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Boho is one of those fashion terms that people hear all the time and feel like they know what the meaning is but not quite sure. It’s that same feeling of knowing when you but can’t really explain it.

So what is boho? What does it mean?

Bohemian + Homeless = BoHo?

According to folklore, boho is an abbreviation of “bohemian” and “homeless”. Bohemian originally meant “someone from Bohemia” which is how the current Czech Republic used to be referred to. The Kingdom of Bohemia is no more but the word lives on. Bohemians also referred to gypsies, as many Europeans believed that they originated from that part of Europe. Eventually the term bohemian got romanticized to mean someone unconventional, a free spirit, with some artistic inclination thrown in.

In modern usage, boho is basically a more updated “hippie” look popularized by celebrity British fashion icons of the mid 2000s, mainly Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. This style is mostly referred to as boho chic but got shortened to boho again.

The boho style is not clearly defined by any specific article of clothing and can be styled from any combination of clothes. The most popular incarnation you might see are young women at music festivals such as Coachella, obviously taking inspiration from the original Woodstock Festival of 1969, minus the free love and drugs or not.

boho pair

Even though the boho trend peaked in the mid 2000s it’s a fashion style that is still going strong. Most people mix and match various boho elements with casual trends. Since boho is more of a summer look, the trend usually comes back in some form. You will likely see a lot of boho inspired cuts in basic, minimalist patterns or people accessorizing in boho while keeping their wardrobe current. The boho style is extremely flexible and perfect for a lot of summer activities. Most boho outfits work well with swimsuits and that makes it great for outings to the beach or music festivals. It’s also great for travel wear since you can wear flowing dresses and tops for more conservative countries and many of the popular designs are inspired by traditional native wear from around the world. This makes it perfect for combining your boho wardrobe with clothes and accessories you pick up along the way.

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