Deconstructing the '70s: How to Wear the Bohemian Trend Without Looking like a Hippie

The ‘70s bohemian style has been creeping back for some time now, and while at first I was reluctant to give up on experimenting with graphic minimalism so soon, I am excited about returning to my style roots. You see, as a high school kid I was a bit of a hippie, sporting bell bottoms, paisley, and suede as often as I could. There was something empowering about identifying with a flower child’s return to nature and spiritualism, and while it turned out to be merely a phase in my life, it was quite an important one.

The return of the trend has stirred up a lot of emotions, and browsing through runway shows, street style photography, and retro Pinterest boards in search for the perfect inspiration has become a part of my daily routine. I even started watching one of my all-time favorite TV series, Mad Men again. But seeing as I am approaching 30, looking like Coachella threw up in my closet is no longer a viable option, so forget patchwork, flower crowns and everything you would wear to a retro party, this post is about incorporating the bohemian trend into your wardrobe without looking like a cliche. 

Wear Ethnic and Tribal Elements

Etro | Fall/Winter 2015

The culture of the '70s was characterized by a return to folklore. Writers, musicians and artists returned to their native roots, exploring ancient myths and beliefs, as well as tales, melodies, and patterns. No one did this better this year than Alber Elbaz, who based Erdem's Fall/Winter 2015 collection on Moroccan inspired tassels, Berber stripes, leather harnesses, goat hair, embroideries and gold accents.
When it comes to incorporating some bohemian flair into your wardrobe, you can't go wrong with ethnic and tribal inspiration. But your outfits can easily go from 'inspired by' to costumey. While I know that wearing caftans, tunics and flower crowns can be awfully tempting, try to avoid cliches. Go for authenticity instead of popular, overused shapes and patterns, and look for unique pieces that separate you from the crowd.

Tone it Down with Classic Pieces

Emilio Pucci | Spring/Summer 2015

Another great way to avoid looking like you just got out of a costume store is to wear bohemian gems with classic pieces. Wear an embroidered peasant shirt with a pair of tailored trousers and pointy pumps. Or pair your fringe suede skirt with a button-down and a classic trench. By adding basics to your outfit, you will evoke the free spirit of the '70s while maintaining a contemporary appearance.


Valentino | Spring/Summer 2015

If you are not a flower child at heart, or if you are not ready to invest in a suede jacket or a patterned maxi dress yet, keep the bohemian flair confined to your accessories. A fringe handbag, a pair of knee-high gladiator sandals, or a great tasseled necklace can do the trick without breaking the bank. And no one will mistake you for an extra on Hair.
I hope I convinced you that the bohemian trend doesn't just belong to music festivals or retro parties. With a bit of attention, it can easily be incorporated in a contemporary, chic wardrobe. 

How would you wear the bohemian trend?

Have a wonderful week,


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