The sun is shining, the breeze is gently dancing through the wildflowers, and somewhere in the distance birdsong takes on a piano quality as if nature itself is serenading the heroine on top of the hill, etcetera, etcetera. Those are the vibes that make up the foundation of "cottagecore," an aesthetic or lifestyle that has developed into a full fashion movement.
There are several distinct style aesthetics that act as categories or guides for people who are trying to find their own sense of personal style. And in reality, most of us will fall within a few different categories and our personal styles will be an amalgamation. However, as a starting point understanding the basic building blocks of each aesthetic is helpful to determine how to emulate it and to what degree.
What is the cottagecore look?
Cottagecore is one of the more robust categories at the moment as it encompasses an entire lifestyle and is almost its own hobby outside of fashion. Also known as farmcore or countrycore, the cottagecore movement comes from an overwhelming desire to return to a romanticized version of pastoral life. It makes sense that in a period of unrest and immense stress throughout the world that a lifestyle that is low stakes and emphasizes simplicity would be preferable. It also celebrates nature in a time of climate crisis and often people who go all-in on cottagecore are also interested in sustainability.
Cottagecore has been around for a long time, since the advent of image-sharing social media platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Calming yet aspirational photographs of stone cottages in the English countryside, farms and wildflower gardens, picnics by the river, and drinking tea by the fire, comprise much of the online cottagecore gallery.
Building the aesthetic into contemporary life involves artisan homewares, florals, loose natural fabrics, and a massive helping of nostalgia.
Not to be confused with regency fashion, cottagecore takes its cues from the same time period but imagines what people in regency era England might wear in the countryside. Rustic but not dirty. Think of Marie Antoinette's fake farm in the Palace of Versailles gardens and you're getting closer.
Baskets, baked goods, and cut wildflowers are cottagecore (bonus points if you have a pie and some wildflowers in a basket) and they are used almost like props to support the fashion which mainly consists of dresses and skirts typically in linen, cotton, or silk (wool and other natural knits in the winter) and with a tight torso and flowing bottom. There are also lots of floral prints and puff sleeve details. And ruffle finishes either on the hem or sleeves give a great hint of cottagecore.
Where to shop for it in Vancouver
Vancouver has some great cottagecore influencers that are worth following for style inspiration such as Anna Shishmanov and Wendy Hansen but here are a few places to check out for all your cottagecore lifestyle needs.
Outside of Vancouver, there are a ton of great brands that ship to Canada such as Cristy Dawn which has farm-to-closet cottagecore dresses.
Wildbunch flowers and foliage in Vancouver gives major cottagecore vibes. They have a beautiful space that is available for weddings and parties on West 6th and they deliver both live in-season bouquets and dried arrangements. The flowers are largely local and come from farms or are foraged and their natural freestyle approach to arrangements is what makes it look cottagecore. Beautiful yet wild.
A trip to Flourist in a flowy floral dress with a bouquet of flowers tucked in the crook of your arm will complete the cottagecore trifecta. Located on Commercial Street, Flourist makes amazing rustic homestyle loaves and treats made with flour they mill themselves. They also sell grocery items like farm-fresh eggs, house-made pizza dough and preserves.
- More style, explained: What is the 'Coastal Grandmother' look, and where can you shop for it in Vancouver?