11.22.2009

Style Secrets: The Haute Hippie

“Long hair is considered bohemian, which may be why I grew it, but I keep it long because I love the way it feels, part cloak, part fan, part mane, part security blanket.”
Marge Piercy

I find it difficult to understand one who proclaims that they have not been bitten by the bohemian bug. I myself am an individual who has never identified with a certain style of dress; rather, I flit from one look to another, attempting to match my wardrobe to my day to day mood. Even so, I have never been able to resist the lure of the bohemia.

Blame it upon my love of the beatnik way of life. The type of existence marred with endless aimless wandering, and soul-searching; simply seeking a path to follow, but getting lost on various unplanned adventures and journeys along the way. But I digress; we are talking about style here, and that of the bohemian fashion.

The film Almost Famous so perfectly showcased the characteristics of bohemia trends; but please don’t fret darlings, one does not need a stylist to show them the ropes of looking the part of the boho belle. Incorporating slightly slouchy, offbeat fashions into your everyday look is one of the simplest of style tasks you will ever encounter; especially when you know exactly where to start!

Brilliant Bedhead The main thing to remember as you begin your foray into becoming a haute hippie is that to look undone, effortless, and magnificently mussed takes time. While it is your intention to look as if you simply woke up beaming and radiant, in truth, we both know that it doesn’t come naturally. Hair does not look tantalizingly tousled the moment you lift your head from the pillow in the morning, it requires pre-planning. The boho belle is most often seen donning volumized, luscious locks with cascading waves that oftentimes come across looking ever so slightly tangled. Luckily there are two tried and true ways to achieve this style without spending hours using hair products or curling irons:

For Loose Waves - When your hair is damp, scoop it off your neck and tie it into a messy bun. Shake your hair out in the morning, and you’re good to go.
For Tighter Waves - When your hair is damp, part it in the middle, and weave it into two tight braids. In the morning comb it out, and let loose.
Tips - I recommend looser waves for a bohemian look; tighter waves often come across as too diva-inspired, and somewhat unnatural.

Look to Brigitte Bardot, Blake Lively, and Vanessa Hudgens for guidance – their hairstyles simply scream bohemian perfection.

Trinket Trove Whether bohemian is the look I am going for on any particular day or not, I am one who understands the power of the accessory. Accessories, to be completely truthful, can make or break an outfit. They are the backbone to your plain white tee, the main event of your typical jeans, and the crème de la crème to the blank palette you call your ensemble. It was Coco Chanel who said “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Embrace these words, they are a mantra.

The perfect thing about jewelry that spots bohemian styles is the sheer fact that it is inexpensive, for it is typically “fashion” jewelry – this means that you can load up on it at Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and H&M without any worries about breaking your budget. Five items one must have in their possession when channeling their inner boho belle:

Feathers - Some wear them around their neck; I recommend wearing feathers from your ears. Feathered earrings such as Flashback & Freedom’s Peacock Earrings frame the face, and add a very elegant ambiance to the bohemian look. They also serve to elongate the neck, which is always glamorous.

“I’m a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian.”
Brigitte Bardot

DIY Bracelets Essentially, you don’t have to DIY them, but many hippie-influenced bracelets are handmade, and look like pieces you crafted while away at summer camp as a child. Braided bracelets made from yarn, string, cord, leather, and hemp are all stunning selections – two that I adore at the moment are Citrine by the Stones’ Braided Bracelet and Kerri Wilder’s Braided Bead Wrap Bracelet. The key is choosing something that is understated and ethereal, yet catches the eye all at once!

Bangles, Bangles, Bangles! Not to be confused with cuffs; bangles are slightly less hefty and an absolute staple in the boho belle’s accessory drawer. Don’t feel the need to stick to one category of bangles. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to haphazardly mix and match sizes and textures in an effort to create a look all your own. Take a cue from Nicole Richie and couple Kenneth Jay Lane ’s Polished Gold Cabochon Bangle with CC Skye’s Cobra Bangles and Gorjana’s Willow Bangles. Think of it this way…the more disorder displayed on your wrist, the better!
Ring Leader Don’t expect to feel bohemian without rings gracing at least seven out of ten fingers. And not any ring will do – big baubles with the power to stop people in their tracks is what you want. Look for pieces that sport large, colorful stones or designs like House of Harlow 1960’s Sunburst Cocktail Ring or Gara Danielle’s Peacock Druzy Ring. Go as far as you can in terms of rings without being uncomfortable.
Head Case To fully embrace your inner boho belle, lose the headband and replace it with a head wrap like Rachel Leigh’s Hippie Chic Headband and Bop Bijoux’s Vintage Braided Headband/Wrap Bracelet. Bohemian style is not bohemian style without a head wrap. Period.

Back to Basics One of the benefits of going boho is that the main staples of your wardrobe are basics – and inexpensive ones at that! You do not rely on jazzy embellishments to keep your style strong; rather, you pay tribute to understated glamour. One of my favorite routes to take is that of the boyfriend style. It works for creating a blissful bohemian ambiance, but should you decide to leave your hippie aspirations behind, the look can easily be transformed into anything you desire. Four items you simply cannot be without:

Boyfriend Jeans You don’t want to go too bulky or baggy, just loose enough where you have room to move around without masking your sassy silhouette. Opt for styles that can be worn long or cuffed to optimize versatility and wear-ability. Rich & Skinny are my favorite when it comes to boyfriend jeans; they offer various washes and textures which make it easy to play with your look and experiment a bit.
V-Necks A slouchy, loose fit is what you’re going for, but too much slouch will make you look sloppy. Bop Basics’ Short Sleeve V Neck Tee is ideal – it allows you to keep your shape while still getting that bohemian vibe. If you’re unsure about sizing remember these two things – go one size up if purchasing a top made for females; if you’re buying a tee made with the body of a boy in mind, buy one size down.

Cut-Off Denim Shorts Any pair of denim shorts will do; but I feel that those with a cut-off look come across as more free-spirited and disorganized than a pristine pair. Meaning, look for denim shorts with slight fraying, or a choppy cut about the hemline, such as Current/Elliott’s The Boyfriend Short. DIY-ing is always an idea, as well. Look for a slightly baggy pair of jeans that you no longer wear, measure, and snip snip!
Cardigans The funny thing about cardigans is that they’re appropriate for any style of dress you deem worthy to accouter yourself in, whether polished or playful. But when going the route of the haute hippie they work wonders for they are completely simple in the sense that you can toss them on over anything. Look for comforting pieces that make you feel cozy and adored like Ever’s Algiers Cocoon Sweater, Catherine Malandrino’s Cardigan Sweater with Draped Neckline, or Theory’s Zuma Cardigan – bits that manage to look as if they are swallowing you whole; but in the most sophisticated of ways.

It’s All in the Bag The bag, like accessories in general, is, in my opinion, the piece de resistance of creating pure bohemian rhapsody in your look. It is this unique piece that will tie everything together, and truly create the haute hippie aesthetic you have in mind. Forgo classic styles in patent leather, and toss black hues to the wayside. Seek out more rustic pieces with long shoulder straps, fringe and/or woven detailing, suede textures, and colors synonymous with nature – brown, taupe, and beige. Ecote’s Suede Patchwork Hobo and JJ Winters’ Suede Fringe Bag are perfect candidates for the task. Just remember that you want something that instantly makes people think of Woodstock, moccasins, and the simplicities of life that often accompanied the hippie/bohemian movement, and splurge accordingly!

“Bohemia is nothing more than the little country in which you do not live. If you try to obtain citizenship in it, at once the court and retinue pack the royal archives and treasure and move away beyond the hills.”
O. Henry

No need to tell me where you’re off to kittens; I already know…you’re on your way to transform yourself into a haute and happy hippie no doubt. Have fun!


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Lets Get Ripped and Go to the Aquarium, Daily Makeover, Sweet Fuzz, Huffington Post, Lets Shop, Refinery 29, La Vie Boston, Denimology, and What’s Haute for the pictures.
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49 comments

michelle_ said...

Awesome boho tips !
I actually consider my style rather boho as well .
I love messy hair even though my hair is stick straight, bt I never comb or brush it .
I just shake it with fingers :)
I've tried doing those waves but always fail bcos I have stick straight hair :(

Totally agree that bohos rely on basics !
We let the accesories to the talking :P

Carolina said...

I love the hair report because even with medium-length hair like mine, it shows that you can still create beautiful waves. And Almost Famous is an exquisite film, Kate Hudson is unbelievable!

AudreyAllure said...

haha i've been bitten by the bohemian bug awhile back - in fact i still might be under its spell since i miss my long wavy hair & my feather jewelry. lol

Luinae said...

I love the long and wavy tousled hair look- when my hair gets long enough I can't wait to rock it!

wreckedstellar said...

Fabulous post! I love Bohemian looks myself! And I totally love doing the loose wave look. Hope you're having a great weekend! xo, Mel

Couture Carrie said...

Absolutely gorgeous post, darling E!
Extremely well-researched. Love Nicole R's casual boho vibe and her jewelry line too!

xoxox,
CC

Jen said...

Great post. I've never felt that comfortable rocking the bohemian look... there's something very un-British about being so carefree! Maybe when summer rolls around again, I'll come back to your post and have another go. :)

Jen

Jacqueline said...

This has always been one of my favorite styles! I love all your tips.

www.FashionSnag.com

Emily said...

I've always been so inspired by the boho hippie look, but fail to capture it. However, these tips are sure to help!

I especially love the natural, genuine look of it.

Behonce said...

Some say fringed bags are a fashion don't. But it depends on personal style.

Julia said...

I've always loved bohemian style but I've never really felt like I look good in it...I always tend towards more girly/polished pieces! I do love flowing bohemian waves though! And yes I did change the design of my blog a bit...I'm thinking of getting a new header but I'm not sure what.

xoxo
FashionEye

English Rose said...

I adore the boho look - its so liberating and comfortable without looking slobbish or lazy. Nicole Richie is the queen of boho/laid back L.A in my opinion as is Lauren Conrad, Vanessa Hudgens and Mary Kate Olsen.

Great tips for boho hair- i may just have to try it!

http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

lancelonie said...

So that means I'm boho, too. :)
It's cool for me! :)

Miri said...

Aah cool post! I love the bohemian look!

Sherin said...

I love the Boho look. You've got a great guide to it! My favourite part to the look has to be the hair: it always looks gorgeous.

Nikolett said...

Ahh, love this post! I, too, have been bitten by the Bohemian bug, but my problem is that it never looks effortless -- your hair and style tips have definitely helped, I love 'em!

Hope you've had a great weekend Erika!

Elizabeth Marie said...

Boho is my favorite...it's hard for me to pull off but at least I can do the darn hair!! Thanks for the tips my darling, maybe boho chic would be out of grasp much longer!!

Laura Trevey said...

I LOVE this post!!! I personally love the longs hair messy look!

Very sexy!
xoxo Laura

ekerplay said...

Oh how I wish I could raid Nicole Richie's wardrobe, she has the ultimate boho thing going on.

My favourite thing about boho is definitely the hair... my hair does not like to be tamed, and this style allows me to leave the house with a birds nest on my head as if on purpose :D

ekerplay said...

Oh how I wish I could raid Nicole Richie's wardrobe, she has the ultimate boho thing going on.

My favourite thing about boho is definitely the hair... my hair does not like to be tamed, and this style allows me to leave the house with a birds nest on my head as if on purpose :D

Jessica said...

I am also a big fan of changing my look with my mood. And its fun to try on bohemian every once in a while. It has such a "Laissez faire, the world is beautiful" attitude!

There are some unique jewelry pieces in the giveaway on my blog right now, I'm sure you'll love. But hurry, today is the last day!
http://livingembellished.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

Fabulous post! These are all such great tips!

I adore Blake's hair. It always looks great when it's down and wavy. Nicole Richie is a great example of the boho style. She always looks amazing.

Jaime said...

Great post- my style really isn't bohemian but love your pics here. Adore Kate Hudson in Almost Famous... makes me want to watch that movie now!

Leah said...

You guess it right Erika... now I'm thinking of going the boho route for a party this weekend. Gosh, you did a great job here. Imagine you were able to influence this boring old me to gear away from my usual black outfits and be a happy hippie.

Have a great week. Hugs!

lorenabr said...

Cool tips very interesting:) love the post

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Great boho tips!! I love this post. Boho/hippie chic is definitely one of my favorite looks to pull off. Especially because the end result looks so effortless and careless. Hehe.

nicole said...

great quote by marge piercy, I like! I love this post. I can't do a full-on Bohemian but I like borrowing elements from the style like the long wavy hair, boyfriend wear and layers of bangles/bracelets. Unfortunately my hair refuses to go boho because it's stick straight. If only it were as easy as twisting my hair into a bun or 2 braids, life would be so much easier LOL. Great Bardot quote too! Your posts are always so well-written in detail, I love it. You're a really great writer Erika :)

I don't know if I could pull off a fringe bag but I like the look, just as long as the fringe doesn't overpower the bag or your overall look.

Thanks for your comment, you should definitely pick up the mint candy apple, you'll love it! I think once this chips, I'm going to take it all off and apply it again I love it so much. I'm like you, I always stick to dark colours like black, it's my staple, and it goes with everything! but it is good to change things up with some colour, so good for you! :)

S.Elisabeth said...

Love this! (except for the miley cyrus part ha)
and its perfect, i love bohemian style so much, i just dont pull it off so well. I want the boho hair, but it normally just doesnt work for me =(
and the basics are perfect!

LML said...

loving the theme! i try and make my hair look as boho as possible when im wearing it natural

Nubiasnonsense said...

Very cool tips, Nice post.. I have bedhead all the time lol. I love these relaxing yet chic looks

Taylor Sterling said...

this is my fav look! The jewelry and the hair!!

Dina's Days said...

I think your Sunday tips are my favorite posts. This is such a unique post. I used to go for the tight waves by forcing every female member in my family to braid my hair into 2 tight braids FOR YEARS, and then they got sick of it and I turned to a curling iron. Those were some of the best waves I ever had though. :)
Check out my giveaway, I think you will like it!

Porcelain Blonde said...

I *LOVE* this post! ;)

I adored kate Hudson in Almost Famous <3 and all the pics of Nicole Ritchie are gorgeous.

My style is anything but boho, but actually when I think about it, has heaps of it's elements - like the messy buns and undone waves, soft makeup etc.

<3 xxx

Kristin said...

Nicole is my boho chic goddess!

Rachel Scarlet said...

I love bangs and long wavy hair. I gave my hair a chop into a short bob in the beginning of this year. So now I am painstakingly longing for it to grow back as long as it was before I got the haircut.

Diva rings and cocktail rings are my favourite piece of accessories. I will try to fit it with everything I wear.

It's a great post though!! :)

miriam said...

fabulous looks, E!
love that photo of kate - that movie is a longtime favourite!

gleenn said...

I do wish that I could be more daring with my hair. But I think, a straight long hair is what suits me best. Also, boyfriend never wanted to have it cut short when I wanted to try a Rihanna look. ;)

itslikeart said...

I adore the whole bohemian look, Almost famous is my fav movie!

I wish I could get my hair to look like Blake Livelys hehe I love her style on gossip girl

This is such a good blog! :D
x

FabBlab said...

Jesus Erika, you're a lifesaver. Thanks so much for this post!

Major hearts @ Nicole Richie.

daisychain said...

what a fantastic post!

Keith said...

I love the whole boho look. It's very beautiful and sexy. I've seen some girls around here who do it so well. There are also some celebs that look great with that style, such as Nicole Ritchie.

AX80 said...

What a detailed post. You definitely know your fashion on bohemian style. I think what's so important about the bohemian style is to maybe watch for inspiration yet always come back to your own conception of those specific trends in order to come up with something unique and not just a copy of some star's style.

p. dot said...

What a wonderfully informative post! I, too, now feel bit by the boho bug!

I've always thought of my style as a cross between Jackie O & Audrey Hepburn but that is a lie, because I am far too lazy to be that well groomed. Case in point: I can't remember when I last trimmed my hair, and I just trim my own fringe (bangs) on a needs basis (i.e. when I bump into things cause I can't see).

Apart from not owning a fringed suede bag, in every other way, I'm realising... I'm a boho babe!

Thanks for your fab comments darling! xoxo

All Women Stalker said...

I have always tried to dress up like Penny Lane but this thought that I may have too much accessories keep crippling me. Haha silly, I know.


-meream

Closet Cravings said...

Great post. The bohemian look can either come off looking messy or beautiful. You've perfected the how-to for haute hippie perfection. Love the DIY. =)

MizzJ said...

Very detailed synopsis of boho style! I do like a little boho in my look, but I don't go all the way. The hair, makeup, accessories, and cardigans though are all fabulous looks!

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monica w said...

i would trade my asn straight hair for sexy touseled hair any day!!!

Little Bow Prep said...

I wish I could pull off some of these looks!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this tips

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