Prairie chic is back, but to pull off today’s version of the trend you have to rethink the romantic fashion you envisioned yourself wearing as a young girl. Picture Laura Ingalls Wilder’s wardrobe from Little House on the Prairie — this is the basis for modern-day prairie chic, the new boho, which is overtaking runways around the world, and for good reason. It’s a look that combines the best of fashion and function. Skirts with shorter lengths and dresses skimming just above the knee give prairie chic style a more feminine appeal, with a tomboy edge.
Unfussy smooth hair with a center part is the go-to hairstyle when stepping out in Little House on the Prairie fashion. Romantic, free-flowing locks complement the modest draping of embroidered yoke blouses and floral print ruffle dresses as seen in the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2016 collection, as well as maxi skirts like those by Chloé and Lanvin.
Prairie chic, the new boho, is characterized by a sensual feel to the flow of fabrics; gone are the stiff, overly structured shapes of the past, and in their place a more graceful layering of soft silks and lightweight cottons, as demonstrated by Valentino dresses. Erdem incorporates cut-out shoulders, which add an element of timeless sex appeal by showcasing a body part that looks great at any age.
Lace panels and bold bright prints give the prairie chic trend a modern update, and many designers have added floral appliqués and embroidered touches. Try pairing dresses with ankle- or calf-grazing boots from Chloé for a truly romantic twist.
Wild and free
To get to the root of prairie chic style, think campfires and sitting under the stars in the great outdoors. Maintain a feminine factor with a button-front denim or suede skirt in earthy tones by Frame Denim or T By Alexander Wang. And don’t underestimate the power of a fitted denim jacket to transform a delicate print into a more modern daytime look.
Thick leather and braided belts can play up the pioneer angle while helping to accentuate the waistline. For inspiration, look to style star Anya Ziourova and add a felt fedora, which will keep you warm on cool nights. A pair of lace-up boots in basic black or dark brown, such as those by Geoffrey B. Small or A.F. Vandevorst, will add function without sacrificing style. A ruffled lace button-down sleeveless shirt by Guild Prime is the perfect topper for the more wild and free approach to prairie chic style.
Tomboy jeans are the perfect way to dress down prairie chic, the new boho. Try an embroidered boyfriend cut by Alexander McQueen or opt for Golden Goose Deluxe Brand’s distressed version. Both will strike a balance between the masculine and feminine elements of prairie chic style.
Culottes from Frame Denim come in a variety of hues that exude carefree boho style. And for overalls, denim powerhouse Current/Elliott has contemporary fits that flatter. These denim styles work well when paired with an off-the-shoulder blouse in a dainty floral print, lace inserts and ruffled sleeves, such as those by Peter Pilotto, or an embroidered style by Tory Burch.