OOTD #5 Boden Corduroy Dress, My Cottage Core Phase

I am now into anything Cottage Core...

......style & creation vibe.


It might just be the time of the year where I just want to feel cozy and warm. We are still having dreary days, but our days are getting longer which is always welcomed, giving me a little extra time after work to work in the garden to prepare for Spring.

Or it might just be me rebelling against all those years of constrictive skinny jeans or trying to

squish my toes into abnormally pointed high-heels (which I truly love, but admittedly silliness). Perhaps wanting to feel more freedom in clothing to work comfortably

The other thought is that Covid and staying at home has trained me to love loose fitting clothing with big comfy socks, and a oversized chunky knit sweater. (ok, I'll admit that I have stayed in PJs all day more than once this Covid year. And if it's not PJS, it's leggings with the aforementioned socks and sweater leaving my husband scratching his head wondering which are PJs and which clothing is lounge wear.)

Or could it be that I have a mountain of fabric that I need to contend with? The mountain of fabric I have is a blog unto itself. The plans for growing my local costume rental business pre-Çovid are the reason for the surplus of my fabrics. My business www.CostumeTakeOut.com was growing quite quickly. I needed double the costumes I had to keep up with demand. All fabrics had been collected--yes, collected on my thrifting forays. But renting came to an aburpt halt.

I will venture to say, my interest in Cottage Core has developed as a result of all 3 factors. Add a little exposure to Pinterest and some other Upcyclers' styles, and voila--a perfect storm.

What Exactly is Cottage Core Style?

Just so we are all on the same page, MY definition might vary a bit to your classic Wikipedia definition. I haven't even looked to compare. I want to stay authentic and maintain my own sense of artistry in relation to this mode. But regardless, I've seen enough of it to formulate a description for you.

To me, Cottage Core is an ode to a Vintage country, rural cottage life. A life that has slowed down be sheer nature of being removed from the faster pace of a city. A way of living that allows beauty of age and patina showcase itself.

With a nod to historical or vintage years, the look is one of delicate femininity through layers and textures of fabrics and embellishments (embroidery or crochet) in the skirts, aprons, blouses, wrap sweaters, linen jackets.

All floating together with a semblance of simplicity.

Shabby Chic the First Iteration

Cottage Core is not only a clothing style, but it is a lifestyle trend--think chalk paint, enamel chips to reveal rusted iron, antiques of course, quilts etc. etc. etc.

I really hesitate liken Cottage Core to Shabby Chic because the term Shabby Chic became over-commercialized. What started out as truly charming decor from roadside antique shops, flea markets, or a local estate sale, turned into massed produced faux items sold en masse to almost every retail outlet imaginable.

Again, don't take me as an expert, I am not. But I did observe this evolution. I wouldn't be surprised if Cottage Core becomes the next Shabby Chic movement available at Walmart or even the local grocery store on the end caps next to the candy.

Although I love Cottage Core, I definitely don't live it at home. My husband likes to insert modernity whenever possible. So I am relegated to one shelf in my office, and one part of my garden to put my Cottage Core on display.

Snow White

A little "La La Land" for sure...or Snow White singing to the animals. I get it. No one really lives like this with the exception of Marie Antoinette in her "Country Peasant" Phase.

Cottage Core is a dream for me--not a goal. Just some fluffy place to go with my imagination and my penchant for Vintage, but not literal Vintage, It's that grey area where I can Era-Bend, since I don't really belong to any particular era. I float between the 1900's to the 1950's to Queen's Gambit.

Some people like scrapbooking, working out at the gym, gardening, knitting, or traveling. I like to lose myself in a place of nostalgia.

A Rose is a Rose... Therefore it is Not a Rose...

When it comes to clothing, yes, this is ALL new to me.

I've learned that Cottage Core can be also fall in step with other similar styles Lagenlook, Granny Chic, Mori Girl Kawaii, or Lolita.

Some stretch (those on Ebay) to call it Boho or Prairie--they gotta make a sale I guess.

Brands exist to make beautiful clothing dedicated to Cottage Core (albeit trans-meandering) whimsical style.

The Swedish Designer Ewa i Walla is an amazing company designing gorgeous clothing that is Cottage-Core with a nod to Victorian influences. And Madeline Lee is an exquisite Ambassador for this style. I can get lost in her photos, videos and imagery.

Check Out Madeline Lee's Instagram & YouTube Channel!

And Magnolia Pearl, a USA company, born from the creative imaginings of Robin Brown. The 16 year old label sells lovely high end, quality made items from globally sourced fabrics but also a ton of vintage lace, fabric and embellishments.

I am sure there are others large commercial brands, however, my original brush with Cottage Core came from other Upcyclers, not these larger brands.

How I Got Started Sewing Cottage Core?

A good friend of mine challenged me to transform a dress she thrifted just to see if I could do something with it. She wanted to see if she could stump me. And she did, for about 4 months I had no clue what to make with the BEFORE Indian Festive-Wear Dress sized for a pre-teen girl.

Hit with inspiration by hundreds of mental Pinterest imprints, I thought of Granny Chic! LOL! That's what I originally thought this trend was called. As I discovered, yes, there is style out there called Granny Chic, but I did not want 'My Rose to be Called Just Any Rose'. Something a little more darling please!