Boho vs Hippy, what’s the difference?

boho vs hippyI have always taken my style cues from the past. Inspired by the hippy and bohemian culture, I tend to feel naturally attune to the gypsy inspired bohemian style both in body and spirit as well as the freedom loving hippy in me who naturally wants to rebel from what everyone else is doing, thinking and believing. But there are distinct differences between the purely aesthetic bohemian style and the politically driven hippy sub sulture.. let me explain…

The Hippie with their long hair, bright colours, flared jeans, sandals and long beaded necklaces, set themselves apart by a unisex fashion. They used the way they dressed as a means of showing an affiliation to the radical ideas they espoused. The hippie sub- culture began in San Francisco where early hipsters and beatniks came together and formed a community of shared values including independance from mainstream society to the opposition of war.

boho vs hippyboho vs hippyHippies were about free living and self expression through music, literature, film and performance art. Experiences were shared with others and the bold patterns, tie dye and patch work of the hippie look were symbolic of the rejection of the conformity of mainstream youth fashion as well as a rejection of the establishment – that is : conservative values, corporate culture and commercialism.


Bohemianism on the other hand derives purely from an aesthetic standpoint rather than a political one.

boho vs hippyIt has a distant history that lies in poetry and art however bohemians took their name from the Romani Gypsies who travelled through western Europe through Bohemia. The gypsy lifestyle was percieved as a romantic lifestyle of unrooted wandering.

boho vs hippy


Boho is a decadent and stylish look worn by the more well-off in society. It is heavy on accessories, layering and overtly feminine fabrics such as silk and chiffon, free flowing nomadic styles, gladiator sandals and broad brimmed hats. It is anything but a minimalistic trend.

boho vs hippy

I feel that I have a genetic disposition to the bohemian style which can be explained by apparently having a heritage that traces back to the Romani Gypsies. I will probably never know the exact nature of my family history but I can’t help but believe it because of my natural affinity for bright colours, free thinking and endless wandering. You?

Hope you had a beautiful weekend peeps 🙂

love Sechy


photo credits :. .  Wikipedia


2 thoughts on “Boho vs Hippy, what’s the difference?

  1. This 63 year old Hippie says, you have been buying what they have been selling.
    Hippies didn’t only wear Tye-Dyes…We began all kinds of revolutionary trends, including adopting the Bohemian Gypsy Styles, American Indian Styles, Peasant Tops/Dresses, almost anything that wasn’t AMERICAN at the time. ALL NATURAL clothing, We wore lots of Velvets, Corduroys, Suedes, Leathers, FRINGED 3 inch low waisted jeans with crop tops, Indian Head Bands, feathers, HATS, SCARVES. painters jeans. NO polys, no blends, We were a political movement and part of that movement was to COUNTER the REQUIRED RESTRICTIONS to our clothing. Girls could not wear pants to school. Jeans had only recently become available, and were not allowed in schools and we wanted to be able to BE WARM in the WINTER. In 1972, I transferred to a Southern MO University and I was THE ONLY girl to wear jeans to classes. Thank Hippies for pushing the movement to allow women to wear any type of clothing she wanted. Until we pushed the issues, you wore White Shoes > Easter and switched back to Dark Shoes > Labor Day…
    What you must realize is that at the height of the Hippie Numbers we were less than 1% of 1% of the population. Probably every hippie in America showed up to Woodstock. There weren’t hippies back at home. In my HS of 133 Seniors, in 1970, there were probably 2 boys and 1 girl and me. I was fortunate to have a scholarship to a very liberal Junior College and there were more Hippies there than when I transferred my Junior year to a larger college. Down South, Hippies were RARE, until you got to Florida. In the Midwest, we were RARE until you got to Colorado (always has been progressive) and then you had to go to California. Janis had to leave South Texas…she was so unique and they simply thought she was a freak in HS and later. Anyway…You would have had to have been there. Also, with regard to TYE DYE…The Grateful Dead was a POP Group to most Hippies and there followers although Beautiful People, were POP, their Styles were too Comformist for most Hippies. My nick name was Velvet, because I wore so much RICHLY Textured clothing. Suede Boots & Jackets with Fringe, Suede Shoes, Purses with fringe, jeans with fringe. That’s one thing that has never returned. We would get a pair of new jeans…but you couldn’t wear them until you cut the hem off and fringed the bottoms. Henleys were a holdover from the mid-60s that we kept going.
    Here’s a news flash…My 1st job in 1975, I was instructed after wearing a Bohemian Scarf around my head, to NEVER EVER wear that, corduroy, get this…the colours, NAVY, GREY, PURPLE, especially together. I was instructed to wear Butte Knits in Bright Colors of Reds, Oranges and Yellows. Oh yes…Hippies didn’t necessarily only wear bright colors, that was the Dead Heads thing. We wore Paisley, Paisley and more Paisley, lots of PURPLE, as it previously was only worn by Black People. Navy Blues, Greys, Browns. We were really promoting EARTH tones to a large degree. I never wore Red, Orange, Yellow, and only Darker Greens…
    Historically, you need to know that really Bright Colors were only worn by Blacks and The Poor up until the mid 70s. The dyes had not been perfected to hold the color. All the Bright Colors would Run, Bleed and FADE very quickly. When they perfected color in clothes…this also became a factor in trends. Tye Dyes were somewhat an economical response to this.
    Instead of looking at Mainstream Magazines from the 60s…early 70s, you should look at Women on Album Covers. Melanie, Canadians, Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, Carole Kings Tapestry, The Group Smith with Gayle McCormick, Janis & Grace of course, Hippies were not looking into magazine and fashion designers, they were looking to their Musical Icons.

    1. Thankyou for your comment. I found it an interesting read. I thought I made it clear in my article that the hippy subculture was politically motivated unlike the bohemian style which is a popular fashion today. I also mentioned that the hippy style was distinct because of it’s unisex fashion. I wrote the post because as a fashion and retail worker I hear girls calling themselves ‘hippies’ or referring to their style as ‘hippy’ daily, when clearly they mean Boho. I hope my post didn’t offend you. I respect the hippy movement. The purpose of the post was simply to show the distinction of hippy culture versus bohemian style so the girls today can know the difference. I enjoyed reading your comment though, and I hope others also find it interesting. Lots of love xox

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