So what exactly is Cottagecore?
If you’ve been seeing more and more images of nostalgic countryside scenes, peasant dresses, flower baskets, and decorate sourdoughs, you’re not alone and you've come to the right place. You may have even partaken in some cottagecore activities without even realizing it: dutifully maintaining a sourdough starter, suddenly realizing that you need a floral print dress, or finding refuge in the outdoors and detoxing from technology.
Cottagecore is an aesthetic and lifestyle movement which celebrates an idealised cosy and rural life. Lifestyle wise, it embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature with more traditional skills and crafts such as knitting, foraging, reading, baking, and art forms such as pottery and painting. Aesthetically, it’s a nod to the traditional English countryside style, romantic and nostalgic. Key visual components are natural elements indoors like dried flowers, fresh flowers, houseplants, and a natural colour palette with neutrals and warm tones. Plus some historical inspiration from old-time farming (such as Laura Ingalls Wilder books) and some vintage dishware. Cottagecore clothing is light, whimsical and floral. Something you can dance, frolic, and bake in without a worry in the world.
For many, cottagecore is more than just an aesthetic. Cottagecore is also a community of likeminded people from all walks of life seeking a connection with each out, life, and nature. Most importantly, cottagecore is something accessible to everyone, anywhere. No matter who you are or where you live, different aspects of the lifestyle can be adopted and bring peace to anyone.
The ideas of cottagecore can also help to satisfy a desire for "an aspirational form of nostalgia" as well as an escape from many forms of stress and trauma. The movement gained further traction in many online spheres and on social media in 2020 due to the mass quarantining in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An escape into a dream rural life has helps many cope as it emphasizes simplicity and the soft peacefulness of the pastoral life as an escape from the dangers of the modern world. Cottagecore is in part, also a reaction against our increasing time spent in front of a screen, but also related to ongoing interests in wellness and sustainability, and more broadly the idea of social consciousness. Some saw cottagecore emerging as early as 2017, but most say that it really came into its own in 2019, thanks in part to its popularity on TikTok, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Cottagecore is also related to similar aesthetic movements such as mori, grandmacore, farmcore, honeycore, goblincore, royalcore, light academia, dark academia, and faeriecore/fairycore.