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Over the past few months, you've probably seen a steady rise of images and mood boards depicting the sultry life of the countryside. After all, there's something about the muted hues, cozy ambiance, and the breath of nostalgia that just gets us.
Perhaps there's no finer example of this aesthetic than cottagecore fashion.
The romanticism of rural life filled with dandelions and cottagecore dresses on picnics is a movement that is here to stay. A nod to the traditional English countryside and culture, cottagecore fashion took the scene as a gentle rage against the modern, busy lifestyle.
But aside from the aesthetically pleasing cottagecore outfits, how exactly did this '90s trend thrive and why did cottagecore fashion become so popular?
Cottagecore Fashion and Lifestyle During the Pandemic
Before the world turned upside down and we were locked inside our homes, there are already signs of cottagecore fashion becoming the next great thing. However, this was focused on select niches only —the Pinterest lifestyle, as some would call it.
Then people were left to their own devices at home and the attention to this trend skyrocketed. Thanks to social media platforms especially TikTok and Instagram, cottagecore fashion has become a fully-fledged aesthetic movement. Suddenly, our feeds are filled with floral, puffy-sleeved cottagecore dresses that gave us a warm feeling of being outside laying on a field of grass.
Beyond the aesthetics of cottagecore outfits, the cottagecore fashion and lifestyle were seen to be a movement to go back to the "simpler times". The pandemic drove people to spend ungodly hours on the Internet and social media to pass time. Even their work and social lifestyle migrated online.
Cottagecore fashion and the trend that surrounds it is a respite against the overstimulated world. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media, you take up different hobbies such as sewing, embroidery, or anything that brings you relaxation without adding any screen time. Of course, you have to do it in style —thus the cottagecore outfits that reflect wholesome appreciation to nature and the world outside of our phones.
The Nostalgia with Cottagecore Fashion
There's a good reason why '90s trends keep on resurfacing. Aside from being classic and timeless, it also brings a wave of nostalgia with it.
This is why cottagecore fashion was immediately accepted by everyone once it became a trend again. Unlike new things, cottagecore fashion is familiar —it feels like nostalgia and home rather than a shiny, foreign trend.
Even if you didn't grow up in the countryside chasing chickens across your backyard while your mother dries the clothes in the breeze, cottagecore fashion is still appealing because it's somehow comforting. Rather than searching ahead for new fashion trends where the reality is uncertain, we look back to our previous life where things are less complex and we can cherry-pick the good and the bad.
Cottagecore outfits reflect a much simpler way of dressing when we were kids. Fashion was simply whatever our parents chose for us and it was the same for everyone. There were no trends or fads to chase because comfort dictates what we wear. Now, cottagecore fashion embodied comfort and nostalgia with our ability to choose the clothes that we like and relate to.
Cottagecore Dresses Without the Oppression
The modern fashion scene has always been obsessed with the '70s, '80s, and early '90s fashion. People love seeing women in black and white photos wearing full skirts and elbow-length gloves. The heightened fascination on the old fashion scene never wavered which leads to trends resurfacing in the modern era.
But of course, the image of cottagecore fashion used to revolve around slim, white women traipsing down the farm while holding wicker baskets. The aesthetics during this time covered the fact that the day-to-day life of women back then isn't as peachy and "comforting". Much less for the women of color and women belonging in lower tranches of class.
Now, cottagecore fashion evolved into something more progressive and suitable for modern life. It gave people the ability to enjoy wearing cottagecore outfits while reimagining the period of oppression into something more inclusive. The cottagecore dresses became a symbol for creativity and aesthetics rather than a narrative for victimization.
The inclusivity of cottagecore fashion is really what sustained this movement. No matter how you express yourself, there's always a cottagecore outfit that suits you. Unlike other trends, it didn't require people to go out and buy more items to achieve the look which made it more attainable for people to try. Cottagecore fashion also became an avenue for people to revisit their style —as people described this trend, it's grandma-in-her-youth fashion but hip.
Cottagecore fashion is a state of mind —beyond the cottagecore dresses and freshly baked bread, it's a lifestyle that pushes against the overly complicated modern life. With such refined aesthetics, it's not a surprise that cottagecore fashion is here to stay.
© 2021 Haile Lucus