How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Hippy chic is back05/22/2022
How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Hippy chic is back…but how boho will you go?
- Shane Watson shares advice on how to wear and style the retro boho trend
- UK-based fashion expert says to treat boho like a bright print avoid trimmings
- You can carry off a long tiered skirt in multiple prints and colours if it is a lean cut
Boho style is back — all those tiered skirts, peasant tops and block-print dresses with clashing yokes you last wore the summer of your O-levels — are starring in a shop on the High Street this summer.
I know what you’re thinking: for that reason alone, boho is a no-go. Too wafty, too hippy, too 1970s rock festival (had your parents let you go). If you were wearing it in your teens, you know what they say? Don’t go there again.
Only no one says that any more, not since we worked out that Nancy Shevell (Mrs Paul McCartney) can still rock a pair of denim cut-offs, Rod still looks good in leopard print and my friend Jessica looks as pretty wearing boho as she did circa 1976, albeit not top-to-toe.
True, you may not want to dip a toe in this boho moment, and fair enough. Minimalists will hate it and plenty of women who loved it back in the day will be grimacing at the idea. Also some styles won’t work this time around — we’re coming to those.
Shane Watson advises that if you’re tall enough to take a tenty block-print dress, known as a Jodhpur dress (pictured)
But those of us who can’t resist an Indian block print (me) or a tier and a block print (my friend Jessica) will be cherry-picking from the boho canon according to the new rules. Because now it’s all about How Boho Can You Go, while still looking polished and grown up. So…
Think one thing boho
Treat boho like a bright print, avoid the trimmings (tassel ties, embroidery, smocking, cutwork, broderie anglaise, lace inserts, puff sleeves, frills) and keep everything else completely plain, including your accessories. A strappy flat sandal, a white plimsoll or a leather flatform is what keeps this look contemporary and grown up. Anything that reminds you of peak Laura Ashley, walk away.
Wear a tiered skirt
Yes, you can carry off a long tiered skirt in multiple prints and colours, just make sure it’s a lean cut like Mabe’s Lucca skirt (£195, irisfashion. co.uk) and then add a T-shirt in a colour that features in the print. Note: the right length for a boho dress is midi and for a tiered skirt, it’s ankle-bone grazing. Knee-length tiers look dowdy and unflattering.
Lucy Boynton (pictured) wearing a tiered dress. UK-based style expert Shane advises wearing leather sandals and keeping hemlines long
If you’re tall enough to take a tenty block-print dress, known as a Jodhpur dress, then you’re wearing it with sleek hair (maybe a ponytail) and minimal jewellery. Zara has a pink and green block print dress with a pink crochet trim around the yolk (£59.99, zara.com) which sounds odd, but looks good on.
Shane advises trying a long tiered skirt in multiple prints and colours, like this one worn by Christina Hendricks
I’d wear Zara’s embroidered tiered dress (£79.99), which takes you to places other boho styles won’t by virtue of being black and white and looking good with plain black sandals.
BOHO: THE NEW RULES
- Wear leather sandals
- Keep hemlines long
- Put a leather jacket on top
- Think one hit of boho
If you are tempted by the classic Jodhpur dress, with contrasting prints, check out Dilli Grey (dilligrey.com) or SZ Blockprints (trouva.com). I’d say keep this one for holidays. Of all the boho pieces, this is the one that might tip you into Best Exotic Marigold Hotel territory.
Fitted leather jacket
Could be black or ecru or brown, but wear a fitted leather jacket over a dress or with a long skirt and it counterbalances the floaty, hippy vibe and adds polish. Try Zara for a selection of faux leather jackets starting from £49.99.
This is the season of the pretty party top, and a full sleeved peasant blouse in a strong print, worn with khaki trousers or jeans, has just the right amount of drama. Go for the peasant shape rather than embroidery and avoid white: Anthropologie’s Miranda (£98, anthropologie. com) in red and blue prints is a party-season keeper.
Shane advises wearing a fitted leather jacket over a dress or with a long skirt. Pictured: Rita Wilson
The new denim jacket
Is a quilted block-print jacket, only it’s prettier and warmer. Wear with any trousers over a high-necked shirt or a skinny sweater. Mabe has a pretty sprig floral-print version on off-white with a ticking striped lining (£189, irisfashion.co. uk); and I like SZ Blockprints’ field jacket in blue nila print with paisley trim (£190, trouva. com). Remember, one hit is enough; don’t try wearing this with your long, tiered skirt.
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