Tag: bohemian

Going Boho, One Womans Journey

checklist

I’ve finally begun to work on me, and it’s been quite a journey. I always thought working on “self” rather than putting the focus on others was a selfish act. I’m finding that God intends for us to be who He wants us to be and sometimes we have to work at that.

“Practice loving yourself,” someone said, and I realized in order to love myself I needed to become someone I could love. Someone who didn’t give in and bend to everyone else’s whims. Someone who was true to self and stuck with that no matter what.

Mentally I went over every aspect of my life. Most things were in order. I have a good relationship with God. I have a wonderful marriage. Going down the list I checked a lot of boxes. But I often don’t speak my mind, deferring instead to the people around me. And I tend to “look like” others want me to look. In my childhood and young adulthood that was my parents. Now it’s my spouse.

The clothes we wear, and our jewelry and hairstyles, often reflect our “group.” My group is extremely conservative. For example, I’m always telling hair stylists to go crazy with my hair, and it ends up in a nice, safe bob tucked under. They see that conservative outer shell, even though inside I’m an artist, musician, and writer. Sigh.

I’ve recently re-discovered one of my favorite hobbies, sewing. I thought about the clothes I wear versus the ones I’d really love to wear, and that was the day I became Boho. Bohemian, with a modern flair. To me that means layers and lace and flowers. Soft colors. Flowy.

clothes closet new boho

I started making that sort of clothing. Some are completely made from scratch, feeling my way along. I bought a few pieces, since it’s not possible to make a whole new wardrobe overnight. Most of those were inexpensive since (1) I’m going to lose weight and (2) they’re stand-ins for the wardrobe I’m sewing.

If you’re’ changing your wardrobe, you’ve got to change your hair – see the Great Dreadlocks Debacle. And buy new shoes. And of course, once you’re a dreadlock-wearing, flowy, middle-aged bohemian you realize you can’t be uptight anymore. Enter yoga and meditation.

As Christians we want to reflect Christ’s love so all that Zen translates into projecting love to others. So now I’m wearing dreadlocks, flowy clothes, and lots of love of course. Hopefully love that spills over onto others — effortlessly.

My Boho Clothing Adventure

So, along with my hairstyle change came a clothing change. Or maybe the clothes happened first. Anyway I wanted to go loose, layered, and bohemian (boho). Thing is, it’s hard to find boho clothes under $400 that

  • Don’t look cheap
  • Aren’t see-through
  • Work for South Florida’s semi-tropical humidity and heat

Enter the sewing machine.

I sewed a ton but that was years ago. More recently I dragged out my machine and tried to re-learn. (I’m selling a few of them on etsy. I seem to love making little girls’ Princess dresses.) Anyway all that made it easier to make my own clothes, once I realized that’s what I have to do.

To me, boho is loose, layered, flowy. Cooler fabrics like linen — NO polyester! Big earrings, open sandals.

So here are a few ideas I had for a DIY boho wardrobe. The whole concept is on hold while I lose weight. What do you think? Do you have some favorite boho clothing ideas?

Click to enlarge

Pinterest sample from tanyabeads

All items are live and linked to their sources at https://www.pinterest.com/tanyabeads/diy-clothes/

What is Bohemian Style?

woman in sunflowers

When we speak of bohemian clothing, we’re not referring to items coming from a certain part of Czechoslovakia. Instead, we’re talking about a culture. Bohemians are nonconformists; most often they’re involved in the arts and don’t care too much about social conventions. The French word bohemian meant a nomadic person, usually artists who lived like nomads to earn a living.

gypsy wagon

More recently, bohemian refers to a style. The look, whether your home or your mode of dress, should be a perfect reflection of you. is shortened to “boho” or “boho chic.” Mixing and matching (or un-matching) loose, flowy clothing is the norm.  It was popular in the 70s and is making a great comeback now. There are no hard-and-fast rules, since being in harmony with nature and comfortable with your clothing is part of it. So the following are “general” guidelines.

You want a relaxed look, one that might slip easily into the gypsy category. So layers are in. Even wearing your bra over your shirt – especially a lacy bralette like this – is okay. To get a relaxed look, you might consider going up a size or two in shirts, vests, and jackets.

boho woman

A lot of fitted layers work with the flowy layers. You might wear a fitted lacy slip under a slightly shorter loose dress or tunic. You can put leggings under the tunic or dress — or these awesome velvet bike shorts I found. You can throw on an oversize jacket or a boyfriend cardigan.

Any rich color, and a mix of strong colors will work for the boho layered look. Mixing warm and cool colors together is also acceptable — and fun. Layering texture and pattern adds yet another dimension.

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mauve spaghetti strap camisole
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*Click to visit this awesome boho clothing site I found!

One of my favorite things is to visit thrift stores for pieces I can take apart and re-create in a gypsy manner. Often the thrift store has vintage pieces that fit perfectly. I like big, worn clothing in cotton or linen. I take them apart, sometimes working two or more pieces into one new piece. I always look at the knits and laces too. And don’t forget macramé belts or beautiful silk scarves.

Never thrift shopped? Remember, the original bohemians probably didn’t buy new; they made do with old. Thrifting is fun, and easily addictive. If you can sew, you’ll start visiting your favorite second-hand store every week. Mine has 1/2 price items on Thursdays.

To maintain the “chic” part of boho chic, don’t accept clothes that are torn or stained. Sewing a patch or lacy pocket over the tear is fun and acceptable; showing a stain or blatant tear is not.

boho woman in studio

When shopping for clothes or fabric, natural fibers will stay truer to the lifestyle than synthetic fabrics. Plus – natural clothing is so much cooler! Look for hemp, cotton, rayon, and bamboo. You can also search online to find out which companies are selling or using fair trade fabrics.

Next, we’ll talk about Boho hair, jewelry and makeup.

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