Cottagecore Is Summer’s Sweetest Aesthetic—And The Reason Your IG Feed Is Filled With Picnics

Bella Gerard
Cottagecore Is Summer’s Sweetest Aesthetic—And The Reason Your IG Feed Is Filled With Picnics
Photo: Liana Mikah/Unsplash.

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The first person I ever heard refer to “picnic bitch” as an aesthetic was YouTuber BestDressed, and while I thought her puff-sleeved milkmaid blouses and gingham sundresses were cute AF, I didn’t see the look taking off. In the age of Kardashians and Hadids rocking itty-bitty crop tops and even itty-bittier designer handbags, it seemed unlikely anyone would swap the aforementioned for a floaty shift and wicker basket combo. That said, fast-forward to summer 2020 and the cottagecore picnic trend is all over Instagram. I’m not joking when I say that I have never been so tempted to whip up my finest charcuterie board, don my best LoveShackFancy lookalike gown and lay in the grass while begging whoever accompanies me to take my photo. It’s a picnic bitch summer, y’all, and I’m here for it.

If you don’t love the phrase “picnic bitch” (sorry, but I really do), consider it just one facet of the equally-trending cottagecore aesthetic instead. The hashtag has garnered over 500 million views on Tik Tok, and it’s filled with videos featuring wildflower arrangements, picnic flatlays, rustic recipe tutorials, floral dresses and aprons. The overall vibe is sweet, natural and carefree, and while it’s a little annoying how ~perfect~ everything looks, I have to admit I’m into it. When’s the last time something this wholesome started trending? Personally, I’m prepared to lean in. It’s been a stressful year, and we deserve a little something precious!

STYLECASTER | cottagecore picnic trend

Joeyy Lee/Unsplash.

If you’ve spent the last few months stuck inside your house practicing social distancing, get outside and have yourself the cottagecore picnic you deserve. If you need a little inspiration first, scope out picnic-related Instagram hashtags—and of course, the cottagecore side of Tik Tok—in advance. All you really need is a white sheet or picnic blanket, flowers, some charcuterie treats (bonus points for croissants, brie, berries and prosecco!) and a dress that makes you feel like you just stepped out of a Free People catalogue.

For more gorgeous picnic inspo, check out some other must-haves from a few influencers who are definitely nailing summer’s dreamiest aesthetic.

Bring Some Reading Material

…and lots of flowers! Luminita of @thebeautifullifeofglamour shows us how it’s done with this sweet setup.


Rosé & Fresh Fruits Are Essential

Not super into cheese? You don’t have to go over-the-top with your charcuterie! Irinka of @irinka_s_kartinki makes the case for a picnic spread full of fresh fruit—oh, and some rosé, too.


Pets Are Welcome

I’ve never been as jealous of anyone as I am of Aimee of @aimeesong getting to picnic with these cute pups. Bonus points for all the adorable wicker furniture, used as a photoshoot setup for her Song Of Style footwear line.


Bring A Friend (& Pretty Platters)

Elina of @ellstark knows the best picnics are ones you can enjoy with friends, especially when someone brings some Instagram-worthy glassware and gorgeous gold trays to elevate the spread.


Find The Perfect Picnic Basket

I have major basket envy over Carys of @thestyleeditorials‘s cute little picnic basket! Excuse me while I find my own to fill with champagne and flowers like she did.


Sometimes, Less Is More

I won’t lie, I spend hours scrolling through ornate picnic spreads with over-the-top amounts of food and decor that no one would actually bring with them for a real picnic date. Léanne of @leanneansar keeps it simple and sweet with some bread and cheese, grapes, flowers and wine. What more could you ask for?


Have Your Picnic Anywhere

@dariabydasha‘s trunk picnic is proof you don’t need a park, beach or grassy knoll to have a beautiful picnic setup.

Go For Gingham

Everyone knows a red gingham picnic blanket is a classic, and Merve of @mrvozubek proves it’s also a cottagecore essential! Also, side note, I’m drooling over those massive loaves of bread.


Pillows Add A Cozy Touch

If you plan to spend all afternoon lounging at your picnic setup, take a page out of Chloé of @chloecleroux‘s book and bring along some pillows! Comfort is key to cottagecore, people.


Light It Up

Throwing a picnic party that will last past sunset? Bring some gorgeous candle lanterns like @read_between_thewines did. They’ll keep the spotlight on your spread when the sun goes down and double as ‘Gram-worthy decor.


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