If you want to make bohemian look modem instead of romantic, try sticking to COLORLESS COLORS: gray, brown, black, white, and so on. It puts the decorative quality of the clothes in a new context.
Another way to play with color is COLOR BLOCKING.
For example, a peasant-shape dress that is broken up into a different solid color on each tier gives the dress a whole other graphic modern reference. However, when mixing bold colors, make sure one is neutral, like white or gray.
Here are some of my favorite BOHEMIAN PROPORTIONS:
A short dress with high boots
A big belted peasant blouse/tunic over tight pants or leggings tucked into high boots mA tank top with a peasant skirt and a tailored jacket A soft, full skirt with a vest I love the simplicity of Joana Preiss’s tank top worn with those insane gaucho pants and the metallic-laced scarf my peasant blouse with dark tailored jeans and a stiletto or wedge-heel sandal Apeasant blouse with a long skirt (the waist must be defined)
The safest way to approach anything “crafty,” such as PATCHWORK, CROCHET, and FRINGE, is to do it in moderation: a patchwork belt, a cotton dress with crochet trim, or a macrame bracelet. And fringe works really well on accessories: a suede fringe on a handbag or boots, or a silk fringe on a shawl.
I know for certain that I never could nor would wear a BOHEMIAN HEADBAND
Meaning, around your forehead as opposed to sitting on top of your head). But every now and then I see Nicole Richie or artist Arden Wohl wearing one, and I think it suits her style and looks pretty great. If you think this might be the look for you, proceed with extreme caution and a large dose of self-esteem.
A PONCHO’s success depends on its proportion to your body. The last thing you want is to see more of the poncho than of you. And this can happen. The trick is to make sure the poncho is neither too wide nor too long. It should probably never hang below your knees. If it does, belt it to show where your waist is. In fact, I like ponchos belted, period. I have seen people look good in unbelted ponchos, but even when it works it’s a little Pocahontas.
IF YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE THE LOOK FOR YOU, PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND A LARGE DOSE OF SELF-ESTEEM.
Don’t be afraid of PRINTED GOWNS (right). The right print can make any gown feel bohemian. I personally love Missoni gowns but if you are on a budget look for a pretty printed chiffon dress from a vintage store and wear it with a great rhinestone belt.
Try LAYERING. Just because you’re wearing a fancy dress doesn’t mean you can’t add a few things on. A fur vest, a lace wrap, or a fringed shawl can all give personality to your look.
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