Arbitrary Criticism

Bohemia Is Dead

Just say no to boho.

By Catherine Martin March 3, 2015

That skirt could clothe a dozen orphans in a third world country.

I’m a pretty open-minded person, I think. I’m not going to judge anyone for wearing brown shoes with black pants or a puffy vest with no shirt on underneath (even though you should really wear a shirt under your puffy vest).

Here’s what I’ve never understood, though: why would anyone intentionally try to look like a dirty hippie? The boho trend, far from giving the appearance of free-spiritedness and a lack of ties to social conventions, instead succeeds in making wearers look like they shower in patchouli.

Let’s discuss the color palette of this particular trend. Drab colors like brown and tan, rather than giving a sedate, low-maintenance feel, impart the impression that you launder your clothes in a stream. Nothing says “I frequently roll around in the dirt” quite like an all-dirt-colored outfit. Don’t think you’re fooling anyone with that paisley, either; we know you’re only wearing intricate patterns to hide the fact that you haven’t washed your clothes since Bonnaroo 2009.

I'll admit that even I occasionally prefer billowy clothes, especially when I’ve been on a three- to four-day chocolate binge. Sometimes I would rather people not be able to see the exact shape of my body. A shapeless top or loose-fitting dress is fine every now and then. It is possible to go overboard, though. If you can jump out of a plane in your outfit and survive, it's probably too billowy, unless you're dressed in character as a flying squirrel. Likewise, if a Project Runway contestant can make three complete outfits out of the fabric of your scarf, maybe it’s too large.

My final complaint is with the preferred accent color of every pot-smoking, yoga-taking, tofu-eating literature professor on the planet: turquoise. I can’t stand this color. For one thing, is turquoise blue or is it green? The internet helpfully describes it as “blue-to-green”, as if it is somehow acceptable to change color in the middle of the description.

Looking at turquoise is like being on mushrooms constantly—the second you think you understand your perception of it, you realize you were wrong the entire time and it is in fact a completely different color. Pick a side, turquoise! Turquoise is the kind of color that doesn’t vote because they want to be able to complain about whoever is elected. Turquoise hates America.

Maybe what's most offensive about this faux-bohemian look is how much it all costs. Want a crocheted fringe kimono from Free People? That'll be $600. A ruffled blouse from Chloé will look great as you pretend to play the acoustic guitar, but it'll cost you $1,995. Looking like a wood nymph who has never heard of paper money? That's priceless, I guess.


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