- Katie Palfenier is a twenty-six year old Texas native with a bachelor’s degree in English from New Mexico State University and is currently in pursuit of a master’s degree at the University of Texas at El Paso. She has been modifying and designing her own clothes for over a decade and has a keen eye for the bohemian and thrift-store-brand fashion that has boomed in the industry over the past few years.
Bohemian chic is a long time favorite fashion style amongst college students, and for good reason! It can achieve that classic “free spirit” look that people recall when thinking about those formative years. It’s also a style that can be pulled off without breaking your budget. Chances are you already have many of the pieces you will need to achieve bohemian style without having to spend a dime.
Step one for achieving that perfect relaxed looks is a fantastic trend that has taken hold lately called up-cycling. You can pull out old pieces from the back of your closet and alter them or just wear them differently and in different combinations to breathe life into an old outfit. Not finding exactly what you are looking for? A quick trip to your local thrift store could provide just the unique garment you are needing to tie it all together. Through up-cycling, you can leave a lasting impression on your first day of school while keeping you wallet full and using less resources.
The second step to pulling off a good boho look is to not overdo it. There is a fine line between capturing a modern-day hippy vibe and looking like you are wearing a costume. Pick a few choices pieces that speak to you to get your point across, but don’t wear everything all at once. Poncho? Fine. Bell bottoms? Cool. Peace sign broach? Nice. Tie dye shirt? Sweet. Poncho and bell-bottoms with a peace sign broach and a tie dye shirt? Well, now you’ve crossed into costume country. It’s fine to wear a few things in combination, but in the fashion world less can be more and might make the important difference between the classic essence people will remember and looking like you are trying way too hard. Layers are always a great idea when going bohemian, but remember not to drown yourself in too many long and loose ones. You never want to completely lose your shape in any outfit,bohemian or not.
Accessories are the last step you need in order to cinch that “laissez faire” vibe that the bohemian fashion is known for. Pick jewelry that reminds you of nature. Feathers and earth tones are always a great option, but don’t be afraid to tie a solitary bright piece into the mix if you feel so inclined. Things that are or look homemade, are often a great addition to a bohemian look. Layering jewelry, just like the clothes can also help you put the finishing touches to complete the ensemble. Tie it all together with a loose cloth bag or something with fringe and your outfit is complete.
The best way to figure out the right look for you is to pay attention to what catches your eye when you see it and then trying to mimic it later. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and fashion is no exception. Copying the style of others is how many fashion-forward people got their start. Still, don’t be afraid to change things up and make them your own. Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence. College is a time to experiment and explore. Seize the opportunity to make mistakes and try again. Not all the learning in those years has to take place in a classroom.