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How to Dress CottageCore

Sarah Loven showing you how to dress cottagecore

Cottagecore is the new beloved style that really emerged in 2021, bringing an undeniable sweetness found in the simple pleasures of life. Perhaps through the difficulties of modern society these days, we crave an escape into a time and place a little more simple and natural. Much like what Marie Antoinette craved when she spent time away from court at her Petit Trianon and Hamlet, Provincial style brings us back to a romantic version of pastoral life that is the focal point of Cottagecore style. In fact, the trend started from the fandom that follows the Marie Antoinette film by Sofia Coppola! So here are the main items you need to complete a Cottagecore outfit and wardrobe, and what to pair to easily create that romantic, whimsical look.

1: Base Layers

Cottagecore outfits are made special with layers, and to start with, you want to work with your base layers. Besides under garments (which are not always part of the look, or can even be optional!), your base layers will consist of blouses, tunics, dresses, skirts, bloomers, etc. Specifically items that resembles a more historical garment- anything that falls between the medieval and victorian eras! Focus on what will make you feel comfortable and dreamy, and what you plan to layer over top. Look for features like puff sleeves, ruffles, light cotton or linen fabrics, simple and country-inspired prints like florals and toile. Your outfit can range anywhere from working peasant to whimsical princess. In summer, one will lean towards neutrals, earth tones, and pastels. While in Fall/Winter, outfits tend towards warmer shades and earthen colors.

2: Top Layers

Top layers are items you will wear over your base layer, such as vests, corsets, cardigans, sweaters, jackets, etc. Usually these items follow the same historical era as your base layer, as in you probably wouldn’t pair a Victorian high neck blouse with a Medieval skirt and Rococo corset. Although there are no rules, and you can really do whatever you wish! The magic of this style is in the way you pair the items aesthetically to give a feeling of a different place and time, focusing on simpler life. Not every item in the outfit needs to be historically inspired.

3: Accessories

Often, a simple outfit can be made even more Cottagecore depending on the accessories! Consider adding a belt, gloves, stockings, crochet, vintage or handmade style jewelry to your look! And for your head? Flower crowns, straw garden hats, wide brim povinçal hats, head scarfs, even chunky knit hats in colder seasons! You may want to carry some old books, flowers, or market goodies in a basket on your arm, a natural linen tote bag, or a vintage sack made of leather or other natural materials.

4: Hair Styles

Hair styles are another big contributor to the style, and should focus on more natural looks. Let your hair be wavy, maybe a little messy, and free! Add in some big or small braids, or do chunky pigtail braids that are pulled loose and woven with thin ribbons or flowers. The folksier, the better- you can braid a crown of hair around your head, pulling loose pieces out to frame your face. The goal is to look just a little wind-kissed, or like you just woke from a nap in the tall grass.

5: Shoes

Your shoe options will be the final touch to complete the look, and often depends on the season. Boots are most often seen in this trend, especially lace up boots. They are also called granny boots, or victorian boots. Shorter ankle boot styles are better for warm seasons, and we recommend in light shades like cream or light camel, whether in leather or natural fabrics like canvas. Stay away from chunky heel boots or combat styles, as you want to maintain a more historical and gentle look. You can also find some success with Lolita style shoes, if you’re going a little more classy and less “working girl.” For colder months, you can really jazz up your look with tall lace up boots, from ankle all the way to over the knee styles. Don’t forget to pair cute socks, stockings, or leg warmers with your boots!