Cottagecore Clothing and Why It’s Booming in 2021

  Fashion is an art form that is ever-changing.

image for article Cottagecore Clothing and Why It’s Booming in 2021

Fashion is an art form that is ever-changing. Modern fashion, however, is often influenced by the trends of the past. Even recently, there has been a resurgence of the 90’s grunge style, or the ‘70s hippie and flare style pants. 

These days, one of the trendiest fashion styles is reminiscent of the Medieval Era and days spent in pastoral lands. This trend is called cottagecore. 

Cottagecore is an aesthetic style that romanticizes the idea of simple, rural life. Cottagecore fashion is defined by whimsical outfits, flowy skirts and dresses, corsets, and all kinds of garments that pay homage to the rural, pastoral time. You may have also heard it called “Farmcore'' or “Countrycore.”

Read on to learn all about cottagecore and why it is booming in 2021:

Cottagecore Defined

Though cottagecore is often associated with certain articles of clothing, the term covers much more than just fashion. Cottagecore is a movement that can be interpreted in many different ways. It can merely be a style to enjoy, but it also can refer to an entire genre of fashion, as well as a way of living.

The cottagecore lifestyle urges individuals to return to simpler ways of living. Instead of revolving around technology and modern society, it romanticizes a more calm, naturistic lifestyle. People engage in activities like baking bread, gardening, sewing, etc. Rooms and houses are decorated to match that of a cottage, with rustic interior design, flowers, and simplicity. 

Fashion, however, is the central key to the cottagecore lifestyle. The fashion looks to older rural styles. 

There is a vast collection of looks that would be considered cottagecore. Some staple pieces of this fashion category include dresses with puffy sleeves, gingham patterns, floral patterns, white frocks, and flowy skirts. The clothes are gentle and light looking and encapsulate the idea of being one with nature. 

One of the most important aspects of the cottagecore fashion style is the way it encourages people to shop vintage. Vintage shops and thrift stores often have wide selections of clothes that fall under the cottagecore category; therefore, thrifting is becoming an integral part of the Cottagecore ways. 

Cottagecore Emerging

It might seem that cottagecore fashion and lifestyle has emerged from nowhere — almost as if the aesthetic was being advertised everywhere out of thin air. 

Though Cottagecore quickly gained popularity over the past year, it has actually been around for quite some time on websites like Tumblr or Pinterest, where the term “cottagecore” originated. 

The term itself came to life around 2018 on Tumblr. Users on Tumblr combined the word cottage with the suffix “-core” to denote the aesthetic of idealizing agricultural lifestyles and fashion. The suffix “-core” is used often to create a name for various subgenres, and of course, was borrowed from the punk music scene of the ‘80s by taking the end of the word “hardcore” to begin describing new genres. 

Essentially, it came from individuals creating mood boards that romanticize simple, pastoral lives. People of the once niche cottagecore community would curate different boards showing outfits, films, music, interior design, and more that demonstrate that simple, rural lifestyle. Because of the way the style seemed reminiscent of life at a cottage, it was coined “cottagecore.”

Why Cottagecore Is Booming in 2021

Now in 2021, cottagecore is more popular than ever. Once there was a name to the aesthetic, it gradually gained more popularity on social media over the years but didn’t become fully mainstream until the emergence of TikTok in 2020. 

TikTok is a social media app where you can post clips up to three minutes in length about virtually any topic you want. There are many different subcategories and communities that exist on TikTok, and members of the cottagecore community quickly gained traction, bringing much more popularity to this trend. 

Users on the app began posting short clips showing off their fashion, bedroom designs, and hobbies that highlight the cottagecore style. These videos did very well on the app, getting thousands, sometimes even millions, of views.

The cottagecore aesthetic kept gaining exposure through TikTok, and soon after, influencers and celebrities started promoting it as well. 

Celebrities and influencers in the past year have really taken to cottagecore stylings and have featured it all over their social media feeds. Actress Millie Bobby Brown and singer Halsey are prime examples of this surge in trend popularity.

Over the past year, they have taken to Instagram, where they often show themselves gardening and spending time outside. Hundreds of other celebrities have been promoting cottagecore fashion all over their feeds recently, which has greatly contributed to the boom of cottagecore apparel. 

Shopping Cottagecore

Though many retailers have hopped on the bandwagon and are selling cottagecore-influenced garments, shopping vintage is the best way to shop and find the perfect cottagecore pieces. Shopping vintage and thrifting will allow you to find unique and authentic cottagecore outfits. 

Some of the best cottagecore garments can be found below:

  • A sleeveless dress is a great vintage find. It shows the best of both worlds with patterns, as it is a floral dress, but is accented with a red gingham belt and interior. It perfectly encapsulates the cottagecore style. 
  • A ’50s pink apron. The floral pattern over the light stripes, as well as the ruffled bottom, make this apron perfect for anyone looking to fulfill their cottagecore desire of baking bread. 
  • A knit blue sweater. This sweater is blue with patches of hearts and roses. It is cozy and perfect for a chilly day sipping tea and reading by a window.
  • A vintage milkmaid dress. This dress is the perfect staple piece for a cottagecore wardrobe. Milkmaids are iconic figures from our past, and this one is unique with the paisley print that borders the bust while still having the classic puffed sleeve with ruffles. 

From Farm to Table To Runway

Cottagecore romanticizes a return to an agricultural lifestyle and engaging in more simple tasks like baking and gardening. The most crucial aspect of the cottagecore aesthetic is the fashion. Highlighting floral and gingham patterns, ruffles, puffed sleeves, and milkmaid dresses, the fashion of the cottagecore movement is more prevalent now in 2021 than it’s ever been before thanks to its popularity on apps like Instagram and TikTok. 

Based on current fashion trends, it seems like cottagecore is here to stay, so head to the vintage store where you can start creating the perfect cottagecore wardrobe! 


Escape Into Cottagecore, Calming Ethos for Our Febrile Moment  | NY Times

"-core" Is the Suffix of Our Time | Washingtonian

What's Cottagecore? TikTok's Influencers Explain the Trend | PAPER

The Milkmaid Who Supposedly Inspired The Smallpox Vaccine Was A Myth | NPR 

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