Living and Dressing in the Bohemian Lifestyle

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How to Be Bohemian

Living and Dressing in the Bohemian Lifestyle is freedom for those who adapt this style of living.  That doesn’t mean to say that those who don’t adapt this lifestyle are not free.  Each finds his/her own path. Check out these articles from Wikihow below.

Two Parts:Living the Bohemian lifestyleDressing BohemianCommunity Q&A

A Bohemian is a person who lives and acts by a different set of conventional rules and practices than the average person. The word evokes the romance of a wanderer’s life. For all those non-conformists there is no more attractive way of expressing the inner life than through clothing.

Part 1

Living the Bohemian lifestyle

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    Create art. If that means quitting your day job and moving into a tiny studio apartment filled with paints, do that. Bohemians hold the creation of art above all other pursuits. But, use good judgement. Don’t go quitting your job if you have no other means of financial stability.
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    Listen to the music, read the books, watch the movies, etc. that you like. Do the following without shame. What you like and don’t is part of your individual personality, why hide that? Bohemianism is all about rejecting conventions if they go against what personally inspires you.
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    Challenge what you and others believe. If you have grown up with a certain belief system (religion, political view, etc.) ask yourself why you believe this. Do you really believe this or is it just a habit?
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    Become informed about other lifestyles or points of view. If there is an aspect you admire, incorporate it into your own life. This is called ‘shop cart views’. You don’t have to agree with everything from a particular ideology.
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    Express yourself in some artistic way. This may not naturally be your forte but everybody has some creativity. Art, music, writing, etc. whatever works. Don’t worry if you aren’t a prodigy in your chosen artistic outlet. Every master started somewhere and nobody has to see your genius if you don’t want them to. What one person calls smears of paint another calls art, so it’s all what you think.
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    Question authority (within reason)- politicians, parents, school or work authority, and even the popular trend setters, they all tell you what to do in some way. Ask yourself: what are they really asking of you, what are their motives, reasons, is there any value in their request? The answer to these should tell you whether you should even pay attention. However, with authority figures, you should always be respectful and use logic when you are questioning them.
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    Live for the moment. Also remember that if something goes wrong, don’t stress and freak out. Just let it flow and calmly try to solve the problem. Try to live without regrets, and if you are thinking that you really have to do something like reaching out to a person, do it!

    • Take time for yourself. Pick flowers, keep a journal, go for walks, garden, etc. Have some alone time, just you and the world.
Part 2

Dressing Bohemian

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    Stay comfortable. The Bohemian style is as much about comfort as self-expression. Generally, clothing should not be tight and the fabrics used must allow your skin to “breathe”. Your clothes should be moulded to your lifestyle, not vice versa: in other words, do not wear anything that hinders movement and that you find to be uncomfortable. The only exception to this rule is evening dress.

    • Wear what you want! Bohemians don’t care about popularity or style: they care about expressing themselves. So wear what makes you feel good.
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    Choose fabric with all of your senses. Fabric is the single most important element of Bohemian clothing. Choose natural materials such as cotton, gauze, wool and leather. Coarse furs, such as raccoon fur, are beautiful additions to a Bohemian look. However, a detail in synthetics or patent leather can add an interesting dash of irony and originality to an outfit.
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    Know that it’s your body. Bohemian dressers enjoy decoration. Look for embroidered pieces–especially peasant blouses–fringing and beading. Do not be afraid to pile on the jewellery. Keep in mind, however, how each piece relates to the others; is each piece strictly necessary? If jewellery is not your thing, fresh flowers are lovely accessories. If you want piercings or tattoos — go for it. But with tattoos, don’t rush too much into getting one because it will be with you for the rest of your life.
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    Study how your clothing moves before you go out. The movement of a bohemian outfit–especially a Bohemian dress–should be fluid and graceful. There should be a sense of freedom. Also take time to note how you ‘sound’: what noise does your jewellery make when you move?
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    Remember that when most people think of Bohemian style, bright colours and graphic prints come to mind. However, while these most certainly add a gypsy air, a simpler Bohemian look can be achieved by using dramatic one-tone items. It is the cut and fabric that, above all, create a Bohemian feel.
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    Keep it simple. Bohemian style does not mean over-doing it. As with any other styles, edit your look ruthlessly. Never wear any piece that is not perfectly necessary to the look you are trying to project. Often the most successful Bohemian styles are, in their way, the cleanest and most simple.
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    Mould your clothing to your personality and mood. Do not let anyone, not even me, dictate your own personal dress code. If your style means being Bohemian one day and Minimalist the next–do it! Only be true to yourself and unafraid of expressing what is inside you. It is that element of sincerity that makes the Bohemian look so delightful.


  • Don’t judge other people based on race, sexual orientation, gender, religion or anything else, before you get to know them. See them as a person first.
  • Throw in a surprise. Think of the stereotype of Bohemian and then throw in something unexpected–even if it breaks all Bohemian rules of dress. Just be sure to keep the soul of the outfit Bohemian.
  • A Bohemian practice is to match your scent to your mood. Patchouli, sandalwood, orange blossom are a few of the many trademark Bohemian scents.
  • To get a better understanding of the bohemian lifestyle, consider reading La Boheme and watching the musical RENT. It really will give a more in depth understanding to what searching for Bohemia really is like.
  • Do not forget that your hair and makeup must be in-keeping with your clothing. Both loose hair and intricate braids are beautiful just as a no-makeup look and dramatic cats-eyeliner with red lips are equally lovely.
  • Try shopping at ethnic/vintage stores or flea-markets if you are looking to create a truly Bohemian style. If you must buy department store or even designer Bohemian pieces, look for items with originality. Steer away from gimmicky, clichéd pieces.
  • Experiment, experiment, experiment. And never create an outfit without love.


  • Friends or peers may be unsettled by this change, but real friends accept you for you. Cliché, yes, but it’s true; people are jealous that you are strong enough to be yourself. Secretly they admire and respect you, and if they don’t, do you really want that kind of person’s approval?
  • Parents, teachers and other people of authority might not understand your choice. If this happens, simply explain to them that this is your choice and you want to be peaceful.
  • Parents may become concerned. Use intellect, not emotion, to explain your views. If they see that you have thought about it and used your rationale they are less likely to think it is a ‘teenage phase’.

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