A Gentleman’s Guide to Boho Fashion

Written by  Feiruza Mudessir
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boho fashionHarking back to the ‘50s and ‘60s eras of fashion, bohemian style or boho style embodies the principles of hippie fashion — expressive individuality that embraces the relaxed, the carefree, and the unusual.

Boho fashion is usually eclectic, featuring natural, free-flowing fabrics and designs that incorporate freedom and unstructured ethos.

Trendsetters of men’s bohemian fashion include international male models and style icons like Jason Momoa, Jared Leto, Lenny Kravitz, and of course, Johnny Depp, a true 21st-century bohemian.

While there are no specific rules to boho fashion per se, there are certain guidelines that help infuse and layer items to make color and design combinations really stand out. Here is a gentleman’s guide to all things bohemian.

1. Trousers

As a style that celebrates expressing individuality, men looking to translate the notion of unconformity will find plenty to celebrate in bohemian fashion.

To pull off the bohemian look when it comes to trousers, forgo the minimal aesthetic of modern jeans and trousers. Bohemian style is a departure from today’s slim silhouette. Instead, opt for trousers with relaxed styles that are casual and comfortable to wear.

Instead of sharp, deep indigo selvedge, jeans should be rugged and ripped and several shades lighter. Light wash jeans or faded blue denim gives your look a rather authentic bohemian feel. Complement your relaxed, lighthearted attitude with distressed detailing and rips, perfectly finishing off your look with an easy-going, vintage feel.

2. Shirts

Patterns are essential to a non-conformist personality, the ideal attitude for the bohemian aesthetic.

This means letting your creative side run wild. Relegate your pinstripes and checks to the office environment. Whether your penchant is for graphics, inscriptions, hand-painted details or paisley, each can have a place in bohemian style.

To begin, start with something subtle — perhaps abstract designs, iconography, animal print or floral. A printed scarf can be a good starting point if bold, expressive tailoring is flashy. Keep shirts relaxed and stylishly disheveled, with an emphasis on the stylish.

A lightweight cotton shirt or the revived grandad collar shirt can give an appropriately unconventional look and feel to your bohemian style (as can rolled-up long sleeves, complete with a few buttons left undone).

3. Jackets

Unstructured ethos is a theme that carries throughout bohemian jackets. Jacket silhouettes that emphasize the bohemian style are rough around the edges and appropriately unstructured. The trappings of bourgeois men’s outerwear such as the tailored jacket have no place in bohemian fashion.

Texture plays a role in your cover-up options. Suede, knitted, tweed or velvet can wonderfully complement printed shirts and distressed faded denim. Your look should call for something comfortable, relaxed and vintage. Cardigans or knitted vests make a good outwear option.

To avoid the look becoming preppy, loose shapes, slightly oversized, and undone buttons are a must.

4. Footwear

To capture the authentic look of traditional bohemians, consider going barefoot. But in today’s society, this can be rather impractical and unnecessarily unhygienic. The modern-day gentleman can still achieve the traditional bohemian style by rocking sandals.

Sandals take a bit of confidence to pull off, but when paired with the perfect distressed pair of denim, they will look rather inspired. When the weather permits, sandals can be extremely comfortable and undeniably stylish.

Surrender the pool slides or velcro sandals. When it comes to bohemian, the only option is leather.

When the weather starts to cool off, leather is still a must; but rather than the straight-laced brogues or structured monk-straps, choose a pair of slightly worn loafers to give an artistic, traveled-in appearance.

5. Accessories

Accessories make the man, and bohemian style is no exception. To complete the look, rebel against the minimal approach to accessories. An artistic statement piece is a refreshing departure from today’s sleek aesthetic.

There’s a lot of scope afforded to the traditional bohemian style. When it comes to accessories, natural materials work best. Wooden bead bracelets, a slouchy canvas tote bag, or a simple straw hat are just some examples to help you add the finishing touches to your bohemian look.

Your accessories should reflect your personal style. When seeking out accessories, incorporate subtle stylish pieces that celebrate your creative expression.

Get creative

When it comes to bohemian fashion, remember that rules are made to be broken. Traipse the road less traveled and get creative. Bask in the freedom of dressing how you want and enjoy expressing your style with artisanal and vintage details.