What is Cottagecore Fashion? A Look at the Trend’s Popularity, Origins, and Future

Is cottagecore fashion a fading fad? Where did it even come from? Let's dig in and find out.
April 21, 2022

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By Branded Joy Editorial Staff

Cottagecore is a style and aesthetic that combines elements of country living with modern fashion sensibilities and is characterized by its idealized representation of rural life. It’s often characterized by its use of natural fabrics and colors and its focus on comfort and ease.

But that’s a pretty vague description. So, let’s dig a little and see what we can find in this cottage when we pull back the drapes.

Cottagecore Fashion – Origins

Cottagecore, as a movement, originated on Tumblr to serve as the naming convention for a trend that had been building up for many years.

The movement is typically associated with European country life as represented in certain media outlets. The look is defined by historical rural clothing, interior design, and manual crafts.

Within that context, cottagecore fashion aims to express those aesthetic sensibilities through the judicious use of floral prints, maxi dresses, and other design choices that are seen as outmoded. 

This style has a focus on nature and a sense of generalized comfort. It’s something you might associate with quaint characters from a Louisa May Alcott book.

It has been around for a while and applied to every type of design. But, then it appeared on the fashion scene. With its strategically cute designs with an equally beautiful appearance, these offers are perfect for those who like their things delicate but still fresh and unique.

Cottagecore Fashion Colors

Cottagecore fashion takes its color palette from the natural world. You’ll see a lot of muted tones and earthy colors like cream, brown, green, and gray.

Image credit: CaitlinAbrilStudio

You might think that these colors would make for a boring wardrobe, but cottagecore style is all about mixing and matching different pieces to create a unique look. And, because the colors are so subdued, you can really experiment with different patterns and textures without overwhelming your outfit.

The Cottagecore Aesthetic in the Mainstream

Cottagecore fashion has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. You can see it in the rise of brands like For Love and Lemons and Free People, which have been incorporating cottagecore elements into their designs.

You can also see it in the popularity of shows like “Emily in Paris” and “The Crown,” which have brought a more romanticized version of cottagecore style into the mainstream.

Even celebrities like Billie Eilish and Kendall Jenner have been embracing the cottagecore aesthetic, wearing pieces from brands like Chanel and Dior that would fit right into a country cottage.

The growing popularity of cottagecore clothing has made many of its elements present in fast fashion collections. This is especially true of the milkmaid tops and peasant blouses that are so trendy right now.

Cottagecore Fashion and Sustainability

One of the things that make cottagecore fashion so appealing is its focus on sustainable and slow fashion. At least, in principle.

In practice, as more cottagecore outfits permeate the fast fashion industry, it’s becoming more difficult to realistically link cottagecore fashion and sustainability. However, authentic cottagecore clothing is typically in-line with sustainable practices for several reasons.

It’s all a matter of finding out if a company is sourcing its apparel ethically.

Many brands like Reformation and Everlane are focused on sustainable practices, using recycled materials and ethical manufacturing processes. And, because cottagecore style is all about mixing and matching different pieces, you can create a unique look without having to buy a whole new wardrobe.

However, there are some concerns that the popularity of cottagecore fashion could lead to an increase in demand for clothing made from natural fibers like linen and cotton. This could have a negative impact on the environment if not done sustainably.

The key element that makes cottagecore clothing so easy to work into a sustainable lifestyle is that it aspires to emulate a bygone age. Because of that, a cottagecore outfit is often best served by something you might find at a thrift store or other type of second-hand store.

After all, the most sustainable clothing is the one that’s already made and ready to wear.

How to Add Cottagecore Fashion to Your Style

If you’re interested in trying out the cottagecore aesthetic, there are a few easy ways to add it to your style.

First, start by incorporating some of the key colors into your wardrobe. Look for pieces in cream, brown, green, and gray. Then, mix and match different textures and patterns to create a unique look.

You can also try adding some vintage-inspired pieces to your wardrobe. Look for items with delicate details like lace trim or ruffles and puff sleeve dresses. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different silhouettes like flowing maxi dresses or billowy blouses.

Cottagecore Tops

One of the easiest ways to add cottagecore fashion to your wardrobe is with a few key tops. Look for blouses and shirts with ruffles, lace details, or puff sleeves.

You can also try wearing a milkmaid top or a peasant blouse. These items are easy to find at fast fashion stores and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

Cottagecore Dresses

Another key element of cottagecore fashion is the dress. Look for pretty, feminine dresses in floral prints or solid colors.

You can also try wearing a denim skirt or a white eyelet dress. And don’t forget about the classic little black dress, which can be styled with different accessories to create a variety of looks.

Cottgecore Accessories

No cottagecore outfit is complete without the right accessories. Look for items like straw hats, baskets, and scarves. You can also try wearing a pair of overalls or some denim shorts.

And don’t forget about comfortable shoes! A pair of Birkenstocks or some summer shoes are perfect for completing your cottagecore look.

Cottagecore Fashion Brands

Now that you know a little more about cottagecore fashion, you might be wondering where you can find clothing that fits the aesthetic.

The truth is that the best cottagecore fashion brands aren’t really focused on cottagecore. They’re simple and

Here are a few of our favorite brands that offer cottagecore-inspired clothing:

For Love and Lemons: This brand is known for its romantic and feminine designs. You’ll find lots of pretty dresses and tops with ruffles, lace, and floral patterns.

Free People: Another great option for feminine pieces, Free People offers both casual and dressy items that would work well for a cottagecore outfit. Look for delicate details like crochet trim and billowy sleeves.

Reformation: This brand is all about sustainable fashion. You’ll find a mix of casual and dressy items made from sustainable materials like linen and organic cotton. The brand doesn’t put too much effort into the cottagecore fashion aesthetic but nevertheless ends up having a lot of great options for a discerning shopper.

Is Cottagecore Fashion Still in Style?

The popularity of cottagecore fashion has ebbed and flowed over the years but it seems to be having a moment right now.

And, with more people interested in sustainable living, it’s likely that the aesthetic will continue to grow in popularity.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add some pretty and feminine pieces to your wardrobe, look no further than cottagecore fashion. With its easy-to-wear dresses and tops and sustainable ethos, this trend is here to stay.

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