I sincerely believe that we each have a personal style comfort zone, and that falls somewhere in the spectrum between Classic and Bohemian. I don’t have to hesitate to declare my taste – as I am clearly a bohemian. I remember wearing a Mexican Serape Blanket as a shawl to highschool, and an Indian Caftan to see Siouxsie and the Banshees back in the day, so I am pretty solidly bohemian.
Now I am a mom in the burbs, but my bohemian roots are always exposed. With the exception of underwear and socks, I don’t wear mall clothes. My current town is decidedly conservative and preppy. So I have dabbled in certain styles that run more ‘Classic’ than my average just trying to fit in, but somehow a big ol’ turquoise Navajo necklace always finds its way around my neck before I leave the house. Bohemian is my inner compass and it just can’t be reset.
I believe that once you are over 40, you have a clear sense for what fashion you feel most comfortable in, and where you fall within the spectrum of classic to bohemian. I know now, by the cableknit sweaters and crisp oxford button down shirts in my closet that have never been worn, that I don’t need to do this to myself anymore.
I have no interest in wasting my time, energy or money on clothes that just look wrong on me, style and fit-wise. Just like if I were on the classic side, I would feel odd and ‘in costume’ sporting a vintage paisley canary yellow while shopping at Walmart.
Classic to Bohemian – your style scale
- Classic: preppy, conservative, traditional, tailored, timeless, basic, structured, streamlined, minimal.
- Bohemian: unique, ethnic, flowing, artsy, eclectic, prints/patterns, colorful, worldly, hippie, unstructured.
Whichever way you swing, it makes sense for you to recognize your wardrobe style and stick with it, especially when investing in quality basics. Being a Bohemian, my basics are obviously not my button down Brooks Brothers shirts collecting dust in my closet - that I somehow still can’t part with - but an organic cotton piece made by an independent designer that validates my ideals and style all together.
My foray into the classics is not all for naught. I know that if (and when) I bust out my classic button down crisp white shirt, I will pair it with something bohemian. The ability to mix things up shows that you are confident in the sense of who you are -- how you see yourself and how you want to be seen.
I'd love to hear about your experiences -- please share!