Cottagecore dates back to 2018 when it first appeared on Tumblr, but it had an explosion of popularity during the pandemic as the world was forced into isolation. Now, it’s unavoidable. The cottagecore tag has accrued more than 2.3 million hits on Instagram and over 7.2 billion views on TikTok as many of us spent the last year decorating our homes with cute wooden furniture and purchasing chunky knits and laidback nap dresses. And you may have Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage to thank for that since her cottagecore Instagram post went viral last year.
Now it appears that the developers at Electronic Arts have spotted the trend, too. The latest expansion to the games company’s (already heavily expanded) The Sims 4 franchise allows you to live out your ultimate cottagecore fantasy.
The Sims 4 Cottage Living, which launched last month, welcomes a new world, Henford-on-Bagley, where your sims can own a farm, sell crops at local country fairs and hit up their local pub. It’s a whimsical nod to British country life – enjoy bangers and mash, decorate your garden with a red pillar box – but with added perks. You can now have llamas to joke with, hens to play with and woodland creatures to explore with. Or you can enjoy village life with a tight-knit community that befriends animals and decorates their cottages with crafty wooden furniture. Cute!
The expansion pack also sees the return of Agnes Crumplebottom. The Sims 2’s grumpy, cross-stitch-loving woman’s heart hardened after she lost love at a young age. But unlike in The Sims 2, Crumplebottom won’t be smacking you round the head with her handbag – she’s finally found peace in running the garden shop. Now, she can be found pottering around Henford-on-Bagley perfecting her hobbies.
But for all this escape-to-the-country bliss that might appeal to lockdown-fatigued townies, it’s the features newly available in Create A Sim mode that have really had us rushing to the expansion pack. You can now style your sim in a plethora of cottagecore looks: soft floral patterns, Jane Austen-esque dresses, gingham prints, shirts with embroidered lapels, as well as wellington boots, wax outdoor jackets and chunky knits – perfect for any occasion, rural, urban or otherwise.
And because country life is all about communal life (in our dreams, anyway), we couldn’t let you miss out, could we? Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best cottagecore looks and picked out the IRL carbon copies (or near enough) of each outfit so you can live out your best cottagecore life. Just in time for the new fashion season – or, indeed, harvest season.
The Sims 4 is available on PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.