NEW YORK – Just when you thought the bohemian look (search) was "out" again, guess what?
As winter reluctantly thaws into spring, you’re not imagining things if you run head-first into a woman wearing a colorful peasant skirt, a tunic top, beads and a headband in her messy locks. If you're really lucky, she might even be Jude Law’s sexy actress fiancée, Sienna Miller (search).
“The bohemian and gypsy and folkloric all sort of get thrown together,” said FOX News fashion stylist Gwen Marder. “It’s all interweaved. And every couple of years, it comes back.”
In fact, some see the current styles as a nod to Miller, who starred in "Alfie" and is known for her "boho" outfits.
“I’m sure Sienna is a muse for some of these designers,” said fashion expert Elycia Rubin, whose book “Frumpy to Foxy in 15 Minutes Flat” hits shelves this month. “She never looks frumpy — she looks foxy."
This season, roomy, flowy skirts are being paired with tops like shiny tunics (search), sleeveless T-shirts and billowy versions of halters, as well as shrunken sweaters layered over tees and tanks and tied at the waist.
All of this is done in fabrics festooned with lots of beading and brocading, colors that are at times bold and bright and at times muddy or outlandish and patterns that sometimes match and sometimes don’t.
Oh, and don’t forget the charm bracelets and bangle necklaces
In fact, a single outfit might look like an entire mini clothing bazaar, because the more boho elements in one ensemble, the trendier — nevermind the effect it might have on the eyes.
"What happens is people mix all the elements together on top and on bottom and it tends to look a little bizarre — almost like a costume for a Halloween party," Marder said. "If you put it all together, it’s like a big stew that doesn’t taste very good."
So amidst the pastels of blooming flowers and the glitter of the brighter, toastier sun, this season’s boho glam could easily turn boho garish — or even frumpy with all the figure-hiding blouses, skirts and dresses out there.
Fashionistas don't advise pairing a large, widely cut blouse with a big, swirling peasant skirt — even though the runway models flirted with the idea during the spring shows in September and went even crazier with the cuts, colors and patterns for the fall shows in February.
"The look can go very, very wrong, but it can also be very sexy and carefree," said Rubin, E! network's former style director. "The past few seasons have been very dainty and ladylike and pretty, so designers want to shake things up. And what we saw on the runway is not necessarily what we're going to see on the street."
Some women will, of course, push the limits — and they can certainly play different parts with this season's fashions.
"If you're wearing the long beaded skirts to the floor with a big, oversized sweater, you look like you're ready for Woodstock," said Suze Yalof Schwartz, an executive fashion editor at Glamour magazine. "When you wear it with a tight tank, you're ready for St. Bart's."
Faux pas will happen, but luckily for the fashion helpless, there’s Miller — today’s Queen Mother of hippie chic — to guide the way.
Of course, Jude's bride-to-be wasn’t the first to embrace the look — she’s just the current “it” figure in pop culture who wears it and wears it well. Truth be told, everyone from Madonna and Demi Moore to Vanessa Paradis and Kate Moss have donned boho elements in recent years, following in the footsteps of their sister icons from the ‘60s and ‘70s, of course.
But if the full-on gypsy style doesn't really seem like your thing, you can tone it down and wear a feminine, floaty dress paired with high wedgy sandals, or go more modern with straighter, not-so-hip-hugging jeans and a short jacket. Rolled-up denims and cropped pants are also still everywhere.
"The waist is getting a little higher, thank God," said Yalof Schwartz. "You can now sit down without being embarrassed."
Also trendy: The prepster-meets-safari look, as in tan khakis, a grass-green golf shirt, a belted trench coat (maybe in leopard print) and rounded flats.
That the safari fashions are still hip is a testament to the persistent allure of exotic lands, from Africa and South Asia to the Middle East.
Elements from these regions have been en vogue for a while. And with the gradually increasing popularity of Bollywood (India’s answer to Hollywood) and a media focus on the Middle East, it’s not surprising that far-flung fashions are trendy again this season.
“A designer has been traveling to some exotic place, whether it’s Africa, India, Afghanistan or Turkey, and comes back inspired by the colors, the spices and nature,” Marder said. “It’s reflected in the patterns they use in fashion.”
Yalof Schwartz, who described the fad as "Marrakesh [Morocco] coming to the mall," said stores as diverse as Bebe, Gap and Express are all on board.
And if there are any guys out there reading this, listen up. Though men nearly always get the short end of the stick when it comes to fashion coverage, there are a few more subtle trends going on for you this season, too.
The loose-fitting, casual look and peasant/farmer chic are the masculine looks du jour, featuring rolled-up or lower-cut jeans, baggy khakis and straw hats and fedoras.
There’s also a parallel men's fashion trend that Rubin coined “the twisted preppy,” featuring shrunken blazers with shorter sleeves and cropped waists and the color pink.
The best part? These styles go just great with what the ladies are doing.
“It’s interesting how they kind of play off each other,” she said of male and female fashion fads. “You can go out with your boyfriend and look like twinsies.”