Cottagecore Is All About Channeling Your Inner March Sister—Here's How to Try It

We'll be pretending we're on the set of Little Women in these breezy outfits all fall long.
Claire Harmeyer
September 16, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

If you're on TikTok or Instagram, you've probably stumbled upon #cottagecore and wondered why so many millennials are dressing like the cast of Little Women. Well, the cottagecore aesthetic is all about stepping back in time in terms of hobbies, homes, and fashion. Say goodbye to nights spent streaming Netflix in sweats with your boo and hello to embroidering pillows in prairie dresses with your cat.

The term "cottagecore" glorifies the cozy countryside lifestyle, and if you're a millennial on social media, images of the internet trend are unavoidable. When cottagecore first went viral in March, our Instagram feeds were flooded with enchanted forests, billowy dresses with puff sleeves, mushrooms, and some sort of homemade bread. Okay, even people oblivious to the cottagecore aesthetic were baking bread at the beginning of quarantine, but hear us out—cottagecore is not disappearing from your feed anytime soon. And if the vibe of Taylor Swift's album Folklore (aka the poster child for cottagecore) is any indication, the aesthetic is T-Swift-approved, which is always a bonus in our books.

Cottagecore embraces every pastime that screams—er, whispers—"grandma," like knitting, baking, embroidery, and gardening. In 2020, the lure of the cottagecore aesthetic lies in its simplicity. Calico dresses, straw baskets stuffed with wildflowers, and days spent kneading pie crusts or sipping rosé in gardens all take us back to simpler times—which is a welcome escape in today's stressful world. Millennials and Gen Zs have welcomed this change of pace with open arms—and Instagram posts capturing all of their effortless-but-perfectly-posed cottagecore outfits, of course.

If you think cottagecore sounds like just another fad, think again: The cottagecore hashtag has nearly 4 billion views on TikTok and over 723,000 posts on Instagram. So, yeah, it's not just a couple of 20-year-olds tying aprons around their waists and calling themselves trendsetters—it's a lifestyle that's flooding the internet.

Since it first blew up on social media, cottagecore has maintained its charming, fairytale-esque ranking over imagery of flashy cityscapes and lavish beach trips. And as we're entering fall, cottagecore is adapting to the chillier weather, cozy scents, and color palettes that autumn presents. Gone are the sun-soaked picnics in lilac fields, white eyelet blouses, and glass pitchers of iced tea. The autumn cottagecore aesthetic will embrace faux-leather booties crunching over fallen leaves, slices of cinnamon peach cobbler, steaming mugs of cider, and plaid—lots of plaid.

Below, these cottagecore clothes will inspire you to embrace idyllic moments this fall.

Courtesy of Verishop

Shop it! $178, verishop.com

No pattern is more autumn-y than a burnt orange plaid. Paired with a slight puff sleeve, a trail of buttons, and tiered skirt, this cottagecore outfit is romantic and carefree.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Shop it! $49, urbanoutfitters.com

In case you didn't hear, cardigans are sexy now. The once-grandma-ish piece is now a fall staple for everyone from Katie Holmes to Taylor Swift herself, obvi. This cropped option comes in six colors and pairs well with skirts and jeans or thrown over dresses.

Courtesy of Free People

Shop it! $29.95 (orig. $98), freepeople.com

With a romantic silhouette and exaggerated sleeves, this floral top is the epitome of cottagecore fashion. Plus, at almost $70 off, it's a total steal. Choose between this pink and white pattern or a black, orange, and cream version that's perfect for spooky season.

Courtesy of Lulus

Shop it! $59, lulus.com

Everything about this dress—the billowy fabric, dreamy blue color, and subtle tiers—makes us want to frolic through a field. This whimsical cottagecore dress also comes in a soft blush color if that strikes your fancy.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Shop it! $54, urbanoutfitters.com

Is there any fabric that combines nostalgia and comfort more than cable knit? We didn't think so. This cream cardigan can serve as a cozy addition to a floral dress or get slightly sexy when paired with high-waisted jeans.

 

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Shop it! $198, anthropologie.com

A rich wine color is one of our favorite fall hues, and this floral maxi dress is turning our heads. Balloon sleeves and a square neckline make this cottagecore dress a classic.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Shop it! $79, urbanoutfitters.com

Bring on all of the plaid. This cozy cottagecore dress embraces the puff-sleeve trend and maintains a slight sultriness with its short length. Pick this black and white pattern or opt for pink checks if that's more of your vibe.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Shop it! $49, urbanoutfitters.com

Everyone needs their go-to flannel shirt in the fall, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Choose between different colors and patterns for this oversized shirt that will perfectly pair with a cream cottagecore dress.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Shop it! $119, urbanoutfitters.com

We can totally see ourselves taking a trip to the farmers market in this gingham maxi dress. Pair it with a jean jacket, cardigan, booties, and a face mask on chillier days.

Courtesy of Lulus

Shop it! $59, lulus.com

A cream puff-sleeve dress is a must when it comes to cottagecore fashion. Pair this romantic number with a knit cardigan and sheer tights when temperatures dip this fall.

Now, go slip into your best cottagecore outfit, light a candle, bake something that tickles your taste buds, and play Folklore on repeat.