A Visual Cottagecore Exploration by Seasons and Subgenres

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

Cottagecore offers a serene and nostalgic escape for those seeking an alternative to the hustle and bustle of modern life.

As a cultural and aesthetic movement, Cottagecore is characterized by a romanticized view of rural life and nature.

Focusing on sustainability, craftsmanship, and natural beauty, Cottagecore emphasizes a return to simpler, self-sufficient living.

What is Cottagecore

As such, Cottagecore aesthetics feature the charm of a rural idyll, rustic homes, lush gardens, handcrafted tools, village life, and pastoral landscapes.

This article delves into the origins and evolution of the Cottagecore aesthetic and its subgenres that define this popular movement.




What is Cottagecore?

Cottagecore (also known as Farmcore and Countrycore) is an aesthetic movement fostering the idea of living a simple rural lifestyle with local food, artisans, animals, forests, gardens, flowers, and no technology.

Initial mentions of the Cottagecore aesthetic are traced back to the late 19th – early 20th Arts and Crafts movement, which championed traditional craftsmanship and a return to nature.

What is Cottagecore
Cottagecore Urban Dictionary definition – The VOU.

Over time, the Cottagecore aesthetic re-appears in classic literature and paintings as a nostalgia for a simpler, pastoral, rural lifestyle.

Tumblr, Instagram, and TikTok communities have popularized the Cottagecore style as a fashionable way of celebrating the beauty of rural living.

Instagram Cottagecore influencer
Instagram influencer Rebecka Wahl from Sweden, Cottagecore aesthetics Instagram Post – The VOU.




Cottagecore’s Visuals

Inspired by folklore, literature, and a longing for simpler times, Cottagecore visuals are rooted in a romanticized past and very popular in garments, footwear, and accessories created by dedicated Cottagecore brands.

Traditional Crafts

Cottagecore Aesthetics
Traditional crafts in Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: The Kitchen McCabe)

The aesthetic’s central theme is a sense of nostalgia for a slower, more fulfilling traditional lifestyle built around self-sufficiency, sustainability, and one’s connection to nature.

As such, traditional English countryside crafts such as knitting, embroidery, and gardening are key visual elements of the Cottagecore aesthetic.

References to Nature

Cottagecore romanticism
References to nature in Cottagecore Aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Lena Hoschek)

Natural elements and materials such as wood, stone, and linen are found in cottagecore clothing, furniture, and home decor and play a crucial role in cottagecore aesthetics.

Cottagecore patterns feature floral or botanical motifs, while color palettes incorporate earthy hues, muted greens, and soft pastels.

Elements like dried flowers, fresh herbs, rustic wicker baskets, and cozy village homes are also part of the aesthetic’s core visuals.




Medieval Past

A Visual Cottagecore Exploration by Seasons and Subgenres
References to the medieval past in Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

The Cottagecore aesthetic reinforces seeking refuge from the fast-paced modern world towards a simpler agricultural life rooted in the medieval past.

This nostalgia is reflected in the movement’s aesthetics, focusing on handmade, artisanal products and traditional crafts such as knitting, embroidery, and gardening.

Fairy Tales

Cottagecore fairy tale aesthetics
Fairy Tales in Cottagecore Aesthetics – The VOU (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

Cottagecore aesthetics can be traced back to the romanticism found in European fairy tales and folklore.

These stories often depicted quaint, picturesque villages and idyllic rural life, with cozy cottages nestled among lush greenery.




Cottagecore Seasons

The Cottagecore aesthetic incorporates seasonal changes, allowing followers to celebrate and embrace the beauty of nature throughout the year.

Each season requires its Cottagecore outfits, decors, and activities, presenting unique opportunities to connect with the natural world and explore the themes of Cottagecore.

Cottagecore in Spring

Cottagecore aesthetics
Cottagecore in Spring – The VOU. (Image courtesy: A Clothes Horse)

In Spring, the emphasis is on growth and renewal, with images of blossoming flowers, floral dresses, sprouting seeds, and vibrant green landscapes dominating Cottagecore content.

This season, activities such as planting gardens, foraging for wild edibles, and engaging in spring cleaning rituals become popular.

Cottagecore in Summer

Cottagecore lesbian fashion
Cottagecore in Summer – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @faithfullthebrand)

With sun-drenched fields, picnics, and outdoor gatherings, Summer Cottagecore focuses on the season’s warmth, abundance, and leisure.

Summer activities include tending to gardens, exploring the outdoors, and collecting flowers and plants in Boho styles.




Cottagecore in Autumn

Cottagecore Autumn Fashion
Cottagecore in Autumn – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

Autumn Cottagecore aesthetics showcase the changing colors of the leaves, cozy sweaters, and the harvest season.

Activities include fruit and vegetable picking, seasonal baking, and preparing for winter by preserving food and stocking up on firewood.

Cottagecore in Winter

Cottagecore Winter Fashion
Cottagecore in Winter – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

Winter Cottagecore highlights the quiet beauty of snow-covered landscapes, the warmth of a crackling fire, and the joy of indoor pursuits like knitting, reading, and baking.

During this season, followers often focus on self-reflection, indoor hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones.




Cottagecore Substyles

Over time, Cottagecore has given rise to various subgenres and related aesthetics that share an appreciation for simplicity, nature, and a slower pace of life.

1. Bloomcore

With a focus on botanical elements, floral patterns, and lush landscapes, Bloomcore emphasizes the beauty of flowers and gardens.

However, while it shares Cottagecore’s love of nature, Bloomcore emphasizes blooming plants’ vibrant colors and unique textures.

Bloomcore cottagecore style
Bloomcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Simple Retro)
Bloomcore cottagecore fashion style
Bloomcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Alina Alexandra)
What is cottagecore
Bloomcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Sarah Christine)
Bloomcore cottagecore fashion style
Bloomcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Love Shack Fancy)

2. Honeycore

Centered around the theme of village lifestyle, bees, and honey, the Honeycore aesthetic incorporates beekeeping, honeycombs, and vintage bee illustrations.

Honeycore visuals feature warm color palettes with gold, yellow, and amber shades, creating a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of sunlit afternoons.

Honeycore cottagecore aesthetic
Honeycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Aesthetics Fandom)
Honeycore cottagecore aesthetic
Honeycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Rookie Magazine)
Honeycore cottagecore aesthetic
Honeycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Gather Victoria)




3. Vaporcottage

Vaporcottage is a fusion of cottagecore and vaporwave, an aesthetic characterized by nostalgic, dreamy, and surreal visuals – also found in Dreamcore aesthetics.

While maintaining the rural charm of Cottagecore, Vaporcottage blends pastel colors, digital art, and retro-futuristic imagery, creating a unique aesthetic of traditional-modern flavor.

A Visual Cottagecore Exploration by Seasons and Subgenres
Vaporcottage aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @o_li_si)
Vaporcottage aesthetics
Vaporcottage aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @o_li_si)
Vaporcottage aesthetics
Vaporcottage aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @o_li_si)

4. Southwest Cottagecore

Inspired by the desert landscapes and culture of the American Southwest, the Southwest Cottagecore subgenre incorporates terracotta pottery and native plants like cacti and succulents with Adobe architecture.

The Southwest Cottagecore color palette includes warm earth tones, dusty blues, and vibrant sunset hues.

Cottagecore Southwest fashion
Southwest Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @christydawn.
Cottagecore Southwest aesthetics
Southwest Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @melissa_penfold)
Cottagecore Southwest aesthetics
Southwest Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Splurge Frugal)




5. Grandparentcore

Grandparentcore celebrates the nostalgia and comfort associated with grandparents and their homes.

The aesthetic features vintage furniture, heirloom textiles, cherished keepsakes, and old-style kitchen appliances.

Grandparentcore highlights the importance of family, tradition, and the passing down of skills and wisdom through generations.

Grandparentcore in cottagecore aesthetic
Grandparentcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Grandparentcore in cottagecore aesthetic
Grandparentcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Grandparentcore in cottagecore aesthetic
Grandparentcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

6. Forestcore

Forestcore is a related aesthetic emphasizing the enchanting beauty of woodlands and the tranquility of being surrounded by trees, ferns, and moss.

Forestcore features woodland creatures, cozy cabins, and nature-inspired artwork, creating a serene atmosphere that invites introspection and connection with the natural world.

Forestcore Cottagecore Aesthetic
Forestcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Forestcore Cottagecore Aesthetic
Forestcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Forestcore aesthetics
Forestcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Reddit)




7. Goblincore

Goblincore aesthetic shares many similarities with Cottagecore but emphasizes the beauty of nature’s imperfections and decay.

This subgenre focuses on appreciating things deemed “ugly” or “strange,” such as mushrooms, insects, mud, and rocks.

Goblincore revels in the whimsical and eccentric aspects of the natural world, with a particular fondness for foraging and collecting treasures.

Goblincore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Goblincore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Goblincore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Goblincore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Goblincore aesthetics
Goblincore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: We Heart It)

8. Farmcore

Farmcore is an aesthetic that emphasizes the simplicity of traditional farm life and its rustic charm.

Simple living, traditional skills, and self-sufficiency through the fruits of labor that farming provides.

This subgenre highlights agricultural practices, farm animals, and homemade goods, showcasing an appreciation for gardening, baking, and preserving food.

Farmcore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Farmcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Farmcore Cottagecore
Farmcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Tumblr)
Farmcore Cottagecore aesthetic
Farmcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Linen Naive)
Farmcore cottagecore fashion
Farmcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)




9. Witchcore

Witchcore is an aesthetic that blends elements of Cottagecore with witchcraft, mysticism, and the occult.

Featuring visuals like crystals, tarot cards, and candles, the subgenre depicts themes about herbalism, folklore, and divination.

Witchcore values the connection to nature, the spiritual world, and the practice of ancient traditions and rituals.

Witchcore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Witchcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Witchcore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Witchcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Witchcore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Witchcore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

10. Cozycore

Prioritizing comfort, warmth, and relaxation, the Cozycore aesthetic depicts inviting spaces filled with plush textiles, soft lighting, and soothing colors.

While Cozycore shares the love for nature and simplicity with cottagecore, it emphasizes the importance of self-care and mental well-being.

Cozycore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Cozycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Cozycore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Cozycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Cozycore Aesthetic in Cottagecore
Cozycore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)




11. Ocean Cottagecore

As the name suggests, Ocean Cottagecore is inspired by the beauty and tranquility of the sea.

The subgenre combines the rural charm of the Cottagecore aesthetic with coastal elements like seashells, driftwood, and nautical motifs.

As such, the Ocean Cottagecore visuals feature color palettes of soft blues, greens, and sandy neutrals, evoking the calming atmosphere of a seaside retreat.

Ocean Cottagecore
Ocean Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Ocean Cottagecore
Ocean Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Ocean Cottagecore
Ocean Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

12. Dark Cottagecore

As the name suggests, Dark Cottagecore uses the negative aspects of the cottage lifestyle – that the Cottagecore proponents often try to veer away from – to create its aesthetic.

Drawing from Goth fashion, the style includes darker aspects of nature (including decomposing mushrooms, forest cryptids, spirits, ghosts, and bones found in nature).

The most extreme form of Cottagegore aesthetic includes blood and gore, crossing over with other dark aesthetics such as Crowcore and Vulture Culture.

Dark Cottagecore fashion
Dark Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Cottagecore Things)
Dark Cottagecore aesthetics
Dark Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Dark Cottagecore aesthetics
Dark Cottagecore aesthetic – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Tumblr)




Cottagecore shares similarities with other aesthetic movements like Light Academia and ‘Mori Girl,’ which share an appreciation for simplicity, nature, and a slower, more thoughtful way of life.

Light Academia

Light Academia celebrates the beauty of learning and intellectual pursuits, emphasizing literature, art, and history.

Light academia cottagecore
Light academia fashion – The VOU. (Image courtesy: @bluechords)
Light Academia Cottagecore Aesthetic
Light academia fashion – The VOU. (Image courtesy: We Heart It)

Mori Girl

Originating in Japan, Mori Girl fashion is characterized by loose, layered clothing in natural fabrics and earthy colors.

Mori Fashion
Mori Fashion – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)
Mori Fashion
Mori Fashion – The VOU. (Image courtesy: Pinterest)




Conclusion

The rise of the Cottagecore aesthetic has been an intriguing phenomenon that has captured the fashion world with its superb visuals connected to nature and traditional values.

The seasonal changes in the Cottagecore aesthetic enable fashion designers and stylists to explore new ways to embrace the lifestyle throughout the year.

Whether depicting the arrival of Spring with gardening and foraging, the leisure of Summer with picnics and outdoor gatherings, the Autumn harvest, or the solace of Winter, Cottagecore fashion is for all.

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

A University of Oxford graduate in Design History, Katherine Saxon is researching arising TikTok cultures from a consumer psychology perspective while covering emerging aesthetics in fashion and beauty for TheVOU, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.

Similar Articles

24 COMMENTS

  1. I love Dark Cottagecore as I find it kindly (but eerie) like fashion for the witch of the woods. … Imagine strange mushrooms collected in an apron, smoke curling from the stone smokestack of a shadowy cottage, black lace and grey knit socks, it’s the unknown parts of the forest.

  2. I love the cottagecore aesthetic, but there are many aspects of it that are unrealistic (although I suppose the entire thing is like a dream from an old english fairy). The flowy dresses and overalls are what I aim for my wardrobe to have soon though!

  3. It’s a Jane Austen revival! I feel like finally the English cottage culture is a getting a pride of place in home decor. That, and a bit of fairytale and magical forests surround it all. Although, England’s original pagan beliefs included this kind of stuff too. My English grandmother would often say it was the fairies, when the house made noises and there was no other explanation, lol. Great vibe!

  4. It kinda has a “Little House on the Prairie” vibe to it too, only softer in pastel colors, with more flowers and lace.

  5. Dear Kathrine,

    First off I have to say I appreciate your article very much and I enjoyed it for awhile.

    Cottagecore for me has been a lifestyle that I have adored and lived among and dressed in my whole life. It is who I am.

    When I was young, I exclusively wore only 1920’s and 1930″s dresses.

    The modern era will never get back to the fine details and craftsmanship of that era.

    But……as I read your piece I became more and more disenchanted with what your narrative imparted on your readers.

    Pitting liberals and conservatives against each other.

    Something that is always done with journalists and the media, dividing us all and not pulling us together to make our society better only succeeding in making it worse for all.

    Calling one side “far” right (have you ever heard of anyone saying “far” left?) and giving into the need to write about LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, and other politically left leaning agendas.

    That section should have been left out of this article.

    All I wanted in reading your article was to read about “Cottagecore” not be put down and a liberal agenda yet again thrown down my throat.

    My hope in writing to you is that you will at least consider that 1/2 of us out here in America are not liberal democrats.

    Oddly enough we can come together and enjoy the same things, Cottagecore being a good example.

    We all need to be kinder, have a live and let live attitude, and not always insist that everyone think as we do politically and socially no matter what genre we are engaged in.

    I hope Katherine you will not be offended by what I wrote to you but hopefully you will be reflective and understand your readers are very diversified.

    • Dear Nancy,
      Many thanks for your kind words and honest review, they’re much appreciated. I’ve re-read my article several time, and the more I read it, the more I see your point of you and stance. I get you. At the same time, my inclusion of LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, and other events that you describe as “politically left leaning agendas,” are real social events, shaping the world we live in. Simply put, there’s no ‘perfect’ or ‘pure’ cottagegore and my intention with this article was to explain its origin, constructive elements, and how the current social events are further shaping it, be that in a subjective good or a bad way.
      Much love, K

  6. Very thorough article.

    Appreciate the width of it, esp Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+. The range of facets is quite wide!

    I am glad you mention the British cottage and Colonial aspects. Most of Cottagecore seems to assume that the life is easy, no huge tubs of washing, no muddy paths, no reading by candlelight or whale oil- everything clean crisp and fresh and easy. Well, sure, if you’ve got servants [at least a ‘girl’ who comes in and ‘does’ for you].

    Something I think most [except possibly the tradwife segment] practitioners of Cottagecore miss is that actual non-electric cottage life is a huge amount of physical work. I feel like a lot of the instas and photoshoots don’t acknowledge the labor involved in the starched crisply-pressed white batiste dress, or the abundance of cutting flowers, or the cleaning up of the kitchen after the bread making and wood fire smoke, or digging out the root vegetables and picking the tree fruit. You actually DO mention some of that, and I appreciate it a lot.

    Anyway, well done, informative, and pleasant to read.

  7. Brilliant article, I didn’t know I was cottagecore until I read this. My niche is rural medieval, and I live it through video games. I just launched a site dedicated to peaceful video games with the majority of them having a cottagecore aesthetic. Thanks for helping me define what I do, will be linking to this article in my blog!

  8. I’m sorry but Cottagecore is unfortunately just another thing that generation Z thinks they invented. It has been around far longer than I have and I’m in my 50’s. Back in the 80’s it was just country style. I used to collect Rabbits and all the cute whitewashed furnishings.. I loved the Beatrix Potter type aesthetics. Again, it was just country style. Withe the invention of Social media, people can create this very unrealistic looking fake lifestyle on camera but it’s nothing new. I do however believe they have added a special twist to it and the sharing of ideas is wonderful. It’s nice to see so many people enjoy that style that I loved so long ago. (And still do). So I appreciate them for what they have added but please stop acting like they invented it.

    • You’re right, Julie, Gen Z didn’t invent it. Neither did the 80s crowd. Back in the 60s, we ‘hippies’ wore the same clothes, thinking we could get ‘back to the land’ and such. But that style was still copied from earlier fashions. As they say, there is nothing new under the sun. I, for one, am happy to see the style come back. I love the femininity of the style. My granddaughter (age 21) is very into fairycore and princesscore, so my old sewing machine is back at work!

      • Well, Diane the “they” whom you quoted is actually the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Bible. The entire verse, which is Ecclesiastes 1:9, reads: “what has been will be again;
        what has been done will be done again;
        there is nothing new under the sun.”
        Of course, different versions of the Bible will vary, but they’re all very similar. So….your opinion has been around for quite a long time! I agree with it. I only hope, by sharing this quote, I didn’t start a scriptural analysis and/or argument. That was not my intention at all. Have fun sewing!

  9. cottagecore is one of the popular styles lately. Many of my friends at school share about this style, so I discovered it. I really like Thevou’s blogs. They have blogs about almost every style, which is great. If you make a blog like “Cottagecore aesthetic clothing store list” it would be perfect. I’m sure many people would like to learn about the stores that sell clothes in this style.

    my fav cottagecore aesthetic stores:

    https://www.shopcider.com/
    https://cosmiquestudio.com/cottagecore-aesthetic-clothes/
    https://www.asos.com/us/women/

  10. This is in reply to Seren. Not sure where you’ve got that idea from, cottagecore aesthetic and style is well-defined already?

  11. Hi! I just read this article and realised what I’m doing actually has a name. I’m male and I am totally into the Countrycore aesthetic with touches of other things, as well. Learning to sew at the mo’ so I can make my own designs a reality. Not so easy to do…
    Anyhow, thank you for your article. I got a lot out of it. Namely, what direction I think I seem to be headed in.
    Regards, Andy

    • I was wondering “where are all the men in this?” and here you are, the sole representative in the whole article and comments. A pattern that appears in the few cottagecore articles I’ve read (only just heard the phrase). Has a male part been written? Apart from Mellors of course…

  12. I am left almost speechless after reading the article. This was called “Back to Nature” in the 60’s and 70’s. But currently, the political associations are just bizarre. The people who subscribe to this movement by simply fantasizing about it online while living in a tech world sounds dystopian. Merely wanting to have a garden, sew clothes and enjoy nature does not mean that you are in a leftist political movement. I find the attempt by the media to assign negativity/fascism to people they call “Trad Wives” insulting. Why do you leftists think you are the only righteous, correct people and you have the right to criticize anyone ho doesn’t agree with you? You are the most prejudiced, unfair bunch of human beings to ever walk the planet. The Back to Nature movement promoted peace and harmony FOR EVERYONE. You and your constant labeling of human beings will never achieve anything except divisiveness!

    • Thank you! COTTAGECORE as a real lifestyle would reject a leftist agenda. You can’t live privately in the society that the left wants to create. While it explains the aesthetic, the identity politics assigned therein do not agree with each other.

    • I felt exactly the same. Started out enjoying the article, then got to that part and just deflated. So sad they always have to make absolutely EVERYTHING divisive and political and anti-right.

  13. The only issue I have with this article is that you equate living that simple idyllic life style to being anti capitalist. Anti-consumerist yes but if we were truly “back to the roots” of simple living it would be more capitalistic because “way back when” people relied on self reliance or bartering which is a free private owned market i.e capitalism. Loved the explaination but I don’t agree with the political perspective.

  14. Love this article and how it explains what Cottagecore is, a fanciful aesthetic movement that celebrates rural life and nature. Also love how you describe the visual elements and subgenres of Cottagecore, and how it emerged and evolved over time. And, the section where you provides examples of Cottagecore-inspired fashion, literature, and art is great but I feel you can complete it with amazing jewelry that can improve your charming village fashion style, and for that I have added my site here to the article, hope you like it and buy. Thanks!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.