What is Boho Aesthetic?
Boho Aesthetic is a collection of visual patterns, motifs, colors, prints, shapes, and materials adopted by the Bohemian subculture in clothes, outfits, accessories, and a unique fashion style that depicts a non-conformist lifestyle dedicated to art, creativity, and intellectual pursuits.
The Origins of Boho Aesthetic
The word ‘Bohème’ earliest usage was to describe the Romani people of France (traveling gypsies), presumed to have arrived in France in the 15th century from Bohemia (the western part of the current Czech Republic).
In the 19th century, the term La Bohème was used to describe artists, writers, actors, musicians, and journalists who led unconventional, even impoverished lives outside society.
Later, ‘Bohemian’ was used to describe those who lived in urban areas in close-knit communities that fostered a vibrant, creative, and non-conformist lifestyle and rejected worldly pursuits in favor of lives dedicated to art, creativity, and intellectual achievements.
Over the years, this Bohemian ethos spread to other parts of Europe and the world, influencing several cultural movements, including the Beatniks and the hippies in the United States.
At its height in late 2005, it was associated particularly with actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss in the United Kingdom and (as “boho-chic”) actress and businesswoman Mary-Kate Olsen in the United States.
What Are the Main Boho Aesthetic Elements?
Compared to more recent aesthetics and motifs with digital backgrounds, the bohemian aesthetic comprises distressed elements inspired by academic life, florals, paisley, and ethnic geometric.
Natural elements like plants or pieces of wood are also popular Boho patterns, often found on handmade objects like purses, bracelets, and necklaces.
The Boho aesthetic has recently adopted patterns and motifs from other cultures, such as the dream catcher from North American indigenous tribes and motifs from Indian, Pakistani, and Afghani subcultures.
- Paisley – With Persian origins, the paisley pattern was popularized in the West in the 18th century.
- Florals – The Boho community adopted floral patterns around the ’60s and ’70s inspired by the Flower Power movement.
Boho Color Palette
- Earthy Shades – terracotta, olive green, warm browns, slate grey, mustard yellow.
- Neutral Colors – Ivory, light grey, cream, and white.
- Jewel Hues – emerald green, sapphire blue, and ruby red.
- Mandalas – With origins in Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas represent the universe and the wearer’s freedom of choice.
- Feathers – Feathers are a powerful Native American motif adopted into the Boho catalog of aesthetics in recent years.
Key Boho Materials
- Linen – Originates from the flax plant, known for its natural, breathable qualities.
- Organic Cotton – Sustainable and natural, aligning with Boho values of naturalism and environmental consciousness.
Main Silhouettes and Shapes in Boho Style
- Loose-fitting – Inspired by the ’60s counterculture and anti-fashion movements.
- Layering – Inspired by various global nomadic styles, bohemians used layering to combine vests, scarves, and coats.
Popular Boho Accessories
- Turquoise Jewelry – Influenced by Native American cultures.
- Fringe Bags – Draw from Western and Native American styles.
Boho Aesthetic Types and Variations
- Boho Hippie Aesthetic – blends traditional boho patterns with hippie subculture elements in unique outfits and art pieces.
- Dark Boho Aesthetic – uses classic boho patterns but in dark colors.
- Boho Witch Aesthetic – blends classic boho patterns with witchcraft elements.
- Aesthetic Boho Rainbow – classic boho patterns in rainbow colors.
- Boho Beach Aesthetic – beachwear in traditional boho patterns.
- Boho Grunge Aesthetic – a great combo of grunge and boho patterns and motifs.
- Western Boho Aesthetic – distressed Western-style clothes and accessories with bohemian patterns.
- Minimalist Boho Aesthetic – clothes with traditional boho patterns applied most subtly.
- Boho Goth Aesthetic – clothes in dark boho patterns adorned with gothic accessories.
- Indie Boho Aesthetic – Boho and indie patterns seamlessly matched in clothes and accessories.
How Boho Aesthetic is used in Fashion
As such, the main Boho outfits are made of natural and threadbare fabrics, in loose cuts, in earthy colors, and adorned with ethnic patterns and jewelry.
Boho-chic is a modern fashion style that blends traditional Bohemian patterns and aesthetics with modern, luxurious materials like silk.
Dressing Boho-chic became a popular trend in the late 1960s and early 70s, thanks to the rise of the Hippie subculture, but started to fade away at the beginning of the new millennium with most eyes fixed on the Y2K fashion style.
The Boho-chic look was revived in recent years, thanks to celebs like actress Sienna Miller, British fashion model Kate Moss, and American actress and businesswoman Mary-Kate Olsen.
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Championing sustainability and veganism from Sao Paulo to London, Ana Alves is a dynamic force in the fashion and beauty industry. With a decade-long writing career, Ana's compelling narratives on sustainable fashion have graced the pages of Forbes, Wired, Vanity Fair, and more. Ana's journey spans key roles at Unilever and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, where she honed her marketing acumen. As an Editorial Contributor at WTVOX and Fashion & Style Editor at The VOU, Ana shapes the discourse on sustainable fashion.