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Cottagecore aesthetic: what is it, and a better, more conscious guide to the rising trend

As of 2021, the influence that digital subcultures have on fashion is probably more significant than any other medium. And if you are a native to Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, or any digital platforms that are common search destinations for fashion inspos, the term “cottagecore fashion” must have been occupying a remarkable space on your feed for a while now.

Everywhere on the Internet people are posting pics of rustic spaces, meadow fields, artisanal crafts and pictures of themselves in peasant dresses and Victorian clothes, all of which can come under the umbrella of cottagecore aesthetics. Akin to other aesthetics such as Farmcore, or Fairycore, the cottagecore movement accentuates our innate connection with the natural world and our ceaseless nostalgia for the old way of living during, and even post pandemic.

As an ode to the slower, more mindful life immersed in nature and its blessings, cottagecore fashion is closely linked to a sustainable, zero-waste lifestyle that is similar to that in a forgotten era pre-capitalism, where fast fashion doesn’t belong.

With that being said, being an adherent to this aesthetic doesn’t mean you have to have access to impractical, far-off things. Really, you might want to think twice before buying a vintage tea set, ancient books, hand-made crafts or a cottage house in English countryside just for the sake of Instagram photos. With cottagecore clothings, you can still get the same self-soothing sentiment and coziness in the usual setting of your apartment. No Kill has compiled a list of the essentials for both our cottagecore devotees, and those who are experimenting with a little more romanticism in their closet.

Dreamy, romantic attire

With English Romanticism at its core, the cottagecore aesthetic is most commonly presented with soft, billowy gowns – those you might have seen worn in films set in the Victorian era, think Pride and Prejudice. These are the type of dresses that you would expect Jane Austen’s characters to wear: white or faded-colored peasant dresses with poet sleeves, ruffles and layers, and maybe night gowns with puffed sleeves, wide neck and a straight, flowy fit.









Christy Dawn

Since cottagecore encompasses cottage life and anything related, wrap dresses and summer dresses are also a nice versatile choice. Look for colors that are derived from a warm-toned, natural palette like shades of brown, brick red, dusty rose, sky blue, mustard yellow, and olive green.




Christy Dawn

Most of the time the prairie clothes that you see are full-length, and sometimes mid-length dresses. Yes, the buoyant layers, frocks and frills are the most easily imaginable embodiment of Romanticism, but in case you’re wondering, there are also cottagecore tops and bottoms to widen your range of options (and possibly practicality, too). With the exact same features of a cottagecore dress – voluminous sleeves, sweetheart neckline, and a festoon of ruffles, these blouses are the perfect combination of vanity-fair and functionality. With the right accessories, you can wear them both to a tea party and to a night event.








It came as no surprise when cottagecore was budding as a digital subculture from the moment Taylor Swift released her most recent album, “Folklore”. “Cardigan” was one of the most popular songs played in quarantine, and its setting – a cozy cabin in the woods, a magical moss-covered forest – is a miniature of the cottagecore universe. Now we may not be able to escape to such places, a light mesh cardigan may be just what we need as we spend our time on deeper self-soothing and self-introspection.




What about the skirts, or even trousers? Our top picks for you are hay and willow colored bottoms, with a relaxed fit. Of course, crisp white and other pale neutral shades are just as good to add to your cottagecore collection – these actually blend really well with the background of your mini staycation studio.






Rustic, flatformed footwear:

Because the most organic, closest to nature footwear is nothing but barefoot. So, Boho slim-lined sandals with dainty strings are very commonly paired with long dresses.

Try to opt for non plastic sandals made from natural fibers with little to no artificial dyes – the natural color is more than enough to make it look good with almost every summer outfit, not restricted to cottagecore.




Christy Dawn


You wouldn’t imagine wearing heels walking over grass or soil – the usual romanticized setting for lots of cottagecore pictures floating on the web. However, we’re talking about bringing the same sense of leisure, idyllic spirit to incorporate into your daily life. So a little bit of a heel wouldn’t do any harm to the aesthetic that you’re creating. Plus, they do add a touch more feminine, which we adore.





Beside the usually seen light-weight summer sandals, fisherman sandals, huaraches, loafers and Oxford shoes are footwear options you might want to mix with the flowy, dreamy dresses. Ankle boots and knee-high boots – or any Bohemian-inspired pieces, are also great, but might not be something you regularly reach for in the summer weather.






Brother Vellies

And don’t forget ballerina flats. Comfortable and feminine, these petite shoes also come in different variants, including laced up and squared-toe ballet flats.



Loeffler Randall


Nicky Hilton x French Sole

Simple, artisanal accessories:

With a lot of details in the attire composition, light, simple accessories are much more preferred ways to add a touch more elegance and grace. Sometimes just a headband or bandana is enough to channel the idleness and serenity from fantasy meadows to reality.



milo + nikki


united by blue


united by blue

Speaking of head accessories, you may not want to miss our favourite, sustainably-sourced sun hats and soft bucket hats – they may come in handy while you’re on your next sunny picnic to the suburbs.




united by blue


In the cottagecore universe, the same color palette applies to everything, including the handbags. For a safe everyday go-to item, a well-made leather bag would be your best bet. In fact, it is not the handbags, but the cane-woven baskets, like the one we saw Jane Birkin’s frequently pictured with as she was strolling in Paris, are some of the most favored cottagecore items.






Indego Africa

–Jacqueline Pham

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