Get ready to break out the fringe because aughties boho chic feels like the next inevitable nostalgia trend
In the past few years, the internet has been nostalgic for trends from "2014 tumblr" looks to sleazy mid-00s bloghouse style to twee. If it's not leather jackets, denim, and dark, messy eye makeup that has a hold on TikTok one month, it's American Apparel disco pants and shorts paired with colorful tights the next. More or less, whatever the "indie kids" were wearing the past few decades. It's back and just as cool again.
Due to the cyclical nature of trends t, it seems likely that there's one next inevitable style poised to revive itself: '00s boho. And with festival season upon us, unofficially kicking off in the U.S. with Coachella this month, all of the glorious fringe will be prying its way out of our closets again.
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So why this particular trend now? Because so many online, alternative fashionistas have remained fascinated by Y2K culture and style. We've since rediscovered how to reinvent many of Y2K's playful, pop sensibilities, from baby tees to going out tops, but boho is one style that's yet to make the rounds again.
Perhaps this is because we simply haven't gotten there yet, as it was a trend more so in the midst of the aughts, rather than right at the new millennium. It was the decade's play on '70s style, utilizing elements such as long, flowing frames, accents like fringe, and layering with pieces like shawls, scarves, belts, and killer jackets to channel a free-spirited, artistic vibe. As names like Sienna Miller and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen became poster children for the look — and copious paparazzi shots of them at events like Glastonbury or New York Fashion Week that helped to popularize it — it definitely became a staple of the era.
Once boho faltered a bit from mainstream fashion, it still remained a core facet of festival fashion. And in many ways, festival style became even more of a codified and commodible thing with the rise of visual platforms like Tumblr. On the site, vintage photos of historic festivals like Woodstock were like sources of inspiration, Lana Del Rey made flower crowns an essential accessory in the early 2010s, and Coachella was like “cool kid” Mecca. When the festival came around, boho was definitely in. Also, with TikTokkers' current obsession for "Tumblr nostalgia," it's all the more reason to channel your inner peace and love persona.
It already feels like it's seeping back into both pop culture and fashion. Vogue noted it was a trend on the runway and in street style last season, for instance, and the fashion of Amazon Prime's hit series Daisy Jones & the Six about a fictional '70s rock band has been a large talking point of the show. It even produced a collaboration with Free People, the brand for the boho girl, featuring billowing dresses and studded jackets.
Beyond Daisy Jones' fashion feeling like an imminent catalyst for boho revival, it seems like we're already seeing it in other ways, too. With the option to go thrifting, there's certainly ways to hunt for pieces that say, "I'm going on a retreat to Joshua Tree, specifically in 2004," or channel Monterey Pop, circa '67. And for the committed and those willing to spend a bit more, there's no shortage of authentic '70s finds for the devoted vintage lovers in both online shops and curated boutiques. Plus, cowboy boots have been considered a wardrobe staple for a minute, flowing skirts are coming back for spring, as is lace, and recent knitwear styles; designers like Gabe Gordon, Lily Yeung, and Katya Zelentsova have their own take on the look.
[Daisy Jones & the Six / Courtesy of Lacey Terrell/Prime Video]
That being said, this time around, it feels like boho could expound upon what's already making waves in fashion. How fun would it be to revive what we know as boho, but update it for 2023 by playing with the hem, peek-a-boo cuts, and exposure? Sheer and see-through ensembles are already on the rise — so just imagine how rockstar-flower-child-chic the possibilities would be.
That's not to say all boho should come back. It goes without saying that culturally appropriative elements should've never existed in the first place, and '00s pieces we often look back on with a shudder — like oversized belts and bags — can probably continue kicking it in 2006. Skinny scarves, though — now that's something that would be fun to try to work with and update for 2023!
But seriously: It feels like only a matter of time before TikToks featuring '00s boho style inspiration, from pap shots to old Stella McCartney collections, start appearing on your FYP. The Tumblr girls found a way to hold onto boho chic in the 2010s, and you can bet they're hearing whispers of their old fringe boots, tucked away deep in their closets whispering, "Style me again!" now.