How to Wear Cottagecore In 2021, Because the Whimsical Aesthetic Isn't Going Anywhere
Out of all the aesthetics Instagram made famous as of late, "cottagecore" is probably my favorite. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I've been incorporating peasant silhouettes, soft floral patterns, and earth tones into my wardrobe since my junior year of college, when my admiration for all things Jane Austen-esque transpired into a full-fledged obsession. At the time, I didn't have the gumption to fully commit to the look; I would have stuck out like a sore thumb in the sea of designer sweatshirts, stackable rings, and metallic embellishments that 2013 brought with it. Now, however, I'm considering a serious wardrobe revamp.
Cottagecore, of course, isn't exclusive to 2021. The soft, ethereal aesthetic saw a resurgence back in 2020, when the world was in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic. As society searched for different outlets of escapism, this whimsical, period-inspired way of dressing rose in popularity, offering up a slice of simplicity we'd been too busy to realize we needed pre-Covid.
I'm happy to report that, even as we re-enter the world post-Covid, cottagecore is still alive and kicking, despite light academia and fairycore threatening to overthrow the trend. But how do we preserve the simplicity of this sweet, simple vibe when outside the quarantine bubble, where it has thrived in for all these months, you ask? Good question.
Here are a few ways fashion influencers on Instagram are wearing cottagecore in 2021.
Add a Vest
Floral prairie dresses are the pinnacle of cottagecore, but if you want to add a sultry touch to the otherwise sweet and innocent look, add a vest or corset to accentuate the bodice.
Embrace Solid Earth Tones
Florals and gingham are staple prints of the cottagecore aesthetic, and even when muted, the patterns make a bold statement. To keep things neutral at the office, stick to solid earth tones, like potato brown, beige, taupe, fern, moss, burnt orange, etc.
Swap Out Dresses for Jumpsuits
Arguably one of the hardest parts about re-entering the world post-Covid is stepping out of the house in anything but sweats. Luckily, jumpsuits negate the need for body-hugging denim and uncomfortable waistbands, and there are plenty of these one-piece options under the cottagecore category.
Accessorize With Straw Handbags and Hats
No outfit is complete without the right accessory. Wicker pieces drive home the natural theme of cottagecore, so top off your look with a straw hat if you're headed outdoors, or wear a straw handbag on your arm on your commute.
Wear the Trend In a Subtle Way
Whimsical as it may be, cottagecore is very much a bold trend, which may or may not bode well with various dress codes or occasions. That being said, you can still incorporate subtle nods to the style in your daily outfits. Think tying up your hair in a pretty ribbon or bow, wearing tops with lace or embroidery detail, and, of course, pops of floral.
Puff Sleeves On Repeat
Florals aren't the only detail making a statement in cottagecore. In my opinion, puff sleeves are one of the best parts of the aesthetic, and you can find them on a large selection of pretty blouses and dresses.
Simple Retro Alicia Floral Embroidery V-Neck Blouse
Shop now: $50, simpleretro.com
Faithfull the Brand Nikoleta Floral Print Mini Dress
Shop now: $209, net-a-porter.com
Hill House Home The Nesli Nap Dress
Shop now: $125, hillhousehome.com
Old Navy Fit & Flare Puff-Sleeve Tiered Floral Midi Dress
Shop now: $48, oldnavy.gap.com
ModCloth Boho on the Range Smocked Maxi Dress
Shop now: $119, modcloth.com
Lulus Gala in the Garden Cream Jacquard High-Low Midi Dress
Shop now: $68, lulus.com
Saylor Sunday Top
Shop now: $209, saylor.com
ASOS Design Strappy Pinny Belt Belted Jumpsuit in Floral Print
Shop now: $17; asos.com
Alice + Olivia Tabitha Embroidered Cotton Crop Top
Shop now: $295, nordstrom.com
Zara Pleated Printed Dress in Pink
Shop now: $46; zara.com
WowHeritage Handmade Moroccan Straw Bag
Shop now: $55, etsy.com
Missguided Tall Yellow Floral Print Balloon Sleeve Keyhole Mini Dress
Shop now: $23, missguidedus.com
Vici Collection Kavita Floral Maxi Dress
Shop now: $58, vicicollection.com