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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boho Chic Jewelry

Years ago, when I first heard of "boho chic", I didn't really know what it meant.  But after seeing the word used a few times, I got the idea.  At some point I went and looked it up to see if it actually meant what I thought it did.  According to Wikipedia, boho chic is a style that draws on "various Bohemian and Hippie influences."  It defines Bohemianism as "the practice of an unconventional lifestyle."  

A busload of hippies.
Get a haircut you damn, dirty, hippie!

Now, no one needs to define the word hippie for me.  I was a child during the 60's, and I know (and love) the hippy look.  But for those of you who don't know, it was a lifestyle back in the 60's.  To say it was a subculture may be an understatement.  I think it was an entire generation.  Think pot, LSD, psychedelic music, psychedelic clothes, flower power, love beads, peace signs and fringe.  I think probably what started it was the reaction of young adults to the Vietnam War, but it spread to other countries as well.  It reached it's peak in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the late sixties.

Janis Joplin

Of course, rebelling against the war doesn't entirely explain the fashion style.  Part of the fashion was definitely rebellion.  Men grew their hair long and didn't shave.  The natural look was certainly in, which was pretty much the total opposite of the early 60s.  Another influence was when the Beatles went to India to visit the Maharishi.  Add psychedelic drugs to the mix and stir it all together and you have hippie fashion.  Now, I'm just speculating at all of this, so if anyone wants to correct me, feel free.  (I'm too lazy to do the research!  Oh, did I say lazy?  I mean busy!)

The Beatles and the Maharishi - notice the beads!

Brown Cotton Macrame Bracelet with Rhinestone in Silver
Bracelet by Pink Sunset Jewelry Designs
The hippie jewelry was not expensive.  I'm sure quite a bit of it was homemade.  Macrame was in for plant holders and jewelry too.  

This macrame bracelet looks very much like something a hippie might have.  Although the large rhinestone might be a little on the fancy side.  A hippie might be more likely to have one or more 
cheap colorful beads.
Om Raku Pendant Necklace Handmade Jasper Gemstone Swarovski Jewelry
Necklace by Shadow Dog Designs

I still remember the necklace I used to wear all the time.  I had a yellow shirt and the pendant was orange.  It was round.  It may very likely have been a peace sign.  I'm sure I still have it packed away in a box somewhere.  Even though this one isn't a peace sign, the om would fit right in too (reminiscent of the maharishi!)

Triple chain charm anklet
Ankle Bracelet by Joyce's Custom Gems
We've all heard how hippies didn't like to bathe.  Actually I'm pretty sure that, even though they may not have had a bathtub, they did like to go skinny dipping!  They didn't necessarily like to wear shoes, or even any clothes at all.  That's why I couldn't resist including this bare foot with the ankle bracelet here.

Boho Beaded "Jesus Saves" Inspirational Wrap Bracelet
Bracelet by Allen Designs by Michelle
This bracelet looked hippie to me because of all the different beads that have been incorporated with one focal piece.  Like, yeah, I've got a bunch of beads, so let's throw them all together! (No offense, it looks great!) Although a true hippie would have a peace sign for the focal piece.

Filigree Earrings Boho Chic Gold Pearl Iris Crystals Niobium Ear Wires
Earrings by Shanghai Tai

Long and flowing is definitely a hippie mantra, especially when it came to hair.  "Let it all hang out!"  Dangling and eclectic, these earrings would fit in at the commune.  Even though these pearls are very organic looking rather than expensive, a real hippie probably would have some kind of bead other than a pearl.  These have a bit of a gypsy vibe, which was definitely "in".

Silver Lined Teal Tube Beaded Chevron Patterned Dangle Beaded Earrings
Earrings by Specialtivity
Ok, now for the pièce 
de résistance, in my opinion:


As I was looking through fringed, seed beed earrings for a pair to include it was almost like I went back in time for a second.  I remember the pair I had.  They were kind of grey, and I think all one color.  This pair looks a little nicer than mine.  Mine were really cheap, and I'm sure they were made in Japan.

What happened to the hippies?  The war ended and I guess they all grew up.  I like to think there's a little hippie still left inside all of us.    I don't know about you, but this has certainly inspired me to go dig out some hippie clothes and see if I can find my old jewelry!


  1. I grew up in a very small, very conservative town in Texas . . . and, boy, did I wish I was somewhere else during the hippie movement, like San Francisco - LOL! Even though my body wasn't there, my mind and soul were. This is still one of my favorite songs: Scott MacKenzie singing "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). Thank you, Roxanne, for your post and for including my Om necklace. Will definitely share.

    1. Thanks Catherine, I know the song, but had never seen that video. I am surprised that it's not more colorful than it is. I imagine Haight-Ashbury around that time was very colorful! If I could have been one place, I would choose Woodstock. So here is one of my favorites. Did you know that those sounds in the middle are the sounds of the war?

    2. There are other videos of "San Francisco" showing Haight-Ashbury, etc., but they are all composites put together by other people. I went with the original by Scott MacKenzie. You can't beat the guitar playing of JH. Yes, bombs dropping and people crying in the middle - such an amazing version that certainly riled my parents! Have a friend here who lived in Haight-Ashbury in the day. She certainly has interesting stories to tell. And, unlike Anna, she did indulge in drugs from time to time. Interesting stories about that, too!

  2. I had just graduated from high school when the hippie craze was around. I remember a lot of fuss from the parents and their reaction to the clothes, the music and Woodstock. It was a time when sex, drugs and rock and roll was every where, even in a small Vermont town. It certainly was a freer time but, Vietnam was brewing over seas and a lot of the guys would end up being drafted. It was a time of crazy jewelry including anklets.
    Thank you so much for featuring my anklet it something the girls would have worn. The crazier the better.

  3. I grew up in the 60's as well and have loved the "boho chic" style, although didn't necessarily know that's what it was called. :) Thank you so much for including my earrings Roxanne.

    Kathy :)

  4. EEEEE! Am I the only one that went to "the city" almost every weekend in 1968? The Summer of Love and all that? I was in college and so was my husband. I swear even though we did not EVER use drugs, we would get a "contact high" and feel very light-headed and adventurous while we were in or near the Haight district. Before the Fall of that Summer, the gangsters and drug dealers had moved in on that area and we stopped going there.

    I wore a mantilla as a head band to church a few years ago and my priest called me "our little hippie lady" or something to that effect. He had spent most of his life in the San Francisco area, so he recognized the style ;)

    Great blog, Roxanne! Enjoyed it immensely. Your featured items really fit the style.

    1. I have been called a "hippie" a number of times lately, especially when I wear my cool tiedye or peace sign t-shirts or peace sign earrings. Believe it or not, I still have a pair of my peace sign earrings from back in the day. Used to have to put them on at school and remember to take them off before I got home. My dad did not approve of the peace sign.

  5. I was still a child during this time, and my Dad was gone a lot to Vietnam, so I wasn't part of that generation. I do like some of the fashion style - in college I bought a colorful, long cotton tiered skirt with a beaded drawstring at the waist which I called my "hippie skirt." I still have it hanging in the closest, and because of the drawstring waist, I can still fit into it! lol

  6. I thought it was awesome to read about this and see the photos. Loved reading the comments too lol! Great job!

  7. I'm so enjoying reading this, Roxanne. The comments too! I wasn't even born yet at that time but I do like Hippies clothing and jewelries style and may wear them occasionally.

  8. Hippies didn't make it to Bethlehem, PA - except for one friend a couple years older than I who definitely bucked the local fashion trends. She was all about bell bottom jeans, peasant blouses (I really liked those) love beads and long, un-done hair. I secretly wanted to be her. :)

  9. I too was a child of the hippie era, so this has been a trip down memory lane.
    But shhh. don't tell my children and grandchildren.
    It's interesting to see the fashions of the past cycling around again.

  10. Oh, how I enjoyed this trip down memory lane, Roxanne. I was in middle school and high school during those years, living in LA, hitchhiking down to the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach. I soooo wanted to run away to SF and Woodstock but I was too chicken to do it. The farthest I ran was Venice Beach, about 30 miles from home. But that era has definitely left a permanent impression on my heart in almost every area of my life including style, art, music, politics, etc. and I believe there is nothing better than a great pair of gypsy earrings! And if I could have been anyone on stage it would have been JJ! I have this picture hanging on my wall! Anyhow, I ramble. Great post! Fun examples!