Classic or Bohemian? That is the question!


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.

Pure Handknit Sweater Pure Handknit Sweater

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!