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What is Cottagecore? Meet Your New Spring and Summer Fashion Aesthetic

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While more days than not you’ll find me wearing yoga pants chasing after a toddler, in my head and my unused closet of clothes, my fashion style best evokes 2019’s Little Women meets 2024. While it has evolved throughout time, I’ve always gravitated towards more muted tones, with lots of florals and romantic details. It wasn’t until far into my fashion evolution that I even realized this trend has a name: cottagecore. 

Cottagecore is a trend that seemed to really take off during the pandemic, as the world was forced to embrace more of a homebody lifestyle. Because of the circumstances during this period, people flocked to this trend as it evoked a romanticized version of simpler times, with fashion pieces that tended to feature more embroidery, vintage elements, and styles that seemed like they could be homemade. To put it into Swiftie speak, the trend could perhaps best be exemplified by Taylor Swift’s folklore and Evermore eras.

It’s a look that I’ve always found taking up space in my closet, with plenty of florals, lace detailing, and embroidery throughout. And since the trend went more mainstream, it’s now easier to shop than ever before.

What is the Cottagecore Fashion Trend?

The cottagecore trend has expanded far beyond just fashion, with the cottagecore aesthetic rising in popularity on social media for things such as interior design, crafts, and baking. While people have differing opinions on the idea of cottagecore as a whole, the fashion trend is one that has persisted for both those who consider themselves part of the subculture and those who just enjoy the look of the clothing (such as myself).

The element that I personally enjoy the most about cottagecore-inspired fashion is its timeless quality. While the look may currently be trending, with its vintage qualities, these pieces are also wearable far after the trend has ended. Many of these are heirloom pieces, ones that you can bring out whenever they bring you joy instead of just whether they’re currently in style.

Key Items for Cottagecore Outfits

During a stop in Melbourne on the Eras Tour this February, Taylor Swift perfectly summed up the general cottagecore look while talking about writing her album, folklore. She said, “[While writing folklore, I was] imagining that, instead of being a lonely millennial woman covered in cat hair drinking my weight in white wine, I was a ghostly Victorian lady wandering through the woods with a candle in a candlestick holder, and I wrote only on parchment with a feathered quill.”

She acknowledges that, of course, this is not what she actually looked like, but it’s what she dreamed of in her mind. While there are varying levels of the cottagecore trend, the style has become mainstream enough that there are key elements you can find in pieces from a variety of different brands. 

Key components of the style include smocked dresses, lace or embroidered detailing, flowing skirts and bodice tops, bows, and other romantic elements. The trend is inspired by the simplicity of living in a cottage, so the aesthetic gives off a whimsical romance but is also practical. A lot of cottagecore clothing looks beautiful and put together, but it’s also often surprisingly comfortable (a key win, IMO). You’ll find elements of different time periods, such as the Victorian era, and the Regency era, as well as handmade pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Your cottagecore style starter kit may include:

  • A smocked dress
  • A-line maxi skirt
  • Fitted tank or bodice
  • Woven bag
  • Bow hair clip

Get the Look: Our Favorite Cottagecore Pieces for Spring and Summer

With the aesthetic currently in full swing, there are plenty of ways to embrace the cottagecore fashion trend this spring and summer. Grab a few of these favorites and wear them together to create a slew of cottagecore outfits that will earn you compliments left and right. Put on a smocked midi or maxi dress for a one-step outfit, or, if you want to start small, pair one of the gorgeous blouses below with your favorite pair of jeans. Finish off your look with a shoe or accessory in a nature-inspired material.

Dresses

Dóen

4 colors/patterns available
sizes XXS – XXL

Amazon | ZESICA

10 colors available
sizes XS – XXL

Amazon | R.Vivimos

10+ colors/patterns available
sizes S -XL

Hill House Home

7 colors/patterns available
sizes XXXS – XXL

Anthropologie

sizes XXS – 3X; comes in petite

Gap

3 colors available
sizes XXS – XXL; comes in petite and tall

J.Crew

3 colors available
sizes 00 – 24

H&M

2 patterns available
sizes XS – XXL

H&M

2 patterns available
sizes XS – XXL

Free People

5 colors available
sizes XS – XL

Bottoms

Garnet Hill

2 colors available
sizes XS – XL

Anthropologie

3 colors available
sizes XXS – 3X; comes in petite

Quince

3 colors available
sizes XS – XL

Amazon | ZESICA

10+ colors/patterns available
sizes S – XL

Old Navy

3 colors available
sizes XS – 4X; comes in petite and tall

Old Navy

sizes XS  – 4X; comes in petite and tall

Gap

5 colors/patterns available
sizes XXS – XXL; come in petite and tall

Gap

sizes XXS – XXL; come in petite and tall

Tops

Dóen

2 patterns available
sizes XXS – XXL

Anthropologie

sizes XXS – 3X; comes in petite

Anthropologie

2 colors available
sizes XS – XL

Anthropologie

3 colors available
sizes XXS – 3X; comes in petite

H&M

4 colors/patterns available
sizes XS – XXL

Anthropologie

sizes XXS – 3X; comes in petite

Old Navy

sizes XS – 4X; comes in petite and tall

Target | A New Day

7 colors available
sizes XS – 4X

Gap Factory

3 colors available
sizes XS – XXL

Shoes

Accessories

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