trousers (one of this season’s biggest trends). Again, think loose and flowy silhouettes that afford plenty of freedom of movement and zero constrictions.

Boho Style: Find Nature-Inspired Accessories in Boho Jewelry

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Dangling earrings! Tassel necklaces! Wooden bracelets! While the best boho-chic accessory might be flowers in your hair, earthy jewelry is your next best bet. Look for unique pieces with a DIY feel—such as multicolored beaded bangles—made to look as if you purchased them from your favorite flea markets. Another key to shopping for boho baubles? Pieces made with natural elements like feathers, coral, wood, and turquoise.

Boho Fashion: Fringe Accents

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While fringe sometimes evokes rock ‘n’ roll or the Great Gatsby era of flapper dresses, the swingy embellishment is most synonymous with hippie-boho style. Our suggestion? Pile it on—whether it’s with a heavily fringed purse, leather jacket, or knit sweater.

With all of these must-have pieces, you’ll be sure to rock the bohemian trend effortlessly. Rent one of these must-haves for a subtle nod to the trend, or go all out with a full outfit inspired by your favorite boho style icon.