Cottage Core- Why the 2020s are the new 1920s (or Earlier!)

Ok, so yes, I did make a silly title, but I’m convinced the 2020s are a repeat of the 1920s aesthetic movement, which was a repeat of prior romantic movements.

The aesthetic or “slow” movement isn’t a new concept. Coming out of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen several of these throughout history.

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Remember Marie Antoinette and her cottages?

The Hay Wain – originally titled Landscape: Noon – painting by John Constable

Or the poets and painters of the Romantic Movement 18th and early 19th century telling us about how much better it was in the countryside?

William Morris’ Red House- Finished 1860.

How about the mid to late 19th century and the Aestheticism movement? The beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The “Witch’s House,” built in 1921 is a “Storybook House”

And then the 1910s and 1920s and the “Arts and Crafts” movement? We just happen to be in a similar renaissance right now.

If you’re unfamiliar with CottageCore, it’s a current trending aesthetic that takes in slow fashion, slow food, natural settings, and a love of history, vintage, and fantasy to go back to a slower pace of living and return to nature. This is not really a movement to go back in time, but one that transcends past social ideals to create a modern romantic movement. One that choses to blend old ways, lose the fast pace of modern life, but extend creativity and ideals to a sort of suspended timeframe. Thats how I would explain it, anyways.

It’s also interesting, since this *is* a vintage fashion and historical blog, to look at past romanticized “country” fashion.

Of course, Marie Antoinette and her Chemise a la Reine.

V&A Liberty and Co Dress, 1895

The Aesthetic movement and the Pre-Raphealites were well looked after by Liberty and Co. in the 19th to early 20th centuries.

And then, in the late 1910s-early 1920s embroidered and smocked dresses in basic fabrics like linen and cotton were very popular.

Milk-maid dress UK Vogue 1967

The 1960s and 1970s had their own take on romanticism, often combining past styles with dress of different cultures. “Ladies of the Canyon” by Joni Mitchell conjures up images of the beginning of the vintage fashion subculture and return to past times.

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And then, in my mom and my eras, Gunne Sax and Laura Ashley brought the romanticized ideal into modern fashion.

Today, indie lines like Doen (above) and Little Women Atelier (below) are all over social media with the Cottage Core aesthetic. It’s even making it’s way to big box retailers like Target! Both images are from their sites.

And you can make your own! I’ve just re-released the 1930s jumper dress and blouse, which is available in my Etsy shop.

I’m planning on making myself a new version in brown linen soon!

Buy the e-pattern here.

Of course, not only the fashions and houses follow trends. A lot of the slow food, hand craft, embroidery, tie die, crafting, sewing trends all followed suit for the aesthetic movement, the arts and crafts movement, and now the cottagecore movement.

I’m really quite taken with this aesthetic- the slow food, slow life movement, and the return to romantic or rustic fashion. I’m hoping to make some more Wearing History patterns that will work for this aesthetic for modern wear, as well as accurate the time period they originated from.

What do you think? Do you like it?

6 Comments on Cottage Core- Why the 2020s are the new 1920s (or Earlier!)

  1. three eyed goddess
    February 1, 2021 at 2:02 pm (3 years ago)

    i like it

  2. Nicole
    February 2, 2021 at 12:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I love how fashion repeats itself, but always with a modern twist. It’s interesting to see how this same movement was repeated through the years, but in different ways.
    I am all for cottage core, though I probably wouldn’t use that specific term myself :)
    Oh and I think your jumper is going to look great made in brown linen!

  3. jeanine attaway
    February 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm (3 years ago)

    I love it. I vacillate between loving modern technology and wanting to throw it all in a creek. Which is probably why I sew vintage and cook, etc. Love all the beautiful images you provided!

  4. Tonya Clevenger
    February 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm (3 years ago)

    I love it..went thru it before with gunne sax..very good blog and look forward to your patterns.

  5. Karen
    April 5, 2021 at 1:03 pm (3 years ago)

    Interesting concept. With the pandemic and various lockdown people are taking time to learn new crafts, garden,bake and wear more relaxed clothing. I can see the appeal of a floaty country style dress.

  6. Jewel Nelson
    June 7, 2021 at 2:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Perfect–I’m a member of slow sew (sadly) by the time I finish anything up, the world has moved on…. but I wear it anyway! Thanks for all the great info!

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