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What Cottagecore Really Means

Updated: Jun 14

Cottagecore, often misconstrued by stereotypes, is far more than what meets the eye. While social media might present it as an aesthetic trend characterized by images of individuals frolicking in fields and engaging in romanticized rural activities, the true essence of Cottagecore runs deeper. Let's find out!

fresh homemade bread

If you look up Cottagecore on social media, it can feel like everyone's living in a dreamy painting. Picture perfect picnics, endless fields of flowers, and enough baked goods to feed a village – all with a vintage filter on top.

The classic Cottagecore aesthetic is undeniably charming – who wouldn't love baking bread and tending flower gardens? As a huge fan myself (my Cottagecore store is proof!), I can certainly attest to its appeal!

But here's the thing: Cottagecore goes far beyond these stereotypes. These idyllic images only capture a fragment of the true essence of this movement.

Cottagecore, at its heart, is about a way of life and a philosophy that whispers, 'Hey, slow down a sec, take a deep breath, and appreciate what you already have.' It's a gentle reminder to cultivate gratitude every day for all the things you have and the hardships you are spared from. These small acts of slowing down and connecting with the simpler things in life can be a powerful antidote to stress and a wellspring of unexpected happiness.

The Values of Cottagecore

Cottagecore goes beyond appearance and actions; it's about embracing a set of values and principles that shape its essence. These values and principles include:

1. Simplicity

Cottagecore values simplicity over complexity, quality over quantity, and essence over appearance. It encourages living with less, but better, and focusing on what truly matters.

2. Sustainability

Cottagecore prioritizes sustainability over wastefulness, conservation over consumption, and harmony over-exploitation. It advocates for living in a way that respects and protects the environment, reducing ecological footprint and impact.

3. Gratitude

Gratitude takes precedence in Cottagecore, favoring appreciation over dissatisfaction and abundance over scarcity. It emphasizes acknowledging and celebrating life's gifts and fostering a positive and optimistic attitude.

4. Creativity

Cottagecore promotes creativity over conformity, expression over repression, and originality over imitation. It encourages living in a way that unleashes your inner artist and cultivates imagination and inspiration.

5. Community

Community is valued over isolation, connection over separation, and cooperation over competition. Cottagecore emphasizes strengthening and supporting relationships and contributing to the common good and welfare.

While the values mentioned are fundamental to Cottagecore, they are not exhaustive. Cottagecore is a personal and subjective philosophy that empowers individuals to define and embrace their values, as long as they align with its overall spirit and ethos.

This personal approach allows Cottagecore to be a holistic and transformative movement, capable of positively influencing all aspects of life and aiding individuals in achieving their goals and living more fulfilling lives.

The following table presents a comparison between the stereotypical visual representation of Cottagecore and what it truly embodies. It offers a refreshing perspective on the values and lifestyle that Cottagecore encourages, challenging preconceived notions and shedding light on the genuine spirit of this movement:

Stereotypical Visual

What Cottagecore Is About

Flowing Dresses and Floral Prints (Exclusively)

Embrace comfort and style that works for you. Maybe it's a sundress on a warm day or your favorite pair of jeans for a walk in the City. Cottagecore is about feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.

Perfectly Curated Instagram Feeds

Cottagecore is about living in the moment, not creating a picture-perfect life. Embrace the imperfections – a spilled teacup or a mud-splattered hike can be part of the charm. Focus on capturing memories and genuine moments of joy.

Elaborate Country Kitchens

Enjoying home-cooked meals is great, but Cottagecore doesn't demand gourmet cooking skills. A simple sandwich or a quick bowl of soup can be just as satisfying. Focus on the act of preparing food with mindfulness, even if it's a simple recipe.

Living Off the Grid

While self-sufficiency is admirable, Cottagecore encourages a connection with nature, not complete isolation. You can cultivate this connection while still enjoying modern conveniences. Technology can even be used to enhance your Cottagecore experience with resources and inspiration.

Owning a Rustic Cottage

Location doesn't define your Cottagecore journey. You can cultivate a connection with nature and mindful practices even in an urban environment. Find green spaces in your city, visit local parks, or simply tend to a potted plant on your windowsill.

Spending a Fortune

Cottagecore is about appreciating the simple things. You don't need expensive tools or fancy gadgets. Thrifting vintage finds, using what you already have, and DIY projects can be part of the charm. Focus on experiences and connections, not material possessions.

Being Martha Stewart

Cottagecore isn't about flawless homemaking skills. Embrace the lived-in look and find joy in the imperfections of a cozy home. Focus on creating a space that feels comfortable, welcoming, and reflects your personality.

Following Trends Blindly

Cottagecore is a personal journey. Don't feel pressured to adopt every trend or aesthetic you see online. Find what resonates with you and tailor it to your own life.

Being Anti-Modernity

Cottagecore is about finding a balance between modern life and a connection with nature. Technology can be a tool to enhance your Cottagecore experience - use it to learn new skills, find inspiration, or connect with like-minded individuals.

Escaping Reality

Cottagecore is about enriching your current life, not escaping from it. Use it as a way to manage stress, find moments of peace, and cultivate a sense of gratitude for the present moment.

Being Exclusively Rural

Urban environments offer unique opportunities to connect with nature. Visit rooftop gardens, explore community gardens, or simply appreciate the beauty of a tree-lined street.

Being Exclusively Solo

Cottagecore can be a wonderful shared experience. Invite friends and family to join you on nature walks, picnics in the park, or even cozy evenings spent reading and enjoying nature-inspired crafts.

Being Exclusively Outdoors

Connecting with nature can happen indoors too! Fill your home with natural light, bring in houseplants, or listen to calming nature sounds.

Being All Work and No Play

Don't get bogged down in chores and to-do lists. Make time for relaxation and activities that bring you joy, like reading, baking, or simply watching the sunset.

Being Rigid or Exclusive

Cottagecore is a flexible philosophy. Adapt it to your lifestyle, interests, and resources. You don't have to follow a strict set of rules to embrace this way of living.

This table offers a comprehensive breakdown of what Cottagecore isn't about, highlighting the significance of personal expression, achieving a balance with modern life, and cherishing the simple joys within your own means.

Cottagecore may or may not be your cup of tea, but its core message holds value. Regardless of aesthetic preferences, we can all benefit from cultivating a personal philosophy that fosters balance with the demands of modern life. This philosophy should allow us to find and cherish the simple joys that bring us contentment, all within the means available to us.

This, in essence, is the invitation of Cottagecore: to transform the way you view and live your life, even in the city. A gentle call to rewrite the script and create a life that resonates with the rhythm of your own heart. Every step, even the baby ones, can rewrite your story and add a touch of magic to the beautiful messiness of your own unique path.

Ready to create a life that feels a little more you?❤️

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