What does it even mean to be ‘Boho’? - RainandMoonwater

What does it even mean to be ‘Boho’?

If you love Rain & Moonwater, you love boho style and the way it helps you express your authentic self. But bohemian style is about more than just fashion – originally, it was a whole social movement that was reflected in people’s fashion and clothing choices! How did the boho movement start? Has it become too much of a buzzword and lost its original meaning? Let’s explore.

According to Wikipedia, the term “Bohemian” applies to “people who live an unconventional lifestyle, often with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits.”[1] Bohemian culture has several potential origins, but it is commonly thought to have origins in post-revolution France during the 19th century. Since many artists and creatives had been impoverished, they commonly wore old, worn-out, and unfashionable clothing – wearing this type of clothing then became a counter-culture movement post-revolution.

According to a different school of thought, Bohemian culture originated in an area of the Czech Republic called Bohemia, whose occupants rejected mainstream social norms. In either case, bohemian style was originally about going against norms and fashion dictates. Free-thinking minds were reflected by free-spirited clothing.

Today, a lot of bohemian style is based on the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s. Protests against the Vietnam War and fights for civil, gay, and women’s rights challenged the dominant social, political, and cultural norms. Once more, activists used fashion as a way to challenge mainstream views and express support of counter-culture. Bohemian fashion in this era calls to mind what concertgoers at Woodstock would have worn: loose-fitting, flowing silhouettes, natural fabrics, mix-and-matched prints, and a sense of daring (both in terms of showcasing skin and showcasing unconventional designs).

Walking down any street in a major city these days, you’re bound to see small touches of boho style worked into outfits – fun and colourful prints, loose silhouettes, natural fabrics…even the prevalence of crop tops has roots in bohemian style! It is more common now for people to dress with small touches of bohemian style rather than a head-to-toe boho look – though each are equally beautiful.

While the term bohemian might be slightly divorced from its origins in revolution (and its prevalence in modern fashion is a far cry from the counter-culture look of days past), I believe that the root of what it means to be bohemian – living an lifestyle that is unique and authentic to you – still holds true. Bohemian style today is still about showcasing your individuality and challenging social norms, but in smaller, more everyday ways.

Rather than making a big statement, bohemian style of today is about being authentic to yourself and demonstrating your social consciousness through small touches. For instance, wearing clothing that uses eco fabrics and dyes, or clothing bought from a thrift or consignment store, still signals a commitment to being conscious of the environment and our planet’s finite natural resources. Not following trends, fast-fashion, and wearing bright colours that match your personality shows that you are happy to stand apart from the crowd. Buying pieces that are built to last and supporting local brands shows that you are a conscious consumer, not swayed by capitalist marketing campaigns of big businesses like Zara and Shein. Playing with silhouettes and prints still signals a sense of playfulness and daring: a desire to use fashion to make a statement rather than just wearing the same basic black, nude, and white outfits that a majority of people limit themselves to. 

While boho is currently a buzzword and more mainstream than it previously was, perhaps this is a good thing; it shows that more people are attuned to the needs of the collective (humans as a whole, animals, plants, and the planet we all inhabit) rather than focused on individualistic pursuits. Perhaps the prevalence of boho means that more people are willing to challenge dominant societal and cultural norms, move toward progress, and take a more playful, colour-outside-the-lines approach to life. And that can only be a good thing.

If more people stop following trends, stop buying fast-fashion, and start living in more creative, authentic, and inspired ways, the planet will be a better place. At Rain and Moonwater, we want to help you live a colourful life that is authentic to you – and feel confident in what you’re wearing while doing it! Check out our wide assortment of natural, boho products to help you express your authentic self.



[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_style