Adult Seeks Clothing: Bohemian edition
November 30, 2015 8:42 AM   Subscribe

I love bohemian style clothes. Always has, probably always will. I'm looking to find some new bohemian-style clothes online but it seems like all I can find are see-through scraps of fabric for waifish, dreamy-eyed, nymphets who work in the butterfly-chasing industry. Most of the stuff from Free People, for example, look like costumes to me. Please help dress a special snowflake.

I'm a 38-year-old cisgender woman. I'm a librarian so I don't have to go too corporate, but it also would not be appropriate for me to show up to work wearing nothing but filmy scarves and floral headdresses. I have outgrown the youthful faerie finery but have not yet reached the age of Eclectic Aunt like Buttercup Rocks (I love her, but her look is at the same time too wild and too mature for me).

am an inbetweenie - about a US size 12-14 - so I can shop at both straight-size stores and some plus-size stores.

I'm aiming for quality here, too. Nothing that will disintegrate into a pile of pixie dust after a few wears. One online shop that I think looks very promising is Peruvian Connection, but I have yet to buy anything from there.

I buy most of my online stuff from Boden (good for staples, but a bit too prim for me) and eShakti (love them, but they've really gotten away from their original, bohemian style).
I would be more of a thrift store shopper if thrift stores had more items in my size.

Where do adult human beings shop for boho style stuff? Online and brick-and-mortar recs welcomed...especially if the bricks-and-mortar happen to live in the Twin Cities area. Sorry about the very silly question.
posted by Elly Vortex to Shopping (31 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
Sundance has some nice stuff (expensive though!).
posted by cecic at 8:47 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Anthropologie has a vibe you're looking for. I'm only sorry they don't do plus-sizes.

They're in most upscale malls.

St. Louis Park, Shops at West End
St. Paul, Milton Mall
Wayzata, Promenade at Wayzata
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:50 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Does the Twin Cities have something like Turley Road in Andersonville (Chicago)? You could look up the designers they carry and see if they are carried somewhere near you. Or take a little road trip.
posted by WesterbergHigh at 8:53 AM on November 30, 2015

There's also Holy Clothing ( Very goth/gypsy/renaissance/etc.. Fun to wear. :)
posted by heathrowga at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2015

I've had such mixed results with Sundance (fit, quality, etc) that I am super leery to buy from them again. Plus, they make you pay for shipping AND returns, so I found myself paying $14 a pop for the honor of trying on strangely fitting merch.

Anthropologie looks great - but yeah, their sizing is not my friend. :-(
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2015

Wife is currently loving the stuff she's seeing at Lucky Brand. Seems to have some overlap with the look you're describing. Sizing is much more forgiving than Anthropologie (we hear ya').
posted by Gilbert at 9:15 AM on November 30, 2015

I'm a jeans and boho shirt kinda woman, who wears a size 14, so I'm interested in this question!

I haven't ordered from Gudrun Sjoden but have been very intrigued by their clothing.

I wear a lot of Lucky Brand tops - their XL fits me well. They have some good clearance prices on their website, and you can order their clothes from Amazon and Zappos as well, which saves on shipping. Nordstrom Rack also carries Lucky Brand so I check there as well.

This is a little silly, but I often end up buying stuff that Brennan wears on Bones - either I've already brought it and then see it on the show, or I like it on the show and hunt it down to buy for myself.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:18 AM on November 30, 2015

Oh, and I have been ordering recently from ModCloth - mostly for graphic tees, though. But they have some cute boho stuff and I think if you carefully read the reviews and check back very frequently, you could get some cute stuff from them.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:24 AM on November 30, 2015

Perhaps what I miss most about living in the Twin Cities is Haley at Lula.
Haley owns Lula and it's been in operation for about 20 years, I think.

Call ahead. Make sure Haley is working and go on a slow retail time.
Walk in and give Haley a list of your loves and your woes. She will look you up and down, know what will fit and look good on you, and throw 7 outfits at you to try on. She will have your size. She may also have things offsite that she will bring back later. You will leave with something fabulous.

Now I need to book a work trip there to see clients and get some new clothes!

Also try Everyday People next door, Up Six is around the corner too. Also try Karma (might have smaller sizes only), and what about Hot Mama (now Evereve?).
posted by littlewater at 9:35 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am also a late-30s cisgender woman with boho leanings and in-between size issues (I guess I'm a 16 mostly but a 16 is too big and a 14 is too small at most places, guess I need to lose another 20 pounds?).
  • Pyramid Collection - leans a little to the witchy side, website is cheesy, but the clothes I've ordered from there are pretty good
  • Acacia - I call this the "I'm somehow rapidly approaching middle age and feeling a little boho but also want to be comfy" style (and I mean that in a good way, this is totally my mindset lately)
  • ASOS Curve for the trendier side of things
  • ModCloth can be hit or miss on quality (though seems to be improving) and definitely generally too twee for my tastes but I have bought some really great pieces from them that have become wardrobe staples

posted by erst at 9:57 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by Brittanie at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2015

Thrift stores! You have to go often and look through a lot of boring ugly stuff but I have found some really cool old hippy and unusual outfits in thrift stores, plus they are cheap. People always ask me where I got them. I'm about size 14-16 American so not everything is for tiny whispy ladies.
posted by mermayd at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2015

I can totally recommend Peruvian Connection. I have a few dresses from there and the quality and fit is dreamy. Everything has held up well for several years and I get lots of compliments from people of all ages whenever I wear one of their dresses. My jam is to wear dresses like these (column, body con, t-shirt...whatever you want to call them) all year round, and change up the look with accessories. Like if I wanted to go boho with this I would wear this with really long pendants and a wide wooden cuff and knee boots with a ponytail. If I wanted go to minimalist mod I would wear it with a scarf and copper bangle and ankle boots. And they have great customer service.
posted by the webmistress at 10:09 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, yes, Desigual can be good if you get the natural fiber clothing. However, their website is a bit of a nightmare and they don't have any Minnesota stores. But definitely colorful and well-made.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:35 AM on November 30, 2015

I've been happy with my purchases from WoolenMoss at Etsy.

Flax has two retail locations in Minnesota--it might be the right middle ground between costumey and mumsy aunt?
posted by crush-onastick at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2015

If you're looking for something off the beaten path, I really enjoy the Fairies Pyjamas stuff. It may be a bit twee, but it's lovely stuff, holds up well and has very ethical practices. I've mostly seen her stuff at trade shows so I don't think there is a brick and mortar building in Minnesota.
posted by valoius at 10:55 AM on November 30, 2015

Eileen Fisher is similar or a bit higher priced than Peruvian Connection but has more light weight silks and blends. EF shows up on ebay a lot and also in most higher end department stores. I find Peruvian Connection is better assessed in stores than online; I prefer much of it on taller and less curvy bodies than mine but some items surprise me. Both EF and PC have stores in Chicago if they don't in Minnesota.
posted by beaning at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mexicali Blues.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:11 AM on November 30, 2015

Check out It's reminiscent of Peruvian Connection and it's quality, fair trade clothing.
posted by areaperson at 11:17 AM on November 30, 2015

This is not my area of expertise but I just walked by the Johhny Was store and thought of you. I don't know your budget, but it's not inexpensive. Remarkably, the line appears to run the full gamut of sizes, through 3x in some styles. I can't speak to the quality but Neiman-Marcus carries them so they're probably okay.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:17 AM on November 30, 2015

Seconding Squeak Attack on the Lucky Brand stuff. I have your exact taste and that's what I do as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2015

Their stock hasn't aligned completely with my taste for a few years, but I used to order quite a bit from Soft Surroundings. I'd be pretty tempted by this tunic, for instance, if it didn't have the fringe. It's another place where I would try to read the reviews before ordering, if possible. They also sometimes have good deals in their outlet store.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:11 PM on November 30, 2015

Garnet Hill and Soft Surroundings are two more to try if your taste leans in the Eileen Fisher-y direction. (on preview, jinx re: Soft Surroundings)

Hale Bob and Liberty Garden (owned by the same company) are younger, flashier, and pricier. I've seen past-season Hale Bob on closeout sites like 6pm and Nordstrom Rack.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:19 PM on November 30, 2015

Y'all are wonderful, thank you so much! I have stocked my secret clothing Pinterest board...and, once the latest snowstorm blows through, I will hie on over to the mall to check out Lucky Brand. Thanks again!
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:26 PM on November 30, 2015

If you like the long-layers lagenlook style, Red Onion Clothing is your friend.
posted by telophase at 1:00 PM on November 30, 2015

For a sporty-bohemian look, try Sahalie. Also, nthing Acacia.
posted by sarajane at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, I know I've been saying this a lot lately. But since you're open to buying secondhand, and since I know the quality is top-notch:

One example of a DVF top.

One example of a DVF skirt.

These may not be your size. Examples are for illustration purposes only, etc.

Or perhaps a red top for the season.

Or a red dress.

But perhaps something green and tree-like is more to Madame's liking?

Or be a radiant vision in pink.

Or black and white.

Oh, and also, if you bid on anything I'm bidding on I'll snap your fingers off with my bare teeth. I hope that's OK. Happy shopping!
posted by tel3path at 2:09 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Calypso St. Barth is basically the adult version of Free People.
posted by ElectricGoat at 3:27 PM on November 30, 2015

Knox Rose is a clothing line available at Target. Bohemian style without being see through. You could definitely wear it to work.
posted by LilithSilver at 9:30 PM on November 30, 2015

Blue Fish has fun clothing you can customize with optional hand done screen prints. I have a few pieces an love them!
posted by antiquated at 7:37 AM on December 1, 2015

Fawbush's at the Galleria might work. Lots of brands. I like Habitat, Chalet, & similar brands. If you are up for a road trip Pat LeVeque in Cannon Falls is a small, well-curated collection with similar brands to Fawbush's. Gudrun Sjoden noted above has a very MN vibe, not surprising since it is Swedish. I have ordered from them--I am slightly larger than you and their XL fits (although pants tend to be too small). Pricey, but nice quality. Read the return policy; it is stricter than American companies. Also, if something really strikes you, order it because stuff doesn't stay on the web site/sells out.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:18 PM on December 1, 2015

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