The Cottagecore aesthetic has taken fashion trends by storm, it’s absolutely everywhere and if you’ve not come across this aesthetic before, where have you been?
If you have been lured in by this whimsical, romantic, and dreamy aesthetic but you aren’t quite sure what it is or how to use it, I am here to show you how easy it is.
From fashion, home decor, and lifestyle to just altering your mindset. There are so many ways you can use the Cottagecore aesthetic to romanticize your life and help you enjoy those little moments of simplicity.
What Is Cottagecore Aesthetic?
Inspired by traditional English cottage lifestyles, the Cottagecore aesthetic blends romanticized elements of this timeless period with modern fantasy themes.
It may feel relatively new, thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram but this fashion trend has slowly gained momentum since the early 2010’s. Although, hints of this aesthetic can be seen as far back as the early 1990s.
Characterized by a soft and earthy color pallet, the Cottagecore aesthetic celebrates the charm of rural landscapes and the simple lives of those who lived there. At its core, the Cottagecore aesthetic is a remedy for the yearning we feel for a simpler, bygone era.
Dominated by muted pastels, floral patterns, and vintage textiles, the clothing associated with cottagecore is flowy, soft, and made of natural materials like cotton, linen, and hemp.
More than just an aesthetic, it focuses on the importance of handmade goods and traditional hobbies. Both in being able to create the things we need rather than relying on mass consumerism but also as a way to root ourselves in the moment and enjoy simpler pleasures.
It champions a slower-paced lifestyle, an escape from the fast-paced life we live now. Activities such as gardening, sewing, baking, and mending are central to the cottagecore aesthetic.
What Time Period Is Cottagecore Based On?
Based on a romanticized view of rural life, the Cottagecore aesthetic draws much of its inspiration from 19th-century English and French country life. Think flowing dresses, muted florals, and the simpler countryside lifestyle of this time.
It’s important to remember that, although elements of the fashion and lifestyle of this period flow through cottagecore, much of it is also fantasy. The reality of rural life in the 19th century was hard but that simplicity is something many of us crave.
Taking the themes of self-sufficiency, handmade crafts, and the joys of simple, daily tasks, the cottagecore aesthetic has created a fantasy trend that has reimagined rural life for more modern tastes.
How Can I Create A Cottagecore Aesthetic?
Introducing the cottagecore aesthetic into your life can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. I love to introduce little things that make my day feel more romantic, like using a fancy china teapot for my afternoon tea or taking an afternoon to bake my favorite treat.
However, there are three main cottagecore themes that can help guide you as you introduce this dreamy aesthetic into your life.
If you already revel in the simple joy of handicrafts, you’re halfway there. However, if not, this is your chance to explore your creativity and test out different hobbies.
Choose classic hobbies, like painting, knitting, woodcraft, or baking. The kind of hobbies that are viewed as traditional homemaker skills are the foundation of the cottagecore aesthetic.
The best bit about exploring these kinds of activities is that many of them support a slow and simple life. Instead of rushing to the store to purchase brand new socks, learn how to darn them or bake a birthday cake instead of buying a mass-produced one from the convenience store.
These kinds of hobbies might save you money but they will also introduce a unique kind of magic into your life. Something no one else can own and satisfaction that you created it, even if it isn’t perfect.
If you’re not sure where to start when exploring the cottagecore aesthetic, you can never go wrong with pretty florals. The daintier they are, the better.
From your clothes to your decor, you can pop something floral in to break up the modernity of your usual home decor and give it a cottagecore edge.
Stick to pastel colors and muted earthy shades for a fresh yet cozy vibe and never worry about clashing prints. The joy of this aesthetic is that there really is no wrong. If you love it, that’s good enough.
Nature flows through every part of the cottagecore aesthetic. You can’t emulate the rural, cottage lifestyle without appreciating nature and spending time out there in it.
Fill your home with plants and flowers (opt for dried flowers if you want a long-lasting decoration) to bring a little bit of the outdoors, indoors.
Not only are they beautiful to look at but it’s scientifically proven that indoor plants may reduce stress levels, soothe symptoms of some mental illnesses, and may even improve your productivity.
Take picnics where you can bring delicious snacks and a book and just relax in nature. Yes, that does mean you need to put your phone down. The cottagecore aesthetic is all about being present in the moment and you can’t do that doom-scrolling TikTok.
You can also introduce less ‘alive’ nature elements into your home by choosing vintage prints and fabrics that include wildlife images or other plants to give that cozy feeling without having to worry about keeping a plant alive if you’re not particularly green-thumbed.
Cottagecore enthusiasts are often just as enthusiastic about protecting the environment and seeking more sustainable ways to live.
Embracing a zero-waste, or low-waste lifestyle, is very much a part of the cottagecore aesthetic. Just like your rural countryside ancestors, if you want to live a more cottagecore lifestyle you should recycle, repurpose, and reduce as much as possible.
This can be by introducing low-impact activities into your life, such as hiking or cycling, learning to mend and repair the items you already have at home, switching to reusable products and even growing your own food if possible.
A great way of living a more romanticized life that is in line with the core beliefs of cottagecore folks is by becoming a little bit more eco-friendly.
Six Types of Cottagecore Aesthetic
The cottagecore aesthetic can feel very broad but did you know there are loads of -core subcultures that may appeal to your sense of style even more? Although they all share the same basic themes, they all have something a little special that makes them unique.
Pulling many similar dress themes from the cottagecore aesthetic, fairycore is just like its parent aesthetic but doused in more glitter and fairytale whimsy.
Instead of natural makeup, you can play with pastel shades and create a dreamy, fairy-like look. Accessories should include butterflies, fairies, and flowers for a mystical soft edge to your fairy core outfits.
The best way to achieve a fairycore look, both with your clothes and in your home, is by creating a little bit of fantasy magic. Unlike the cottagecore aesthetic that takes inspiration from history, fairy core is all about the fantasy that magic can bring to your everyday life. If that means adding glitter to your regular workday makeup, then so be it.
Some think Grandmacore is the same as the cottagecore aesthetic but, in my opinion, there are some subtle differences. Grandmacore is like the laidback younger sister to Cottagecore. Wearing what it pleases with little care for anyone else’s opinion.
It pulls in the warm and cozy feeling you would get visiting that quirky granny, who always had a baked apple tart fresh and ready to eat. However, there’s still room for margaritas in front of the fire with your besties, as you discuss your new favorite book.
Taking stereotypical grandma elements, like headscarves, knitting, and cozy sweaters but gives it an up-fashion twist. It looks like you raiding your grandma’s wardrobe is now cool.
Unlike the cottagecore aesthetic, which focuses on the romantic and dreamy aspects of rural life, Goblincore is darker and dirtier. Inspired by the earthier aspects of country living, it features darker earth tones.
Still rooted in a little mythology, Goblincore is a wild mushroom and goblin-tale enthusiast’s dream. It embraces natural imperfections you may encounter in the woods. Mushrooms, moss, broken branches, snails, and acorns.
This aesthetic shares many similarities with cottagecore. In fact, all you need to choose is dark, gloomier color variations of the items you love to create a Goblincore vibe in your home or wardrobe.
Farmcore is cottage core’s ready-for-action twin. It shares many similar elements, puffed sleeves, dainty florals, and a focus on the simple life of a rural farm. However, Farmcore has evolved over the last year and has become a little more practical.
Instead of dainty, pastel-coloured shoes, Farmcore calls for practical Wellington boots and a wooden sweater. Instead of growing wildflowers and picking them on a hazy spring morning, farmcore imagines you getting dirt under your fingernails as you pick your hard-grown carrots and potatoes.
Where cottagecore is romanticized farm life, farm core is rooted in more rustic practicality. It conjures up images of natural woods, muted neutrals, and the simple coziness you could imagine in a working farm home.
The perfect cozy autumn aesthetic, Cabincore is probably the most removed subculture from cottagecore. Rejecting the florals and softness of the cottagecore aesthetic, Caboncore still shares some ideas like creating a cozy yet practical space.
Mimicking the feeling of a cabin in the woods, Cabincore is still inspired by the wild and exciting forests. Yet, in place of florals, there are richly colored plaids, faux furs, and a warmer color palette.
Cabincore is minimalist in nature and fosters a warm, darker ambiance in the home. Think cozy lit fires, steaming cups of hot cocoa, and snuggling up in a soft blanket as you while away the hours with a good book.
Also known as Gothcore, dark cottagecore is the vamp, dark academia version of the traditional cottagecore aesthetic.
Sharing the same silhouettes and styles, dark cottagecore delves into the gothic inspirations of the 19th century. Rich purples, reds, and greens replace the soft pastels and instead of dainty florals, there are moths, skulls, and gothic architecture.
If dark cottagecore was a person, it would be a witch living in a ramshackle cottage buried deep in a dark and gloomy forest. You can see that dark cottagecore is still very nature-based but instead of the freshness of spring, it emulates that turn of seasons between fall and winter.
How A Cottagecore Aesthetic Can Help You Live A Sustainable Life
You may think that the cottagecore aesthetic is nothing more than a modern fashion trend but it really goes much deeper than that. Scratch beneath the flowery pastel surface and you may find that cottagecore promotes a slow, simple, sustainable way of life.
There’s no denying it, it’s a beautiful and fresh aesthetic but it also encourages those drawn to it to revel in the simple joys of life, focussing on local, handmade crafts and food and learning traditional life skills that many of us have forgotten in the name of modern convenience.
What do you think? Does the cottagecore aesthetic inspire you to make more eco-friendly and sustainable life choices or is it just a fashion trend like all the others that come and go? If you’re inspired also check out our articles about cottagecore outfits and cottagecore houses.