There are a few women in the world who possess a preternatural mystique: We’re talking women like Nefertiti, Eartha Kitt, Sade, the supermodel Iman and, of course, Lisa Bonet.
If you were of TV-watching age in the mid-’80s to early ’90s, chances are Bonet’s Denise Huxtable was either one of of your style icons or first crushes (or both). On- and off-camera, her boundary-pushing, bourgeois-bohemian style was the stuff teenage fashion dreams were made of.
Thirty years later, the actress—while sadly no longer a regular on our TV screens—is more of a muse than ever, and not only to handsome husband (and Aquaman star) Jason Momoa (or ex Lenny Kravitz). Now 50, in addition to a yogi’s body and some seriously chiseled cheekbones, Bonet still possesses that mysterious aura, which she’s passed down to daughter and second-generation style icon Zoë Kravitz (who also got considerable charisma from her rock-star dad, too).
So when Net-a-Porter’s Porter Edit gained access to our forever muse on the remote California ranch she shares with Momoa, their younger children and several animals (including wolves and a donkey), we were all in.
While the resulting article featured a long-awaited comment on those Bill Cosby allegations, the accompanying editorial gave us a glimpse into the idyllic all-natural life we’ve imagined Bonet living for the past couple of decades (you can read the entire article here). But it wouldn’t have been complete without the perfect earth-mother-meets-haute-hippie wardrobe, which looks flawless on Bonet, and which we’ll be emulating as soon as temps allow.
Of course, Net-a-Porter provides easy-to-buy links to the wardrobe used in Bonet’s shoot, full of gauzy fabrics, full sleeves, flowing skirts and simple jewelry. Prices range from $45 for gold-plated earrings to $995 for a ruffled silk georgette dress. But since our budgets are bit more—cough—modest, we did a little sourcing of our own, hoping to put our perfect summer wardrobe in place before the mercury rises.
Scouring fast-fashion faves like Anthropologie and ASOS, we found an array of Bonet-worthy dresses and separates, in a decent range of sizes. Our faves? From ASOS, a plunging Grecian-styled maxi dress ($42) and corsetlike denim top with a puffed sleeve detail ($60).
Anthropologie also had some easy, breezy options, albeit at a higher price point. But there were definitely a few pieces we could see wearing all summer long, bringing our cost per wear to pennies on the dollar. Think a fit-and-flare dress with a drawstring waist ($289) or a gauzy, off-the shoulder jumpsuit ($199).
But the real winner in our search for Lisa Bonet-levels of bohemian chic? Festival-favorite retailer Free People, which had more options than we could possibly begin to list here. But a few dresses went straight to the top of our shopping lists, including a backless, ruffled midi dress in a canyonlike hue ($98), a slubbed-cotton midi with a plunging neckline and tied sides ($108), and a seriously sexy ribbed-knit maxi gown with full sleeves ($98) that looks as comfortable as it is current.
But while dresses may be our summer go-to for easy, effortless fashion, Free People comes through with the separates, too. We’re especially fond of its top-and-skirt sets, made for matching and paired as a blouson top and flippy miniskirt ($78), a button-fronted skirt and cropped blouse ($108), or a full and flowy skirt with a brief and boxy top ($128)
If you’re just looking for a few pieces to update your already well-established summer wardrobe, consider a blousy top in an unexpected hue ($148) to pair with pants or jeans, incorporating details like embroidery into a breezy blouse ($128) or coupling the full-sleeved trend with smocks and stripes ($88) or a casual riff on the corset trend ($58) that was all over the 2018 runways.
And, yes, we know that the temps are currently barely above freezing throughout most of the U.S., but we also know spring is mere weeks away, and sundress season is therefore not far behind.
So whether shopping for a new seasonal capsule collection or shopping in your own closet, maybe the best advice is to channel a woman who clearly has excellent taste. Just ask yourself: What would Lisa Bonet wear?