You’ve probably seen the word ‘Cottagecore’ floating around the internet – whether to describe the latest spring fashion trend, a new look for your living room or just a general vibe. This gentle, whimsical approach to life has really taken off during the last year (pandemic response, anyone?) and we’re loving it. But what actually is Cottagecore, and where did it come from?
If you’re a Tumblr user, you’ve probably been familiar with Cottagecore for a while now. The phrase was coined on the platform in 2018 to celebrate an idealised rural life – think crafting, baking, pottery, slow living and a connection to nature. It’s often linked to an escape from the stresses of modern life, an ‘aspirational form of nostalgia’. Basically, we all want to disconnect from life and spend some time knitting while wearing linen dresses and Birkenstocks. Sounds perfect, tbh!
The movement really took off in 2020, as we searched for ways to fill our long, quiet pandemic days. Tumblr saw a 15% rise in posts about Cottagecore in March 2020 as users made the best of being at home by taking up creative pursuits like embroidery and foraging. Wikipedia describes the movement as emphasising the ‘soft peacefulness of the pastoral life as an escape from the dangers of the modern world’. Very fitting for the last 12 months, we think…
So how does all this translate to your wardrobe?
Homemade is a big part of the Cottagecore trend, but if you don’t have endless time to spend making your own jeans, there are plenty of elements to the look that can be found in the spring collections.
The Cottagecore silhouette is full and flouncy – layered skirts, voluminous sleeves, tulle, lace. Prints call to nature – florals, botanicals, earthy tones – and materials are natural, like cotton and linen. Crafts are represented through embroidered and woven pieces, and there’s a prairie vibe in gingham checks, milkmaid necklines and ruffles.
We love the idea that the Cottagecore look is like a jar of homemade jam – the connection to nature and homemade, the gingham print lid with little flouncy skirt. If you want to take the idea, everything links back to the self-sufficient thread that runs through the movement. Forage your food, craft for entertainment and make your own clothes (or at least, recreate that homemade look with cleverly-chosen pieces). Here are our picks for that Cottagecore style without the faff of a sewing machine…
The ditsy floral dress
The long, floaty shape teamed with a subtle floral print makes this dress your key Cottagecore piece. Wrap it up with a chunky cardigan, layer it with a long-sleeve cotton tee or wear with bare arms when the weather warms up.
The striped cotton cami
This little beauty will be the hardest-working piece in your wardrobe this season – sling it on with jeans or loose linen trousers, with a denim jacket or cut-off shorts. An essential.
The balloon sleeve jumper
Capturing that voluminous vibe with those lush balloon sleeves, this simply stylish jumper has the delicate detailing we love to see. Imagine it with a denim pinafore dress and leather sandals… gorgeous!
The wedge espadrilles
Was there ever a more Cottagecore shoe than this? With the earthy tones, natural fibres and simple aesthetic, it’s the perfect partner to your whimsical outfits. And super comfy to boot – what’s not to love?
The floral maxi skirt
Check out those tiered layers! The floral print! The English Country Garden print! We’re obsessed with this skirt, and we think it makes a brilliant transitional piece to go from spring to summer.
The ruffled cotton playsuit
Ok, it’s maybe a little bit chilly for this right now… but when summer hits, this will be the most-worn item in your Cottagecore wardrobe. We love the earthy tone, the ruffled shoulders and the Broderie Anglaise detail. It’s a yes.
Shop Cottagecore now.