Cottagecore is an up and coming lifestyle trend associated with rustic aesthetics and whimsical living. This lifestyle trend is associated with languid days and nostalgic hobbies that define soothing in a whole new way. If you’re looking to experience an ethereal, calm way of living, read on to know more about the cottagecore lifestyle here.
What is Cottagecore?
Cottagecore is a lifestyle trend associated with a pastoral and fulfilling way of living. The term was related to the cottage meaning that aligns with the lifestyle’s countryside and soft aesthetic. This dreamy, rustic lifestyle aims to define endless bliss and reaching fulfillment in unhurried yet pleasurable ways. These include baking homemade pies, crafting flower crowns, and writing a poem—all while appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer.
Just like goblincore, this trend’s theme revolves around the peace and enjoyment people find in being one with nature. The two trends also evoke the same nostalgic, wistful feeling. However, cottagecore is not merely an aesthetic or escapist fantasy—it is a form of self-care. The trend advocates for self-care by experiencing otherworldly relaxation and happiness in mundane, unplugged activities. At the same time, you can also experience a sense of belongingness with the members of the community who share the same aesthetics and even advocacies as you.
How Did Cottagecore Become Popular?
Recently, a lot of people acquired newfound fondness for fun activities that they can do at home. These include baking homemade treats or merely appreciating the beauty of nature outside your house. It’s worth noting that the association of cottagecore with such activities is what eventually prompted the rise of this new lifestyle trend.
Just like the VSCO girl and egirl trends, the cottagecore lifestyle also rose to fame due to popular social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok. Many people flocked to these sites to flaunt their cottagecore aesthetic. As a result, the trend eventually became more well-recognized online.
This rustic lifestyle is predominantly popular within the LGBTQ+ community, especially to women-loving women. Aside from them, many others also adopt the cottagecore lifestyle trend due to its nostalgic, wholesome culture. True enough, the trend’s fulfilling and relaxing nature is exactly what people yearn for during trying times.
Terms to Know
People associate cottagecore with a lot of words that may be unfamiliar to some. However, learning these key terms could help you appreciate this lifestyle even more. Here are some cottagecore-related terms and their meanings to help you understand the trend better:
How to Define Aesthetics
Aesthetics refer to people’s collective ideologies or principles that deal with the appreciation for art and beauty. It can also be used to define what a person or a group of people find to be visually pleasing. Some aesthetics synonym examples include philosophy of art, esthetics, beauty, and artistic taste. The cottagecore lifestyle’s aesthetics in particular evoke a particular style associated with cottages, antique things, and flower fields.
How to Define WLW
People derived the WLW meaning from the WLW acronym that refers to women-loving woman or women-loving women. Evidently, queer women make up a huge part of this ethereal lifestyle’s community. In this lifestyle group, WLW can express themselves and escape society’s stigma and discrimination towards them.
How to Define Bucolic
Many people refer to cottagecore as a bucolic lifestyle trend. The term bucolic refers to the country life’s enjoyable attributes or features. These could include the calming sounds of the river flowing by or the chirps of birds in the countryside morning. Cottagecore is well-known for such aspects that make it vastly different from the loud and fast-paced modern way of living.
How to Live a Cottagecore Lifestyle
Just like with most lifestyle trends, you can also achieve cottagecore with specific types of fashion staples. The unkempt, carefree outfits and relaxing indie music can give any person a sense of this lifestyle’s rural, delightful living. Additionally, vintage décor and plant-filled spaces can make any room worthy to be a cottagecore Tumblr cover photo.
If you wish to experience warm, enchanted living, here’s everything you need to adopt the cottagecore lifestyle today:
Fashion and Accessories
Although many people deem the cottagecore aesthetic style to be unique, it’s not that hard to come by. The outfits associated with this lifestyle exude adorable, countryside charm. Such ensembles greatly match with the one-with-nature, frisky cottagecore energy. Most of all, the trend’s fashion style promises comfort that lets you frolic in the woods with ease.
Some of the cottagecore fashion staples and tips include:
Long, Flowy Skirts and Dresses
Nothing screams “I am free” more than these outfits. The length of cottagecore aesthetic dresses and skirts makes them far more comfortable than other outfits. Moreover, flowy skirts and loose dresses are among the most popular clothing that fairytale princesses wear, making them perfect for this trend’s enchanting features.
A lot of aesthetic clothing stores owned by big companies offer flowy dresses and long skirts. However, many people who adopt the escapist lifestyle prefer thrifting their clothes. As such, they aim to stay true to their support for environmentalism and advocacies against capitalism.
Layered, Buttoned Tops
In terms of tops, people who practice this lifestyle trend rave over layered or buttoned ones. It thus goes without saying that buttoned tops and cottagecore are a match made in heaven. You may also opt for a tight blouse with puffy sleeves to achieve a straight-out-of-a-storybook aesthetic outfit.
Aprons and Overalls
Of course, baking pies won’t be complete without wearing an apron worthy of the cottagecore outfits aesthetic. Aprons align with the lifestyle’s treat-filled days due to the baking activities that cottagecore-inspired people do regularly. On another note, people who practice this lifestyle also commonly wear overalls or shortalls. Initially, these garments were popular among farmers and fishermen who wore them on top of their clothes as added protection while they work. Over the years, shortalls and overalls were modernized and eventually became fashion trends. Due to their agricultural association, this lifestyle’s adopters became fond of wearing shortalls and overalls, too.
Cute jewelry could enhance your dreamy aesthetic outfit ideas as well. You could rack up the likes on your social media posts with delightful handcrafted cottagecore jewelry such as flower crowns and simple bracelets. The lifestyle also incorporates adornments that aren’t too luxurious or prominent, staying true to its simple aesthetic. Knitted accessories are also very much associated with this whimsical lifestyle trend. These include knitted socks, hats, and even cardigans.
There is a time for laidback hairstyles to trend—and with cottagecore, that time is the present. This lifestyle increased the number of people donning their divine yet easy hairdos along with their comfortable outfits. To achieve the perfect countryside look, a great tip on how to style short hair is by fashioning it in braids or simple flower crowns. For both long and short hair, you can also style your mane in loose waves to achieve a fairy-like hairstyle that breezes in the wind.
Patterns, Colors, Materials
Generally, cottagecore incorporates similar patterns, colors, and materials to its fashion staples. People who practice this lifestyle usually use faded, subtle colors that are often found in natural elements. Such colors include olive green, baby blue, dusty pink, ivory, and tan among others. People who adopt this lifestyle also opt for countryside-related patterns such as gingham, floral, and paisley. On another note, a lot of cottagecore aesthetic clothing brands provide ruffly, lacy garments that make their outfits unique and cottagecore-worthy.
Aesthetic and Visuals
People know cottagecore predominantly due to its dreamy aesthetic and visuals. A lot of forest-related elements can be associated with the lifestyle trend. If you want to achieve this aesthetic fashion style, here are some examples that can help you get started:
The cottagecore community appreciates and is fond of being one with nature. In turn, their travel aesthetic consists mainly of natural elements. Adopters of this lifestyle capture typical nature Tumblr or Instagram photos of trees, plants, bodies of water, or animals. Moreover, they also enjoy taking road trip aesthetic photos as they run into tulip fields or wade in the lake. Even mere soothing pictures of tall trees also make for a cottagecore-worthy nature aesthetic.
Many also rave about this whimsical lifestyle due to its morning aesthetics. People refer to this theme as such due to its elements that you can typically appreciate in the morning. So, you can adopt this lifestyle’s visuals by taking calming pictures of the sunrise. Similarly, you could also try adopting the morning bird aesthetic by recording delightful videos of birds flying in the dawn sky. True enough, capturing the morning aesthetic is more than visually pleasing, but also very much calming—sticking to the cottagecore lifestyle’s features.
Rural and Country Aesthetic
Many people generally associate cottagecore with rural and countryside elements. So, adopting this lifestyle trend means taking a lot of soothing pictures that include a swift animal running through a field or a basket full of freshly-picked fruits. Farmhouse or cottage images are also very popular with the people who practice this lifestyle. Furthermore, you can also see a lot of rustic-baked treats such as muffins and pies on a typical cottagecore flat lay.
Cottagecore aims to instill calmness and bliss through simple means. Examples of these could include a Reddit simple living routine with activities that do not require techy gadgets or an internet connection to have fun. The unplugged, carefree lifestyle focuses on ultimate self-care and otherworldly happiness that a simple life offers.
Some of the well-known activities related to this lifestyle trend are:
People who adopt this lifestyle enjoy whipping up rustic and easy-to-make desserts. These treats include bread, pies, cookies, and muffins among others. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert baker. There are a lot of online websites such as Reddit baking recipes that can provide detailed instructions that even a beginner baker could do. If you want a more dreamlike baking experience, try doing it in the morning while the early sun rays are shining through your window.
Making Handmade Crafts
Cottagecore involves a lot of craft-making activities that you typically do with your grandma or mother. Sewing is very popular among cottagecore adopters. With this hobby, you can craft flowy dresses and long skirts that go well with the trend’s fashion style. Moreover, you can try out various knitting tips if you wish to make your own knitted cardigans or socks. Aside from these two, other craft-making activities you can practice are quilting and patchworking. Overall, making handmade arts and crafts can give you a different kind of calmness that gadgets don’t typically offer.
Get ready to be one with nature while you grow various fruits, vegetables, and plants in your backyard. It can feel very rewarding to obtain food that you planted and grew yourself. Growing fall flowers and beautiful trees could also help you achieve the cottagecore aesthetic you need for the ‘gram. Most importantly, you can uphold the environmentalist advocacies that the lifestyle instills in its community.
Other Self-Care Activities
Ultimately, cottagecore is a lifestyle that helps people relax and live a simple life compared to what modern living provides. So, doing self-care activities is a must if you wish to obtain an ethereal, calming way of life. You can try hopping in the bath and using bath bombs to make your skin more supple and your mind more relaxed. Moreover, coloring canvases with some Laura Ashley paint and using soft, dusty colors would truly be a cottagecore-worthy hobby. Better yet, you can relax outdoors as you write poetry about fairies, pixies, and other fairytale creatures.
Views and Advocacies
Many people fail to realize or remember that cottagecore is not merely an aesthetic, but also a way of life. Most members of this lifestyle’s community are politically like-minded and progressive. Although cottagecore adopters are not an organized political group as a whole, they are typically outspoken and active when it comes to various societal issues.
For one, the community expresses its firm support for LGBTQ+ rights. They aim to topple the stigma on homosexual relationships, especially with bisexual women and lesbians. Furthermore, this lifestyle’s adopters seek to restructure society’s view on heteronormative gender roles.
The cottagecore community also frowns upon capitalism. They generally don’t support capitalistic companies and brands. As such, they are known for thrifting or sewing their own clothes and recycling antique items.
Ultimately, cottagecore aims to provide a safe space and community where young people could express themselves. At the same time, it aims to let members build and experience an ideal community where equality and empathy are very much evident—in contrast with the prevalence of a patriarchal, capitalistic society in many parts of the world.
Examples of Cottagecore
You can find a lot of movies, shows, music, and literature pieces that relate greatly to cottagecore’s rural aesthetic and ethereal nature. They depict the beauty of country life and perfectly define escape from the stresses of everyday living.
Check out these cottagecore-related examples that could give you a sense of the lifestyle’s otherworldly energy:
Folklore Album (2020)
One could argue that nothing depicts the cottagecore culture better than the Folklore album by Taylor Swift. Swift crafted the indie rock album during quarantine as she let her imagination fly and her creative mind soar. Eventually, she came up with a tale of three intertwined love stories manifested in different yet still connected songs. Most of the songs in Folklore, such as ”Seven” and “Invisible String,” nodded to Swift’s earlier sound and song pieces. Notably, the music video for “Cardigan” captured the cottagecore fashion aesthetic of loose dresses, laidback hairdos, and you guessed it—knitted cardigans.
However, what makes this album even more cottagecore-worthy is the supposed Taylor Swift bisexual song, “Betty.” People could interpret the track as a love triangle between a man and two women, or three women in total. If you have followed Swift’s songwriting career and works, you might be acquainted with her fondness for using lyrics with underlying meanings or codes.
True enough, “Betty” is just a firm example of this. One could take the song’s character, James, as a woman—similar to how Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively named one of their daughters. Swift perfectly captured the universal form of love translated into the lyrics of “Betty,” the kind that the cottagecore community longs for everyone to see and embrace.
Hozier Album (2014)
Hozier’s self-titled album can also be a great addition to your cottagecore Spotify or Tumblr playlist. His soulful voice alone could take you into an otherworldly state as he sings songs of romance and even religion. Moreover, the Hozier album offers tracks with gospel choirs and melancholic melodies that are perfect for a dreamy lifestyle. Playing this album as you paint, bake, or merely lounge under the warmth of the morning sun can help you obtain the relaxation that you long for.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Is it really a cottagecore list without at least one Studio Ghibli piece? Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 animated movie directed, produced, and written by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of the best movies on Netflix that offers not only great visuals, but also meaningful moral lessons.
The film features a lot of cottagecore aesthetic clothes such as flowy dresses, aprons, and overalls. The animated movie also depicts the simple yet pleasurable rural way of living. At the same time, you can enjoy the beauty of countryside spots such as the hills and ocean views that cottagecore members appreciate, as well.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
This up and coming video game is also one of the most cottagecore-worthy examples. Animal Crossing New Horizons lets you build the community of your dreams while wearing simple yet adorable outfits. Sounds familiar? Notably, the Animal Crossing aesthetic aligns greatly with cottagecore’s rustic, countryside visuals. Various Animal Crossing personalities also don cute, rustic outfits that most members of the lifestyle trend wear in real life.
The Bottom Line
The cottagecore lifestyle goes beyond visuals and aesthetics—it also brings a sense of belongingness, fulfillment, and peace to its adopters. Indeed, one could even say that almost everyone might have a profound longing to drop everything and focus on self-care first. Whether you’ve embraced this lifestyle trend or not, it’s vital that you rest and breathe now and then. You can always turn this fantasy into reality even through more subtle approaches, such as spending time with yourself or appreciating nature’s beauty as you look out your window.