It's Official: Boho Fashion is Back, and We're About to Dress Like It's 2004 Again

The year is 2004. We’re avidly searching for pictures of Sienna Miller’s Glastonbury outfits while Laguna Beach plays in the background. Had our phones been up to date enough we might have been scouring Vinted for secondhand disc belts and fur gilets, but instead we make do with tank tops, maxi skirts and Topshop boleros. No matter whether you flirted with Indie Sleaze or hip-hop’s glamorous excess, the one trend that occupied our minds rent free in the early noughties was bohomania. A heady concoction of frills, suede, denim and chiffon as championed by devoted followers of Rachel Zoe but conceptualised by French fashion house Chloé. Flash forward 20 years and when scrolling through socials to find standout moments from Paris fashion week, the first picture to grab and hold my attention was a shot from the front row of the Chloé autumn/winter 2024 show. A queue of identical platform wedges and handkerchief hemlines instantly transported me back to my early teens, and unlike the return of the pedal pusher, my initial reaction wasn’t dread but instead, comforting nostalgia. The widespread reception to this return to “boho chic”? An overwhelming yes. Boho dressing is officially back on the agenda, and the fashion crowd are here for it.

(Image credit: Yanshan Zhang/Getty Images))

After Gabriela Hearst’s departure as creative director of Chloé last year, a lot was to be expected of successor Chemena Kamali, having previously worked under the Phoebe Philo tenure at Chloé that gave us such genre defining pieces as the Paddington bag and the skinny scarf. All doubts were put to bed however from the moment that billowing tops tucked into jeans, and chiffon dresses with leather jackets drifted down the runway, accessorised with bug-eyed sunnies, studded flats and wooden clogs. But as quick as social media was to declare that Kamali had singlehandedly made boho cool again, the signs were already there that free-spirited fashion was due to make a stylish comeback.

boho fashion trend 2024

(Image credit: Chloe SS24; Launchmetrics)

Take a cursory glance through the S/S ’23 shows of Altuzarra, Celine, and Isabel Marant and you’ll find the same embroidered waistcoats, tie-dyed kaftans, peasant blouses, and denim cut-offs that dominated the 2010s, and for S/S ’24, there’s no mistaking the familiarity of Ermanno Scervino’s umber suede paired with turquoise jewellery and Ralph Lauren’s fringed cape and spaghetti-strapped tank. In short, if you can imagine Nicole Ritchie wearing it with oversized sunglasses and a bag big enough for her to live inside, it’s surprisingly back “on-trend”.

So how do we re-adopt such a throwback trend and make it feel relevant for 2024? Well, by leaning into the kitsch factor and embracing the nostalgia, billowing sleeves and all. As Gen-Z repurpose cargo pants, bandeau tops, and Y2K-coded accessories, here is an alternative for those who were left cold by platform trainers and baby tees. Something just feels inherently more “grown-up” about wooden wedges and ruffled blouses, or at least it does for Team Who What Wear. Conducting a quick straw poll in the office reveals an overwhelming desire to get back to the “lovely, and floaty, and comfy” as copy editor Georgia Seago puts it.

boho fashion trend 2024

(Image credit: Getty; Ancient Greek; Amazon; Vestiare Collective)

And while we haven’t thought about Vanesssa Hudgens kaftan collection for the last 15 years, there is still a lot to learn from bohemian icons Zoe Kravitz, Kate Moss and the Olsen twins, who still top of our moodboards as examples of how to channel “free-sprited” fashion in the post-paisley print era. This time around we might not be rushing to fill our wardrobes with feather earrings and floppy sunhats quite yet, but there’s a still lot to love about the newer, elevated approach to laidback luxe, with a slightly more restrained approach to 70s inspired styling. There are less prints, a stricter colour palette that favours earthy neutrals, and no need for problematic cultural references like headdresses and bindis. Strip away the layers of over-accessoring and embellisment and underneath you’ll find this season’s hero buys: oversized blouses, light maxi skirts, high-waisted jeans, billowing, high-necked maxi dresses and plenty of premium suede and leather. So, after the last two years of minimalism and quiet luxury, we’re looking forward to a summer spent leisurely unbuttoned and anything but straight-laced.

boho fashion trend 2024

(Image credit: Ralph Lauren SS’24, Ermanno Scervino SS24, Etro SS24; Launchmetrics)

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