middle aged woman with a beautiful view of vineyards and mountain

Society doesn’t celebrate aging nearly enough, and we’re fighting back against its prejudice. You don’t hang your hat on being stylish and fashionable when you hit 50 and beyond. Show off how joyful and beautiful it is to be an older woman with these bohemian clothing styles.

How to Shop for Bohemian Clothes as an Older Woman

Over fifty years ago, artists like Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks helped pioneer what we consider bohemian style today. From bright colors and patterns to Eastern-inspired silhouettes, boho style has its own unique influences. Boho style lacks the rigidity that many Western fashion styles do, giving mature women the chance to express themselves to their hearts’ content.

If you like flowing styles, layered looks, rich colors, detailed embroideries, and a more-is-more approach to accessorizing, the Bohemian look is for you. Celebrate your age and take up space in the public landscape with these lush, bohemian clothes, perfect for older women.

Thumb Through Lavish Overcoats, Dusters, and Shawls

A pair of jeans and a t-shirt can be transformed by an embroidered, lush overcoat or shawl. From floor-length velvet dusters with fur trim to breezy printed wraps like this oversized floral scarf wrap, there’s a boho overcoat perfect for you.

woman wearing a shawl looking at the sea waves

If you’re not one for calling attention to yourself, stick with muted earth tones and simple constructions. Not everyone’s in the mood to step out in a glittering ensemble, and that’s alright. Similarly, boho can be comforting for both body-conscious and body-neutral people, given that most of the clothing styles can be purposefully worn oversized or skin-tight.

Quick Tip

Bohemian style is all about being creative. There’s a long history of turning unconventional items into clothing, like taking piano shawls and wearing them over your outfit.

Grab a Poncho for Cold Weather 

Ponchos are a great cold-weather clothing choice for boho enthusiasts. Though we love Clint Eastwood’s wool poncho in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it’s not quite the style you should be going for. Instead, knitted or crocheted ponchos can add a folksy appeal to a standard boho outfit.

Nice portrait of an older woman looking out to the sea and cruising on a cruise ship

They’re warm, comfortable, and look good on all body types. Some people may want to knit their own, but if you want to buy off the rack, this goldenrod yellow knit poncho is a great option.

Related: 7 Best Mascaras for Older Women That We Live, Lash, Love

Pick Out a Colorful Caftan 

Anyone who doesn’t think Endora from Bewitched is a paragon of sassy style needs to get their eyes checked. As a powerful, mature agent of chaos, Endora makes those flashy caftans look ridiculously comfortable.

A beautiful woman wears a traditional Moroccan dress in red and embroidered in gold and silver.

Given that they’re mostly one-size-fits-all, caftans are a universally beloved boho item. Though genuine silk caftans can be pretty pricy, they’re well worth the investment. Caftans are ideal for women who don’t want to change for a day-to-night look. Add some jewelry and a stylish shoe, and your house dress will be welcome at any dinner party.

For just over $30, you can capture Endora’s colorful charm in this one-size orange, teal, and baby pink caftan.

Try Palazzo, Culotte, and Gaucho Pants

Tight skinny jeans and structured dress pants don’t really fit with the boho vibe. Looser pant cuts like palazzo, culotte, and gaucho are much preferred. Typically, they come with drawstrings or button-fronts, which maximizes their comfy potential.  

a Bohemian woman

These gingham-patterned linen palazzo pants are perfect for your summer wardrobe. Or get down and dirty in the garden with these baggy linen harem pants with embroidered pockets for around $30.

Need something for a dressier occasion? These wide-legged palazzos come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Quick Tip

If you want a more sustainable wardrobe, there are many offerings in the boho style. A major feature of boho style is natural textiles and materials such as linens, cottons, and silks.

Look for Peasant Tops

Peasant tops are a staple of an everyday boho wardrobe. You can find styles as tight-fitting or loose as you like in various patterns, colorways, and fabrics. They’re a great building block for a boho look. Depending on your comfort levels, you may want to avoid the more see-through or sleeveless styles and go for a cap-sleeve or three-quarter length instead.

woman in embroidered shirt and yellow skirt at nature, fashionable clothes

A floral peasant top like this golden number is a perfect example of how three-quarter-length sleeves and a loose fit can still feel modern and stylish.

Related: 13 Easy-Going Short Hairstyles for Older Women

Give Batwing Tops a Try 

Batwing sleeve tops are great for adding a little pizazz and showing some skin without giving too much away. Often made out of gauzy chiffons, colorful batwing tops will give you that free 70s feeling in a modern way. This sheer floral batwing top is a must-have for brunch dates and anniversary parties alike.

Need to Know

Most garments in a boho wardrobe should be multifunctional. For instance, a scarf may be used as a head covering, a belt, a shawl, or even jewelry; tops as layering tools; and dresses as beach coverups.

Grab a Few Circle, Tier, & Maxi Skirts for Your Wardrobe 

When you think of a boho outfit in your head, chances are you picture an ankle-length skirt of some kind. They’re an easy way to add a pop of color or a fun motif to an otherwise boring ensemble. Yet, they can age you.

Instead of going full floor-length with your flowy skirts, stick with calf-length. Also, avoid plain, solid colors. You want to enliven an outfit, and a fun pattern, cute, embroidered motif, or ruffle trim can take it from mother-of-the-bride to trendsetter in seconds.

caucasian 70s senior fit happy lady relax with photo camera in park wear floral skirt and black long sleeve shirt

Look for long, flared skirts in bright colors or flowered prints to complete your boho outfits. Crinkly fabrics and border prints are also common and should include detailing features like lace, ruffles, or animal prints.

Don’t know where to start? See how this flowy calf-length skirt with an abstract pattern performs. 

Pick Out a Comfortable Pair of Shoes

For the everyday boho babe, Birkenstock sandals are a must-have. They’re super comfortable, multipurpose, and ergonomic, which are extra beneficial as you mature.  Flat sandals made from leather or other natural materials, wedge sandals, or gladiator sandals are other great options. If you don’t feel comfortable walking in a high wedge sandal, opt for a lower heel.

senior woman on a camper van getting feet with sandals out of the door

For the cooler months, consider leather or suede boots. When shopping for shoes, look for fringes, laces, seed beading, and embroidery to give that extra bohemian flare. For example, these nude wedges boast a rainbow of beaded straps and woven overlays.

Find Accessories That Add Excitement to Your Outfits 

Accessories are a great way to have fun with your boho fashion. For instance, buy a wide leather belt or coin belt and wear it slung low over your hips. Add a hobo bag, which is shaped like a crescent and has a shoulder strap, or go for a denim bag to complete your look. Colorful purses epitomize bohemian style, but you can also opt for a neutral tone if your outfit is colorful.

Crossbody Leather Bucket Bag Fringe Hobo Bag Cute Mini Backpack Purse.

In terms of jewelry, you want to stick with motifs and designs inspired by antiquity. Think traditional squash blossom necklaces and the use of coral and turquoise in the pieces. If you want to wear the indigenous designs that many boho pieces are inspired by, we encourage buying directly from indigenous designers instead of big-box retailers.

Boho Means Being True to Yourself

Being authentic to yourself is central to bohemian fashion’s framework. No matter what accessories or styles you choose, you should be picking things that you feel the freest in. Don’t let the world tell you how you should dress as an older woman — you’re adult enough to figure that out for yourself.

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