Style Dreamers, World Wanderers: How Gypsy Fashion Influences Popular Culture

Classic gypsy dressCher gypsy fashionRoberto Cavalli, an Italian fashion designer once said, “I’m a fashion designer, not a sociologist. Fashion is about dreams, not about reality.” Other famous designers believe that the Gypsy fashion and lifestyle is a “perfect fantasy.” It exudes a sense of richness and freedom which is detached from one’s social background because it expresses more of the “Self” and not one’s position in society. Today, most people would like to believe that society is slowly paving a way towards equality; that the line that separates different social classes, cultures, religions, sexuality, ethnicity, is slowly fading away or is being diminished by a more open-minded generation.

Gypsies were originally known as Romani or Roma who came from India and travelled to different parts of Europe and America sometime between the 6th and 11th century. They were a nomadic people who have been described as unique and did not identify themselves with any territory, nor claim any rights to the national sovereignty of the countries they reside in. Rather, the Romani people are strongly bound with the ideal of freedom which includes having no ties to a particular homeland. They are a people who have shared backgrounds but are scattered all over the world. An estimated 12 million Romani gypsies are living worldwide, most of them in Europe, making them the largest ethnic minority group in the continent.

Integrating Gypsy Fashion

gypsy maxi dress

classic gypsy fashion

Today, Gypsy culture has been widely integrated into fashion & lifestyle. Designers love to play with the style because Gypsy fashion ultimately gives a sense of freedom to both designer & user. Perhaps, this is because it’s so fun, easy, & carefree which is probably a stark contrast from their everyday lives at work in a bustling city where everything seems to cruise by too fast in dull monochrome colours. Gypsy clothing stores like The Freedom State have become extremely popular in recent years, especially within coastal communities who seem to identify more strongly with gypsy fashion culture than those living in cities.

In the past, a lot of people’s goals were to find a good stable job and thought that that was the purpose of life. Nowadays, people are more idealistic. They want to travel more, they want to explore, immerse themselves into the culture of other countries, and just get lost. With gypsy fashion, comes also a lifestyle of travel, of spontaneity, of freedom. Today, happiness is not having to care about tomorrow because “You Only Live Once.” People, of course, need to work to earn a living, but they also work to really live. Live, as in going to different places, discovering new things, meeting new people, tasting delicacies from other countries, doing what you love and want to do. Some people make travel as their inspiration, or whatever their passion is, to work hard and to possibly go for an early retirement so they can still enjoy their life without the burdens and responsibilities of having to work without satisfaction or fulfilment.

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gypsy boho styleHow to Wear Gypsy Clothing

Gypsy fashion is very flexible and versatile. They don’t need to conform to stereotypes all the time. There’s no social or political issue, they just wear what they want to wear. Gypsy fashion is usually inspired by travel and nature because Gypsies are icons of freedom. A lot of travel bloggers today are also good dressers and they mostly take inspiration from the places they visit. Gypsies travel the world and take as much from it into their lives. Nomadic escapist culture or ideals has been becoming a trend today because people like to see something out of the ordinary. They no longer want to stay in one place. Wealth and luxury is not always the dream, some people prefer a life of travel and adventure because somehow it makes them even richer.

Perhaps, that’s the reason why the Romanis or Gypsies of old preferred absolute freedom over the privileges of a homeland. Live a life, unbound and free from distraction of a material world. The gypsy look is a great style and can be worked into any wardrobe, take a look at our mix & match wardrobe post for tips on how to make it fit!

Creating The Ultimate Mix-&-Match Wardrobe


messy wardrobe colourfulIs a small wardrobe causing you problems? Do you want to optimize the available space in your room? Perhaps you’re on a budget and want to save some extra cash for a rainy day rather than spending it on clothes? With a little creativity and imagination you can utilize your wardrobe so every item of clothing counts!

It’s possible to change your personal style if you know how to mix colours, shoes and accessories. There are hundreds of ways to make your simple wardrobe look fancy, so with a few tips and by knowing the combination of colour palettes, dressing up for the right occasion will be easy!

Bright Or Light? Pick Your Colour!

colour wheel

First on the list is working on your colour palette. Identify the best colour that works for you. Choose the colour that helps you look appealing and feel comfortable. This involves your type of hair, skin tone and eye colour. Brightly coloured eyes give you an enticing appearance. If you have a red hair, you can wear yellow or green to appear rich. Purples are good for brunettes. Red dresses are well-suited to those with long black hair. If you are lost on what best suits you, ask a friend for advice.

Using complementary colours is another option. If you have a base colour, select colours that easily match with it. You may use colour palettes in a magazine for reference or there are some handy online tools like Adobe Color CC which may help you to work out your complementary colour sets. You can also wear neutral colours so that you will stay fashionable no matter the season. Whatever neutral colours you choose will just be fine as they tend to blend easily. Wearing colourful dresses will give an impression of a circus look. Select pastel colours, accentuate it with some black, brown, white, beige, or gray and you’ll never go wrong.

Building Your Wardrobe

Now we’ve got an idea on colour choice it’s time to build out your wardrobe. Purchase some good tops and partner them with a basic button-down like a short sleeved shirt, tank top, camisole, or other sleeveless shirt. Ensure the button-down has solid colour, most likely neutral palette. Prints in the short-sleeve shirt or sleeveless are fine, but it’s easier to mix and match if there are no prints.

neutral colours wardrobe

neutral colours wardrobe

Buy some good set of bottoms. Choose a nice pair of pants and jeans. These will cover you for casual events depending on the combination of tops you combine them with. Add in a few skirts too! Something knee-length, a pencil skirt for work dos, and a maxi skirt for summer beach times. If we’re trying to make your wardrobe as useful as possible, minimize on the prints for your skirts and bottoms. This way it will be much easier to pair them with other items in your closet.

Now just a few more extras left! Look for a knee-length dress with short or three-quarter sleeve. This should have neutral colours with the main colour palette that can be both used as casual or dressy depending on the selected accessories.

You should aim to have two jackets, one being something like a button-down sweater; either simple or elaborate pattern. The other one is a blazer or formal jacket. Get a neutral blazer which is darker than the button-down shirts you have selected. For a bit of flair, you could throw in some faux fur which is super trendy right now!

basics wardrobe

Basics work/casual wardrobe

When choosing accessories, make sure you can use them with your chosen neutral colour palette as this will make matching your clothes and shoes a breeze. Buy a scarf which will work in both a casual and formal setting. Women can wear jewellery to put emphasis on a formal or casual outfits. One set may be elegant featuring some precious stones, silver or gold while the other can look more casual featuring wooden or even plastic. Need more inspiration? Check out Pinterest for some more great combo options!

With your new selection of tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories and other fashionable items, you’re ready to start experimenting with your revamped wardrobe. Create formal and casual outfits. Try on different outfits for different occasions. Mix and match your skirts, tops and shoes and see for yourself what works for you. Wardrobe combinations and fittings can be an exciting activity. It might require some trial and error but eventually you will find the best fit that you can easily wear every day without looking boring!