The Basic Elements of Boho Clothing Style

The Basic Elements of Boho Clothing Style

The boho clothing style dates back over 200 years and has gone through many cycles of popularity. While it began as a look for starving artists, it developed into a trend that would change, evolve, and flourish over time. Although it survived multiple centuries by adapting to the needs and desires of specific eras, the basic elements of boho clothing style have remained solid throughout history.

Basic fabrics

The most basic elements of bohemian clothing and accessories are the fabrics and materials. Here are some of the fabrics most boho style clothing is made out of or incorporates into its pieces.


Boho-style lace is typically a bit more distressed or casual than classic silky lace. Usually, lace elements will be chunkier than delicate lace and have wider eyelets. Lace is typically either white or a shade of beige.


Once a fabric for grungy interior designers, bohemian style overtook this fabric and used it in place of lace in certain clothing pieces. The chunky open eyelets and rustic, shabby style blended with other boho staples make for stylish and unique statement pieces—and boho is all about statement pieces.


Leather in all forms—genuine or faux—is frequently utilized when creating boho outfits. The more worn the leather, the better. Leather is generally used only in tan and brown shades to fit in with the style’s traditionally earthy tones.


Any and all denim go with a traditional bohemian aesthetic. While proper denim fits better into the category of boho-chic, distressed and acid-wash denim fit well with classic styles. All denim washes can be worked into the perfect boho outfit if paired with a few other essential elements.


Suede is the staple material for boho shoes—especially booties. It’s also made its way into other accessories, such as bags, vests, and hats. Suede is the perfect rustic yet chic complement to the more flowy and natural materials incorporated into this style.


Wood is another material perfect for accessories. Most boho shoes have elements of wood, whether it be the platform or heel. Wood is also used for jewelry such as bracelets, earring elements, and the base of rings.


Turquoise is the most commonly used gemstone in the entire style. It’s often found on boho jewelry, woven into fabrics, and on intricately decorated shoes.


Rattan, a thin weave of palm or other materials, such as vines or wicker, is a fabric very commonly used in boho style clothing. Rattan is most commonly found in bags, shoes, and other accessories, as it’s not ideal for making clothing with.

Basic accessories

Boho style wouldn’t be what it is without accessories. The style is all about over-the-top, eye-catching, and bold statement accessories. You can’t forget about the layers, mixing and matching bold prints and accessories, and combining an eclectic variety of pieces either. Here are some of the basic elements of boho accessories.

Statement metal jewelry

Big, statement pieces of rustic or muted metal jewelry are a must when it comes to this clothing style. It’s maximalist and intricate in nature; the more jewelry, the better. Boho style doesn’t shy away from multiple bold jewelry pieces in a single outfit—in fact, it encourages it.

Casual shoes and sandals

Bohemian clothing is all about keeping it casual. Pair anything you wear with suede booties, pom-pom flats, gladiator sandals, or a chunky wooden heel to instantly up the boho vibes.

Headpieces & headwraps

Wearing attention-grabbing headwear is a traditional part of the bohemian clothing basics. From tied, flowing bandanas and ribbons to flower crowns, there are endless possibilities for traditional headpieces and headwraps. Usually, a bold headpiece is paired with braids or a mix of eclectic hairstyles.


Hats such as fedoras, smaller cowboy hats, suede bucket hats, and other slightly wide-brimmed hats are all classic choices for a boho-inspired look. Hats are kept to muted, using natural colors with warm undertones and basic elemental materials.

Long necklaces

Long, bold statement necklaces not only complement the flowy and free style—one could say they’re essential to it. These are a key element that helps tie outfits together and create an interesting cohesion between the outfit pieces.


Even though there are many bold and audacious elements in this design, the details can still make or break it. Bohemian style is reliant upon the details of every essential piece. Here are the most important details to include.


Fringe is necessary to make a piece go from classic to shabby-chic. Shirts, shoes, bags, jewelry, and more can all benefit from a fringe addition.


Similarly to fringe, tassels can be added to just about any boho item to give it more flare and keep it on-trend. Tassels differ from fringe because tassels are loose threads or other material gathered by a ball-shaped mass.

Natural materials

Natural materials are forefront to the classic bohemian style. Boho was always meant to be natural, flowy, and down-to-earth. Materials found in nature are most commonly used.

Earthy tones

Hushed browns, muted greens, pale colors such as white and beige, and hues of earthy warm tones are all the rage when it comes to a boho color palette. Any color found in a woodsy, natural environment is essential to this style.

Flower embroidery

Flowery embroidery is another way to add classic elements into an outfit. These can be easily added to any clothing piece to incorporate brighter colors into your otherwise muted color scheme.

Loose, flowy style

Clothing a size too big? No worries! Loose, flowing, and oversized items are key to keeping up this style’s tone.

Printed fabrics

Prints are perfect for this style. Mixing and matching prints in a single outfit is an essential tradition. Here are some popular types of prints to add into an outfit:

  • Trellis
  • Ikat
  • Floral
  • Tribal
  • Kilim
  • Paisley
  • Folky
  • Lattice

Sleeve details

Sleeves are essential details to pay attention to. Bell and trumpet sleeves are very popular. Typically, a sleeve in this fashion will be either ½ length or ¾ length for added intrigue and chic, eye-catching effects.


Cold shoulders and off-the-shoulder tops are all the rage right now. But this trend originated in the bohemian style—a great example of boho returning to mainstream popularity in waves. Last popular in the early 2000s, it’s making a strong comeback in the way of sleeves and details on more day-to-day style clothing.

Braid details

Braids are essentials to any element of this fashion. Hair braids, clothing braids, braided fringe, or braided leather bracelets—there’s no way to go wrong with a braid here.

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