trends & subculturesThursday, June 11, 2020

Cottagecore Fashion: 10 Essential Pieces



What is cottagecore?


More than just a visual aesthetic, cottagecore is an idealised lifestyle that romanticises rural country living and the activities that come with it, whether that be raising farm animals, gardening or practising traditional forms of craft such as crochet. It’s essentially playing ‘Farmville’, ‘Harvest Moon’ or ‘Animal Crossing’ but IRL.


The largely Gen-Z movement is seen as a form of escapism from the harsh realities of modern life through a return to the simple and peaceful age of our pastoral and agricultural past. A real world manifestation of ASMR, cottagecore seeks to calm our hyper-stimulated nerves at a time when the world seems on the brink of ecological and societal collapse, providing comfort and a place of retreat for the youth of today. 

Though the movement first cropped up in 2018, it recently began to gain traction on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Tumblr in response to the mass quarantine and our desire to escape from the stress and trauma of the modern world


How do I use cottagecore?


It’s simple really – log off social media, put down your smartphone, close your laptop and embrace nature. Take a hike or walk around your nearest lake. For city dwellers, it could mean going to your local park. Visit your nearest farm and even consider volunteering there. There’s nothing more soothing than hand-rearing a goat, or finally getting that pony you’ve always wanted. Shop locally; it’s better for the environment and helps support the OG cottagecorers – farmers. Even better, make your own food. If you can’t grow it, then forage for it. Common starting points include elderflower cordials, homemade jams and sourdough bread. Pick up a wholesome hobby like embroidery, pottery making, or knitting – extra brownie points if you can use a loom.


But if this all seems a bit too wholesome or far too much work, you can always go the easy route by adopting its aesthetic with these cottagecore fashion essentials.


Essential Cottagecore Clothes 

Mes Demoiselles Sable Dungaree Dress


Apron Dress

A vintage-style apron dress has all the practicalities of a pair of dungarees, but with the easy-breezy summer sensibility and feminine silhouette of a dress. Perfect for transitioning between gardening and trying to get a good bake on your sourdough loaf without getting covered in flour.


Weekend Max Mara Embroidered Smock Dress 


Gingham and Embroidery

Imagine your local county fair and everything that comes with it – jam jar lids, picnic blankets, checkered table linens – and you’ll realise that what makes it oh so picture perfect is gingham, a pattern at the heart of the cottagecore aesthetic. Nothing captures the essence of rural life quite like a gingham dress, and with this one you can pretend you hand-embroidered it yourself.


Isabel Marant Etoile Smock Short Dress


Victorian Dresses

Harkening back to bygone eras is a serious pastime for hardcore cottagecorers, which means that anything post-electricity is out, and everything turn of the century is in. Victorian or Edwardian-inspired dresses will have you feeling more like one of the girls in ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’, and less like you’re having a picnic and hanging out with friends at your local park.


Prada Smock Poplin Dress


Smock Dresses

Alongside the milkmaid dress, a traditional ‘smock frock’ is another peasant staple that’s become essential for those longing to live off the fat of the land, or at least look like they do. We love the folk-style stitching on the collar of this Prada rendition, which whisks anyone who wears it away to the world of Hans Christian Andersen.


Batsheva Dirdnl Floral Fitted Blouse


Floral Print

At the heart of cottagecore dressing is wearing nature-inspired prints that mirror the seasons, and nothing screams summer more than floral print. This floral blouse from cult cottagecore brand Batsheva is so woodlandy it’s got us reaching for hayfever tablets.


Ganni Square Neck Striped Blouse


Puffy Sleeves

When it comes to sleeves in the world of cottagecore, the puffier and more ruched the better. Pair milkmaid sleeves with a boat or sweetheart neckline and you’ve got all the right ingredients for magical days out in the meadows


Etro Striped Cropped Waistcoat



Slavic-style waistcoats seem tailor-made for layering over lacey prairie dresses and rustic shirting, adding a layer of whimsy to elderflower vodka tastings and folk music jamming sessions.


Vivetta Large Daisy Earrings


Floral Accessories

Capture the beauty of spring and summer all year round with cute arts-and-crafts style floral accessories, and leave the wilted daisies for your next flower pressing. 


Maison Michel Julianna Embroidered Bucket Hat


Sun Hat

No day frolicking in fields and reciting poetry by your favourite oak tree is complete without a summer hat, as let’s face it there’s nothing Cottagecore about sunburn. This lace floral style seems like it was lifted straight out of the costume department for ‘Little Women’ with a dainty chin strap made for the most elegant of cottage dwellers.


Fendi Square Eye Clogs



Blending Scandinavia’s traditional artisanal shoemaking and its rich history in farming, the humble clog is undeniably the shoe of the Cottagecore movement. Designed to last a lifetime, and to protect delicate feet from muddy fields, it ticks all the right boxes for the movement – it’s eco and looks good in the countryside. What more could you want?


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