Cottagecore Isn't Going Anywhere—These 24 Dresses Prove It

Some styles come and go, but the really great ones return year after year to prove their sartorial worth. And this is exactly what has happened this summer with a particular trend. If the sky-high hemlines of the Y2K return aren't quite your cup of tea, then you'll be pleased with the latest news: Cottagecore is here to stay. 

For the past few years, this ethereal style has cropped up to offer a soft alternative to some of the more daring trends served up on the runway. It's easy to see why we keep returning to this movement; it is nostalgic, loans itself to every season, from spring through to autumn, and looks just as chic on a budget. Inspired by a romanticised idea of country life, cottagecore takes its fashion form through delicate detailing and vintage silhouettes. With idyllic rural living at its core, you'll find ruffles, florals and floaty styles are prominent features throughout with nods to Victoriana with fitted bodices and corset detailing. For me, cottagecore is like a comfort blanket in fashion form—reliable for lazy days and comfortable to embrace. Think throw-on dresses that one might wear lying on grass and reading a book; basically, anything a Jane Austen character might enjoy.

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(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Amaka’s ruffled-strap midi dress in delicate yellow taps into the cottagecore dress trend perfectly. 

Twenty-twenty was the year that cottagecore really took a hold of the fashion scene. The whimsical style reflected our need for escapism, and despite years passing and plenty changing since that year, our lust for the dream-like aesthetic hasn't wavered. There are plenty of ways to embrace this style, with Peter Pan–collar shirts, soft knit sets and linen trousers being easy entryways. But the piece that is most synonymous with the trend is, of course, the dress. And as we're partial to every style of dress, it only seemed right to focus on the best cottagecore dresses. The aesthetic's dress styles vary, but the central theme remains romantic detailing. Expect ruched bodies, puff sleeves and intricate back details plus plenty of vintage-inspired prints. 

With that in mind, I've curated an edit of the best cottagecore dresses to see you through 2022 (and every year that follows). 

Shop the Best Cottagecore Dresses

Up Next, 21 Summer-Ready Outfits We Love for All Kinds of Weather

Florrie Alexander
Acting Affiliates Editor

Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Whilst studying in Aix-en-Provence, she began to write her dissertation on the history of fashion and the influence of Haute Couture, and landed her first role at Harper’s Bazaar. Following this, she interned for various publications including Elle, Grazia and Marie Claire before joining the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller. There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content.

During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications including Vogue Italy and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping. Florrie actively pursues an in-depth understanding of fashion and jewellery, and after styling a jewellery cover shoot at Conde Nast Traveller chose to complete the De Beers Diamond Foundation course. Florrie first joined Who What Wear UK as a freelancer before becoming the Commerce Writer, blending both editorial and commercial content. Now, as the Acting Affiliates Editor, she monitors current trends, new-in styles, wardrobe heroes and how best to style them. In her downtime, Florrie can be found in her hometown of London, usually with a coffee in hand.