The term Gypsy was originally used to describe the nomadic Roma people who traveled around Europe in the early 16th century. They traditionally made their living with seasonal itinerant work, though most people think of them more commonly as roaming workers and fortune tellers who are inclined to an unconventional way of life.
Gypsy style in the modern sense is not far from the way Gypsies originally dressed, though it is somewhat romanticized by Hollywood and Halloween costumes. Today Gypsy garb is much more about style and freedom and much less about function than it was in the 16th century. However, it is a fun way to dress and an easy style to reproduce.
If you want to dress like a Gypsy, the first thing you need to do is find a loose top or blouse. The perfect top would be a peasant blouse with puffy sleeves. Another good choice would be a colorful cotton top with layers or ruffles. Women can wear a bodice over their blouse and can add a shawl depending on the weather. Men can also wear peasant shirts that are similar to the women, though in a masculine cut. Men can add a vest or coat over the shirt.
The next item you need to dress like a Gypsy is a skirt. A full skirt that comes down to at least mid-calf is ideal, especially if it has many layers. The skirt should be colorful, using primarily dark or jewel-tone colors. Skirts can be made of a patchwork or many layers of different pieces of fabric. Around your waist you can wear a long scarf or sash that ties on the side and hangs long, or you can wear a belt with a decorative buckle. You can also add a pair of bloomers under the skirt if you choose. If you are a male, wear loose trousers in a dark color with a belt.
Women who want to dress like a Gypsy can wear their hair down, curly and a little untamed to fit with the free spirited image of the Gypsy. You can add a flower to your hair either behind your ear or clipped on the side or the back. You can also wear a scarf on your head, worn low on the forehead and tied in the back. Men can wear a hat in a dark color, something similar to a fedora, or they can wear a scarf, worn in a similar fashion to the women.
Women and men dressing like Gypsies can wear either sandals or boots. Black shoes are preferable. Men can also wear black shoes with a buckle or other adornment.
Jewelry can be worn by both men and women. Earrings, rings and anklets are authentically Gypsy, as well as beads and amulets. Men can also wear pouches and sashes to further accessorize.
Dressing like a Gypsy can be fun and easy. With a few simple clothing pieces and the right accessories, you’ll look the part in no time.