How to Dress Boho Chic When You Travel

If you didn’t guess from my blog name, I love the boho chic style. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it! Sometimes this style seems impractical for travel, but it definitely isn’t. Many people wonder how to dress boho chic when they travel, and the key is the staple articles of clothing you bring with you. Here are some of my favorite staples — the styles I wear over and over again to (try to) achieve that put-together, bohemian look whether I’m trekking through North East India or lounging in sunny Morocco and still actually be comfortable and culturally appropriate.

How to Dress Boho Chic When You Travel

Tops

Leather Jacket

This is the KEY piece of the wardrobe. You can be at the airport with leggings and tee shirt and throw this one, and bam you look decent! So much more stylish than a hoodie or North Face fleece.

I have three leather jackets and I feel like I want more. They are all three black. One is a normal cross-cut one, one is a little lighter and doesn’t zip, and then the third is the jacket above which has Rajasthani beadwork on it which you can get handmade here in India.

You might worry they aren’t comfortable but once you wear one in, it is the most comfortable thing ever and the leather goes really soft. It will fit to your body. Plus, they last forever. Make sure to get one that is real leather and a soft type, not a firm one.

Loose, Worn-In Graphic Tee

The perfect graphic tee is not just good for sleep but is also perfect tied up with shorts for a rocker-chic look. I have a few that I take everywhere but hate that they fall apart so fast. When I see one that I like that has the perfect worn-in look, I’ll usually pay a little extra for it. I recommend looking at Macy’s or Nordstrom in the sections like Free People, Lucky Brand, and even Ralph Lauren – then wait until they have a sale. If you’re in Bali, some of the side street shops have good ones. You know that favorite shirt you might have – imagine if it were gone and you had to pay $50 to get it back… would you? I would with mine, so I keep that in mind when I’m shopping and find stuff that I’m just in love with. Then again, I just love shopping and spending money lol so you do you!

Crop Tops + Tees

Whether it’s paired with a maxi skirt, jeans, or shorts, a cute crop top will make the look much cuter than a plain t-shirt. If you aren’t into showing your tummy fully, you can throw over a little shawl or wear the crop with high-waisted pants so it just overlaps. I love these ones that just hang loose, like in the photo below: then you can tie it up if you want or leave it loose.

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Lacy Bralettes

The kind you want peaking out through your shirt that won’t look like a bra, but just a little top. These are key to wearing a lot of the most adorable boho-chic tops and dresses you see online. Brands that I love from Urban Outfitters, Free People, or whoever, often have really low tops and are also low on the sides – sometimes making it confusing how you could actually wear them without it showing your bra. The key is to wear a bra that shows but looks like it was meant to show. I have lacy bralettes in many colors so that it can match, mostly pastels.

*Bonus Tip: A crochet bikini top also makes a great bra! This shop is where I get mine which I have in a couple colors.

Bottoms

High-Waisted Skinny Jeans

Topshop’s Jamie jeans are my absolute favorite. I have mentioned them dozens of times on here, but I just think everyone should try a pair on! I hated skinny jeans before these and never, ever, wore them. But they aren’t the only good brand and I’ve linked some favorites below.

High Waisted Jeans Shorts

The best pair I ever got was a pair of Levi’s on a clearance rack for $5 at an Urban Outfitters in Waikiki. Can you believe that? What a steal. Sadly, Levi’s that have been cut off, don’t usually last that long and I go through jean shorts really fast. I recommend getting a pair that is super quality and can last long during travel.

Ali Baba pants

These look like something you want to wear but think you can’t pull off, right? I used to think that when I first came to India. I thought they seemed too “crazy”. But, honestly, they aren’t. If you throw them on, and look in the mirror, you’ll see! I LOVE the black silk ones I have which I have worn all over the world. You can always browse around Etsy for a pair.

Not sure what to wear on a camel safari in the desert in Jordan? Why not silk ali baba pants!

Camel Rides & Hot Air Balloons in Wadi Rum

Maxi skirts

Pretty obvious, but I love having a couple maxi skirts with me. I don’t wear them as much as I used to, because I’m more into silk trousers or pantsuits now, but these are great for looking a little more “dressed up”.

Dresses

Short party dress

When I go out at night, I usually wear the same three things: black ankle boots, little silk party dress, and a black leather jacket. It’s so easy to put together and I just LOVE this look. My favorite silk dresses are ones from Tia’s shop, a friend of mine in Goa who makes silk products. If you go to your favorite websites and search “slip dresses” or “silk slip dress” you’ll find the gold mine. The more 90’s style cuts at the top, the better.

Longer versatile dress

For me, the most versatile dress that I wear which is still conservative is a long black silk maxi dress. I take one on every trip I go on. Paired with either a sweater overtop or jacket, it can look a few different ways.

These images below are all the same dress, in Morocco:

all blue town on Pinterest chefchaouen

Chefchaouen Travel Tips

Shoes

Black Ankle Boots

I wear my Lucky Brand black ankle boots all the time, and have them in another color, too. They have lasted four years so far, with only a few signs of wear and tear that actually make them look more cool. These are great with dresses, jeans, and even jean shorts for a party. I wear them in hot and cold weather.

Platform sandals

I am all about platform sandals right now. Flipflops are easy, but don’t do anything to make an outfit cuter. If you pack platform sandals for a trip and wear them with your outfits, it just makes every outfit look better. I love James Smith, but if you want a budget option, Franco Sarto make great (comfortable) ones very cheap.

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Tom’s Burlap Shoes

Gotta have these babies! Basically, my are wearing out so badly after 6 years and this summer I looked everywhere for a pair, even their site, Amazon, etc and could not find them in my size! They have 5’s and 10’s. So, I hope by now they have more sizes online. Other than the burlap, I like the grey and neutral canvas ones. I actually think they are going to stop making the original burlap ones! Devastating news with no source, except for my “gut feeling” lol.

And there you have it! All the essential items you need if you’re wondering how to dress boho chic when you travel.

For more packing posts:

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2018-05-25T18:11:02+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

2 Comments

  1. thebritishberliner February 13, 2018 at 12:35 am - Reply

    ‘Love it! Great list.

  2. Julie from Can I Charge My Phone Here? April 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Oh man this is a dangerous list! So many cute things I want to buy for my next trip :)

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