The Real Scandal in Bohemia

Fringe? Or
Fringe? Or "fringe?"
Trade Tie Dye for Tea Dye
Trade Tie Dye for Tea Dye
Chamomile Lemon Squares
Chamomile Lemon Squares

"This is Calcutta. Bohemia is dead," murmurs Benny.

Oh, if only it were true.

This summer has seen the resurrection of "boho chic": overwrought gypsy skirts and peasant tops that should have been buried for good in 2005.

Ten years later, boho brings back the paisley circus tents. But someone must told them to cut it out, so they put in more cutouts. Plus fringe, tassels, and finally meshing it all up before it was released to the hangers, where it has been picked up by fashion's desperate hangers-on.

So what do we do? We write disparaging blog posts and sit back with our cups of Earl Grey, patting ourselves on the back for a politically correct job well done. After all, "gypsy" is offensive. (It was bad enough when the summer look was "Navajo chic," and lawsuits were flying like thunderbirds.)

But hang on.

What happened to the original meaning of "bohemian"?

The word was coined to describe artists, dreamers, visionaries.

Tea drinkers.

Lapsang lovers. Oolong owls. Dragon Orwellians.

So maybe the Esmeralda look isn't your cup of tea. (How many times have you heard that one by now?) But if you believe in freedom, beauty, truth, and love, then there are a million other ways that you can boho it up, without the hazard of tassels and fringe.

Try something new with your tea. Paint with it. Use it to dye fabric. If you can get your hands on a purple leaf varietal, then you have nearly the entire color spectrum at your disposal.

Speaking of disposal: compost. It's a good idea. Or else make merry with your used leaves as air fresheners, dried out and left near bathrooms or litter boxes.

Or better yet, eat those leaves! Teachef has a ton of scrumptious ideas, or challenge yourself to create your own. (ie: rooibos, coconut flour, and your good wit. Go!)

Look to Etsy for other creative ideas. (There's a reason it went public with an IPO. It's a goldmine.) Tea soap, tea moisturizer, tea bath bombs — anything.

And if all else fails, put your dignified Earl Grey monogoggles on, and get a-blending something you've never tried before in your life. (Just ask the folks out there with old bourbon barrels full of Pu-Erh.)

The bohemians of old didn't worry about user traffic and SEO marketing. They just did their art and had fun with it.

If we're stuck behind a keyboard, angrily and anxiously reblogging every article against popular use of the word "gypsy," then we've lost the essence of what the bohemian revolution was truly about.

And who knows, you may find yourself starting to crave paisley. I won't stop you.

(Just please, for the love of gongfu, watch the fringe. Just for the sake of functionality. If you're not careful, those things are prone to dipping into your mug when you least expect it. Please steer clear of the dangly stuff unless you, in true bohemian spirit, are experimenting à la Jackson Pollack.)