Siena Miller, the OG boho queen, and the rest of the world agree that there’s nothing better than a boho dress to symbolize the carefree style that you have. Whether you’re a fan of flowy, floral dresses or ruched, whimsical numbers, you’re going to love the boho style. But, what shoes to wear with a boho dress?
And, what even makes a dress boho? When we think of the boho style, we think of Vanessa Hudgens and her Coachella outfits. We could argue about that statement for the rest of the article.
But, there was a time when you couldn’t walk out of your house without witnessing someone trying to replicate one of her “flower crowns and a lace, boho dress” looks. On the other hand, we think of Blake Lively because nobody wears bohemian, free-spirited maternity dresses the way that she does.
Come on, she turned heads a couple of days ago when she appeared with her hubby, Ryan Reynolds, wearing a flowy, earth-colored Ralph Lauren dress, chunky earrings, and heavy bangles. (*chef’s kiss*)
Not that we’re here to drop names, but we can’t overlook the Olsen twins with their suede booties and embroidered vests making us rethink our fall fashion choices every single year.
Whichever boho dress you go for, the only thing you need to figure out seems to be how on Earth to choose the right style of shoes. Worry not, we’re bringing you everything you need to know about boho dresses, how to style a boho dress, and what shoes to wear with a boho dress.
From macrame dresses and fringed, suede booties to flowy florals and patchwork denim vests, anything goes when you’re aiming for that traditional, folk, bohemian look.
What’s a boho dress?
One day you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a boho dress, and the other what a boho dress even looks like.
Of course, you’ve seen Siena Miller, the Olsen twins, and other celebrities rock the carefree style, but you never really thought about what a dress needs to look like to be considered bohemian.
Right off the bat, the boho style (or the bohemian style) piqued the world’s interest around the 1960s and 1970s. The dresses that we’re referring to are flowy, floral, and ethnic dresses inspired by the lifestyle of hippies and free spirits that were popular around that time.
Turns out 2022 became the year of repeated fashion styles with the return of the Y2K fashion trends, the 90s minimalism, and the 60s and 70s boho chic.
Other than the ever-so-popular dresses, the boho style features frilly skirts, frilly, peasant blouses, sheer touches, and statement accessories. Embroideries and embellishments followed by fringed handbags and cowboy boots or strappy sandals seem to offer an additional oomph.
Other than that, the outfits are often layered and earth-toned to accentuate the carefree, free-spirited vibe the wearer’s going for. Nowadays, the boho style seems to be accompanied by menswear, Americana, and sleek minimalism.
When you’re thinking of styling a boho dress with something, you have your work cut out for you. Apparently, anything goes with a boho dress and we’re here to offer you some styling suggestions to get you started.
What’s the best way to style a boho dress?
Now that we know what bohemian style entails, we can talk about how you can style a boho dress. While we stand by the fact that boho dresses go with everything (the bigger the better), we don’t think you should break every fashion rule ever and get away with that.
For example, when you’re wearing a flowy, floor-length dress you should think of the silhouette you’re going for. Trust me, you can easily end up with an outfit that’s drowning you and making you look like you don’t know what you’re doing.
For a balanced, comfortable outfit combine your bohemian dress with an oversized denim vest, suede boots, and a bunch of accessories.
For something that shows off your curves, combine your boho dress with an earth-toned, suede belt and high-heeled mules, strappy sandals, or boots (as long as you have that lift, you’re good to go).
And, for something with an edge, combine your dress with a leather, biker-style jacket, a pair of Dr. Martens, and a harness belt.
Other than that, don’t shy away from embellishments, embroideries, and accessories. Turns out that the bohemian style needs as many details as you’re willing to add.
Suede, crochet, and lace should be your go-to fabrics, as well as floral, ethnic, and whimsical patterns. Earth tones can make or break your outfit, and flower crowns can bring the whole thing together.
As for the shoes, you can’t go wrong with strappy sandals for the summer or cowboy boots for the winter. Of course, when you’re willing to experiment and broaden your horizons, you can always go for some of the other stylish suggestions we’ve prepared for you.
What shoes to wear with a boho dress?
You’re wondering what shoes to wear with a boho dress? Well, wonder no more, because we have exactly what you’re looking for! Boho dresses are a dream come true because they work great with flats.
Oh no, you don’t have to worry about wearing stilettos and bleeding for the rest of the night. Boho dresses look even more fashion-forward and effortless when you combine them with suede or leather espadrilles.
But, how do you choose which style of espadrille goes with your dress? While we’re focusing on flats rather than wedges, make sure you go for the right fabric and the right shade that complements the rest of your outfit.
Bohemian style adores combinations of suede, leather, lace, frayed fabrics, and fringes which means you don’t have to worry about taking things too far. Now, espadrilles are a timeless style of shoe you can wear with pretty much anything.
We suggest you spend a little more on a good quality, comfortable, staple espadrille that you can wear for years to come. Gucci Pilar espadrille flats are a celebrity favorite and Soludos Dali espadrille flats are a great (a.k.a. cheaper) alternative.
2. Espadrille wedges (preferably lace-up)
When you think of boho style, you probably don’t think of the fashionable Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton. But, Kate sure knows how to style her espadrille wedges without looking like she came straight out of a weekend music festival that lasted a little too long.
Whether you’re wearing a bohemian dress or something flowy and floral, you can’t go wrong with espadrilles.
For a muted, not-so-much-out-there look, go for an earth-toned dress, espadrille wedges, and a fringed handbag. Keep the accessories simple and you shouldn’t have a problem recreating the effortless, timeless boho moment we know and love.
On the other hand, don’t steer clear from layering different fabrics, patterns, and embellishments when you’re going for a statement look. Espadrilles can work great with multicolored dresses, frills, fringes, and other accessories that make or break your free-spirited ensemble.
3. Suede mules (or Birkenstocks)
Nothing screams comfort more than slides, mules, or Birkenstocks which means we’re taking every chance we can to wear them on a regular.
While the nonchalant, easy-going style might not be for everyone, there’s no denying that comfortable shoes work wonders with boho dresses.
But, why suede mules? Why not leather mules, high-heeled mules, or embellished mules? We’ve already touched upon the fact that you can get creative when styling your boho dress.
And, the beauty of the bohemian style appears when you combine fabrics and patterns that typically don’t go together. However, there’s something addicting about combining flowy, floral dresses with suede boots, suede hats, suede belts, and everything suede.
Therefore, suede mules seem like a logical choice whether you’re going for the 60s and 70s vibe or not. Trust me, you can go wrong with suede mules – especially when you go for Birdies Swan mules or Steve Madden Faine mules (which are my personal favorite).
4. High-heeled mules
Suede or not, mules have a way of making everything you wear memorable. We’ve seen them on everyone from supermodels like Gigi Hadid, to musicians like Selena Gomez, and actresses like Jennifer Aniston.
We would argue that these A-listers know that high-heeled mules are perfect for moments when you need to wow the audience with your sense of style. When you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a boho dress, you can’t help but go straight to strappy sandals and cowboy boots.
But, the moment that you step out of your comfort zone, you’re bound to understand what makes the bohemian style popular. Especially among those of us who can’t stand the structure and the preppiness of everyday work wear.
Therefore, don’t be scared to combine your boho dress with high-heeled, suede, or leather mules for a pop of je ne sais quoi.
Dolce Vita Sofi mules seem affordable enough because they’re on sale as we speak. But, you can’t go wrong with Tory Burch Perrine loafer mules or Fendi Vitello cutout-heel mules when you’re willing to spend a little more, too.
5. Strappy sandals
We’re not talking about strappy stiletto sandals here. We adore combining strappy stilettos with dresses because they make everyone’s legs look longer and they work wonders for everyone’s figure.
But, we’re not always happy to wear uncomfortable shoes for the sake of photographing good, right? That’s where flats come to play, and flat strappy sandals seem to be the answer to your prayers when you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a boho dress.
We’re going to brush over gladiator sandals a little later, but we’re happy to report that they’re not the same style of shoe as strappy sandals. Strappy sandals typically have a strap that wraps or buckles around the ankle or higher.
Flat strappy sandals are a great addition to your wardrobe because you can wear them with boho dresses for weekend getaways, suit sets for work, or fitted dresses for Friday nights out.
Ancient Greek Sandals, Steve Madden strappy slide sandals, and Tory Burch beaded strappy sandals are fitting for what you’re looking for.
6. Gladiator sandals
Contrary to strappy sandals, gladiator sandals are a specific style of shoe that features numerous straps wrapped around the lower part of the leg. And, as you might have guessed by the name, gladiator sandals have taken the world by storm long before the free-spirited, bohemian 60s and 70s.
Sure, they disappeared from the spotlight for a little while. But, they definitely came back considering that Valentino styled the entire collection with flat, knee-high gladiator sandals only a couple of months ago.
And, when Valentino makes a statement with a style of shoe, we’re sure to listen and comply. Zara lace-up leather sandals, Valentino Garavani studded gladiator flat sandals and Manolo Blahnik Primathi lace-up suede sandals are our top picks for boho dresses.
7. Metallic sandals
Oh, the love we have for a pop of metallic with flowy, floral dresses! Metallic sandals have been around for ages, but they seem to come and go when we’re talking about fashion trends and faux pas moments.
But, metallics have the power to turn your outfits from drab to fab (and get you that eye-catching moment out in the sun).
And, designers such as Nodaleto and Mach & Mach have certainly gotten the memo because they came out with some of the most mystical, whimsical metallic sandals we’ve ever seen.
Of course, you don’t have to break the bank for a pair of shiny shoes. Zara, Steve Madden, and Nine West carry similar styles that would work with a boho dress.
8. Suede or leather knee-high boots
“Argh, what shoes to wear with a boho dress?!” Whatever shoes you were planning on wearing with a boho dress don’t come close to suede or leather knee-high boots, we can guarantee that much.
Dresses and boots have been the outfit you wear when you want to look your best for decades, and nothing has changed (at least not when we’re talking about trends).
Some of the styles and patterns we managed to find on Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus are bound to leave everyone who witnesses your bohemian dress ensemble speechless – because they certainly had our tongues tied.
Steve Madden Ally knee-high boots, Paige Fay knee-high boots, and even Vince Camuto Alinkay knee-high boots (for a suede moment) are sure to elevate whatever pattern you’re going with.
Bohemian dresses and boots are a match of our dreams, and the only style of shoe that runs supreme appears to be the cowboy boot.
9. Cowboy boots
Of course, we couldn’t talk about what shoes to wear with boho dresses without talking your ears off with cowboy boots.
Cowboy boots, like many bohemian-style staples, have made a comeback because of designers such as Johanna Ortiz, Zimmermann, Etro, and Isabel Marant who made cowboy boots, flowy dresses, and denim accessories the signature look of 2022.
Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajowski took the cowboy boot trend out on the street. Now, they combined them with cozy, cardigan dresses, short, patterned dresses, and flared trousers (denim, of course).
But, you can wear them with boho dresses and add a little somethin’ somethin’ with gold accessories and a cardigan.
Ganni embroidered leather knee boots, Isabel Marant Duerto leather boots, and Reformation Olive Western boots are some of the styles celebrities have been seen wearing out and about.
However, because cowboy boots have become a street-style staple, you can find them at Zara, Mango, or H&M for a fraction of the price.
10. Dr. Martens or other chunky ankle boots
Valentino brought back the gladiator sandals by styling the entire runway show around them, and Vogue did the same thing – with chunky platform combat boots.
While these styles of shoes aren’t that versatile, they tend to offer an edge to every outfit they’re styled with. And, that’s exactly what we’re looking for when we’re trying to think of what shoes to wear with a boho dress.
Oh, you would never wear a flowy, floral number with Dr. Martens? That’s what makes the whole ensemble eye-catching. Truth be told, the fact that nobody would expect you to combine a boho dress with a chunky platform boot should be the reason for you to do that.
Fashion’s about experimenting, getting creative, and wearing things somebody (other than you) wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.
Black Friday sales are an excellent chance for you to get your hands on a pair of Dr. Martens (given that you don’t already own them). Make sure to stretch them out before you spend the entire day strutting around, sipping on your Starbucks, and acting like the fashion diva that you are.
11. Converse sneakers
What shoes do you wear with a boho dress when you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a boho dress? Converse sneakers, of course!
Gigi Hadid wears them with leather blazers, ripped, baggy jeans, and chunky sweaters. Kristen Stewart wears them with suit sets. Millie Bobby Brown wears them on the red carpet.
Converse sneakers are everyone’s go-to shoe which means there’s nothing stopping you from putting your spin on them with a little help from a bohemian dress.
Classic black Converse sneakers might look too harsh and bottom-heavy with a floor-length, flowy dress, but you can always go for lighter shades that match whatever you’re wearing on top.
But, shorter dresses can make the most of darker high tops combined with a leather blazer and a leather handbag.
12. Lace-up ankle boots
We might be specifically referring to Sienna Miller’s lace-up camel Chloé boots she’s been wearing (and styling to a tee) since the 2009 premiere of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
We already touched upon the fact that Sienna knows how to combine different pieces to achieve that effortless, bohemian look. Affordable knitwear combined with earth-toned trousers and dresses, decades-old boots, and a smile makes for the most memorable get-up.
We suggest you do the same thing and wear your boho dress with a pair of Chloé boots. Of course, had you not managed to get your hands on a pair decades ago, there are always alternatives (cheaper or more expensive) that can give you the same effect.
Chloé May leather ankle boots are on sale as we speak, and you can always catch a great deal on Zara, Mango, and H&M.
13. Fringed boots
Whether you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a boho dress or what shoes to wear when you’re looking to stand out, you can’t go wrong with a pair of fringed boots.
Not only are fringed boots a Coachella staple, but they’re bound to make you look like you came straight out of the 60s or 70s (in the best way possible). We suggest you wear them with a suede handbag, a suede belt, and a lot of accessories.
Bohemian dresses are typically lightweight and loose which means you can get creative when you’re styling them and create a silhouette that suits you the best (whether that’s a cinched waist or an oversized moment).
Go for high-heeled boots, such as Jeffrey Campbell’s knee-high fringe boots or Veronica Beard Nyomi fringe booties, when you’re going out for drinks after work. Minnetonka fringed moccasin booties work better when you’re running errands or looking for a comfortable option.