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5 Ways to Look Fabulously Formal While Staying True to Your Hippy-Self

Today we have an extra special treat, a guest post!
This mega-talented writer hails from, arguably THE bohemian capital of America, Austin, Texas. I’m lucky to call Kasey Wenz a friend (and my personal style guru) and am SO excited to share her tips and tricks for dressing for your unique style. 
Let’s dive into how this hippie chick can help you bring boho-chic style to even the fanciest of events!

Modern day hippies of 2018 may not look like the proverbial Woodstock hippies of the 70’s, but they often stay true to the hippy spirit.

It’s safe to say hippies are often categorized as free spirits, forever standing up for the underdog or fighting for a cause.

Not only is being a hippy a state-of-mind and a recognizable subculture, hippies often literally wear their lifestyle choice on their sleeve.

Breaking the Hippy Stereotype

We all have the image of our parent’s (or even grandparents) generation protesting the Vietnam War with their waist-length hair, cropped tops with scarf-like sleeves, and the oversized bellbottom jeans.

We may not see this hippy walking down our streets anymore, but for true modern bohemians, our dress makes a statement about who we are and what we stand for in our own unique ways.

I, myself, am what I call a “card-carrying” hippy! You will often find me in blue jeans (yes, with a little flare or bell at the bottom), flowy tops, flip-flops and framed with long messy hair.

I tend to shy away from bars and restaurants that are the next big thing because I can’t wear flip-flops.

I  often joke with my friends, “if I can’t wear jeans, I don’t want to go.”

Dive bars and local pubs tend to be more my scene, but with that being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t have formal events to attend.

There are plenty of weddings, art opening, and other such formal occasions that call for more than jeans and a flowy top.

Feeling Like a Fish Out of Water?

For those real hippies at heart, we can feel out of comfort zone if we’re suddenly expected to wear formal dresses and high heels.

However, just because it’s out of our comfort zone, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to look our best and feel confident, while still staying true to our style and true to ourselves.

Without further ado, here’s the bohemian’s style guide to dressing for more conventional events

1. The Little Black Dress IS Our Friend

Little Black Dress

Since we were teens, we have probably heard and read all about the “little black dress,” and how every woman needs this one fabulous item hanging in her closet.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that it is true even for the most modern BOHO girl.

A formal beaded gown or the latest couture off the runway is probably not what most of us are used to, and if we try to wear something like this, chances are we will be uncomfortable and feel like we stand out like a sore thumb.

Go for the little black dress! Keep it simple, because it is the perfect blank canvas to show off the real you in more exciting and unique ways.

2. Express Yourself Through Your Accessories

Formal does not mean you have to wear pearls or diamonds.

As an authentic bohemian, you probably have some artsy beaded jewelry you found at a street festival or art fair.

Boho Jewlery

Against your little black dress, your jewelry will stand out and make for an interesting conversation piece as well.

If you prefer to keep your jewelry more toned down, then carry a fringed handbag or find a vintage cigarette case instead of a wallet.

3. Keep It Messy

Most of us probably think of formal events requiring some sort of up-do or smoothed outside curls, and one side tucked behind the ear. While are both beautiful looks, but it’s probably not your style.

Hippies tend to have long and often messy hair. I know my hair looks like it’s in constant turmoil over whether it wants to be straight or curly all at the same time.

Hippy Flower Hair

For formal functions, embrace this mess and keep it long but wear a simple flower behind the ear or pull the sides back into a vintage comb. If you want it up, go for a loose topknot with some small pieces sporadically pulled out.

You also can’t go wrong with a loose side fishtail braid. Again, go for some flowers woven through the free sections of hair.

4. Flaunt It If You Have It (Ink That Is)

Nowadays I can’t think of a single adult I know who doesn’t have at least one tattoo.

Don’t shy away or hide your body art.

Most people want to show off their tattoos, and formal functions are no exception. When you’re shopping for your perfect little black dress, find dress styles that compliment your ink.

Shoulder Tattoo

For example, if you have a tattoo on the back of your shoulder, consider wearing a halter style, one sleeve, or off-the-shoulder dress.

For those large bold back tattoos, go for a sexy backless or keyhole dress.

There are a million styles out there, so find one that works as a frame for your art.

5. Ditch the Heels

If you typically live in flip-flops or Birkenstock sandals, then you probably dread putting on high heels for your fancy function.

Not only will you be in incredible pain for most of the night, but you may be worried you’ll look like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time.


There are lots of alternatives to high heels these days: ballet shoes, tasseled sandals, high-lace up gladiator sandals, or even low wedges that can all look great and formal. For my wedding, I wore a pair of Moroccan Crochet TOMS, just saying!

No matter what you choose to wear to your formal event, the bohemian attitude of a true hippy always stands out at any function!


About Kasey:

About The Author

Kasey Wenz is a hippie-chick from Austin, Texas. She has been a faculty mentor and advisor in higher education for the past several years. In addition, she is a freelance writer with a passion for travel, the arts, live music, literature, and education. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time outdoors with her husband and two small children.