I have traveled to the North of France and brought my precious learnings of a Cottage-girl aesthetic back to Milan.
It Might Be Too Cold For A Picnic
My Pinterest understanding of a country-Chateau living did not prepare me for the weather I was met with at Nantes. In order to fit into Normandie (the goal was to seem local) and respect the luggage allowance, I had to review my small carry-on (tragic). It consisted of ruffle blouses, two dresses and a desire to time travel. My Beauty To gOh was minimal French (a few shades of reds and mascara only). I landed wearing a flower dress and a basket. I had to buy a coat.
Victorian is The Roman Empire for Girls
Cottagecore-esque fashion balances the Regal with minimal details. Think Bridgerton or any adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, but modify it to your surroundings. (Corset on a bus is a tiny bit dramatic).
Brands like Rouje (puffy sleeves & flower prints), Bluetiful (regal headbands), Meadows (inspired by Victoriana) and Daily Sleeper (luxurious linen) have exactly the look. If none of these ring a bell, opt for vintage. For make up, I have grown a new appreciation for Lemon-a-Me, which gives a perfect cherry kissed lip (more on that later). The shoes made my life slightly complicated.
I have brought sneakers (abomination to the beautiful land, I know), ballerina flats and a pair of vintage heels. A very nice French lady in charge of the Chateau we stayed at gave me a pair of rubber sandals. I have never looked back.
Forget Your Palettes at Home
Cottagecore women have too many fairy-like errands to run, so make up is as simple as that. In between baking their breads, petting a goat and picnicking there isn’t that much time left for anything else, besides daydreaming of Mr. Darcy or reading.
As our trip consisted of being on the road a lot (we went all the way to Quinéville, Saint-Michel, Christian Dior home, Cancale, you name it), I was grateful for my no fuss make up. I have packed the classics which made a home in my bag, Hey Broh and Rossoh that is, plus the Intenso Mascara and a few other shades of Aroma Lipsticks. The trick is to build the shade of a lip slowly, and use a tiny pigment of the same product on cheeks and bridge of the nose. Although, I must admit, I did miss Spritzy.
On my last day in France, I have finally nailed the cottagecore look with a blouse, vintage earrings and what I believe is a glow from oysters and rest.
Trends aside, if a flower dress and a cherry lip inspires you to buy a basket, build a garden, become a bookworm or binge-watch smut shows, go for it. C’est très chic.