Bohemian chic is dramatic style to be worn with care

Add a little piece here and there to enhance your current lifestyle.
ST. LOUIS -- Many styles are making their rounds this year, but few with as much drama as the vibrantly mixed and almost dizzying visage known as boho chic (which is short for bohemian chic).
Among its true stars, waif-like supermodel Kate Moss, who made wearing floppy hats and peasant blouses cool, and "Alfie" actress Sienna Miller, who pairs one-shouldered blouses and beaded tunics with faded jeans and great bags. Of course, boho's roots lie with the bandanna-wearing, macrame bag-toting women -- and men -- of the hippie '60s.
Brandyce Pinol, owner of Testimo Boutique in Ladue, Mo., says today there are varying degrees of the trend.
True boho, such as that sported by Miller and Moss, is a purer version of the look. "Whatever they wear is boho chic," explains Pinol, whose shop stocks brightly colored tunics with beaded necklines. "Then we have the new boho, where you have to be careful not to become a fashion victim and become a head-to-toe boho."
Instead, Pinol says, figure out how to work it in. "You need to take a little piece here and there and add it to your lifestyle, otherwise it looks forced," she says.
Individual styles
Not quite ready to trade in your pumps for leather-braided flip flops? You don't have to, really. Boho is a look that is part vintage, part exotic but mostly individualistic. Expect to see paisleys, tiny and over-the-top florals, crocheted knits, scarves, hats, sashes, lots of beading and sequins and even more bright colors.
The look is sexy and sincere, sensual yet often covered, and includes pieces that move from casual day to glam nights.
Well matched
Pinol's store paired a sheer silk tunic with beading at the neckline with a vintage-inspired hoodie and jeans. "It's a natural look. Real Midwestern life," says Pinol, who started her business four years ago as a Web site, "You can't just run around with a camisole on this time of year."
Donning a somewhat nonconformist look herself, Pinol is glad that boho has made a comeback in its many altered forms. "It allows you to be comfortable in your own skin," she says. "
It's about interpreting who you really are and not about one set body type or style. It's everything. It's real."

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