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Style-Guide: Boho-Chic With a Moroccan Twist

By Rachel Burt

The Sunday Times described the Moroccan resort and seaport of Essaouira as the "boho/barefoot-chic beach" because of its association with fashionable "Euro aesthetes with their Talitha Getty-esque kaftans." I am currently in Morocco and have observed how its rich culture has influenced the bohemian fashion: exotic tan buildings with vibrantly colored doors in blue, yellow, white, and pink; stencil designs painted and engraved on walls; and traditionally woven clothes and tapestries. 




Here is a little history behind the modern term boho-chic...The term bohemian dates back to people who lived a non-traditional, creative and artistic lifestyle. For instance, most bohemians were gypsies, travelers or refugees.


Boho-Chic Gypsy in Morocco 
Morocco is fascinating playground for fashion because of its Arabic roots and its French influence via colonization. The culture fusion added the Moroccan twist to the "bohemian" style which first made it to Europe and eventually to the U.S.



Today, the pioneers of the popular boho-chic fashion are Sienna Miller, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Kate Moss. Below, I will provide you with a style-guide on how to dress boho-chic; with that said, I encourage you not to be a copy-cat and add your own twist to the boho look.  
Pioneers of Modern Day Boho-Chic Style: Sienna Miller (left), Kate Moss (center), Mary-Kate Olsen (top right), and Vanessa Hudgens (bottom right)

Bohemian is just as much a state of mind as it is a way to expression yourself through fashion; hence, use your imagination. Think of a free-spirit, a romantic soul and a hippie infused into one. 



How to Dress Bohemian Chic: Style Guide 

1. Accessorize: In the bohemian world, you must pay extreme attention to details. Long layered necklaces, turquoise stones, silver bracelets, head scarfs and belts, vests, leather purses, rugged boots, leggings and flats are a must. 

  • Unique Pieces. Think the opposite of commercial. For instance, go to consignment shops and look at some one of a kind leather accessories. In another words, you can find a bag that no other fashionista will have and that you can match with almost every single one of your outfits. Here in Morocco, you can find the highest quality leather purses and shoes. Hand-made leather purses, flip-flops, flats, or boots will go a long way and can be worn with almost any outfit.
  • Jewelry. Look for natural stones and light colors. Try long beaded neckless, layered chains; and add some feathers or dream catchers to it. Silver or leather bracelets stacked up on the arm and large silver stoned rings are perfect. Also, I love to match the look with light nail-polish such as white or light blue; it really brings out all the stoned jewelry and looks fab on sun-kisssed skin.
  • Flower Crown: One of the essential pieces for almost  every boho chic outfit is a flower crown. Live and breathe your boho look by using your natural surroundings. 

2. Layers: The best way to spot bohemian-chic style is a particular way of layering clothes, matching patters and picking specific designs. For instance, a bohemian spirit will not be afraid to throw on a white flowy dress over a pair jeans or tights; she will pair this with moccasins; or she will wear shorts with leather boots and an oversized tunic sweater. Layering clothes is very present here in Morocco. Travelres and the traditional women love to dress in layers; hence, when it is warm, it makes it convenient to strip down. 

3. Mix and match: Earthy tones, floral patterns, stripes or Indian or African prints are perfect to match, just try to stick with a similar color scheme when matching. 



4. Worn out jeans: Old worn-out and cut-up jeans can be worn with any outfit. You can try the hightop bell-bottoms or the low-rise bell bottoms pants. 

5. Braided or wavy hair: Braided hair, which includes many braid styles, is very boho-chic. The point is to have loose braids and nothing too uptight. Another boho hairstyle are the long beach waves. The nomadic gypsy lifestyle certainty did provide the time and place to blow-dry one's hair; therefore, the boho-look is to have the hair look as natural as possible. 

6. Think 1960s or 1970s: This time period is what set the stage for the bohemian chic look. Think of the song "Free as a Bird," and try and imitate this image and add a French-Moroccan twist to it.

Raquel Welch: Boho-Chic in the 1970s
Below, you will find my own mini-photoshoot in Morocco inspired by the boho-chic style. 

Me (right)





Chokran bezaf (thank-you very much in Moroccan-Arabic). Signing off from Morocco...until next time fashionistas, xoxo.

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