Summer Style

This Eclectic Styling Trick Will Make Your Cottagecore ’Fit Feel So Fresh

New aesthetic, unlocked.

Woman in a cream sweater and cap stands in front of a green house with red door.
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If you’ve ever read my NYFW outfit recaps, you already know: I’m fearless when it comes to fashion. Impossible-to-style trends are my specialty and, in the past year alone, I’ve flaunted my bra, went pantsless to the Supreme Court — hell, I’ve even worn a thong over my pants. None of that phased me. In fact, it’s the simplest, most wearable trends that scare me.

Cottagecore, tenniscore, and the “clean girl” aesthetic have intimidated me since their inception. Their innate wearability is in complete opposition to my lifelong love of the sartorially weird. Basics? Ivory linen? Cardigans?! The absolute horror.

But when Bloomingdale’s invited me on a two-day trip to Kennebunkport, Maine to celebrate their new Camp Bloomingdale’s Carousel, I suddenly felt drawn — not to pyramid studs, animal print, or metallics — but to eyelet lace, Ralph Lauren baseball caps, and floral print dresses. Inspired by the eclectic farmhouse-style cottages we’d be staying in at Hidden Pond, I decided to attempt the biggest trend on the internet today — but do it in a way that felt unique.

Though TikTok aesthetics have been widely credited with the demise of personal style, I found myself embracing them, layering cores upon cores for a hybrid that felt all my own. Here’s how I modernized the cookie-cutter aesthetic.


I started my Maine packing list by plucking the few items in my primarily black closet that felt appropriate for a quaint little coastal town with a name so cute, it sounds made up. This meant my singular eyelet skirt, a never-worn Polo Ralph Lauren cap, and my crab-emblazoned zodiac sweater. (This water sign was, indeed, water sign-ing.)

Naturally, these country club basics brought to mind the preppy aesthetic that has been spamming both my feed and inbox for weeks: tenniscore. The sporty aesthetic balanced cottagecore’s overt sweetness in a way that felt authentic to my boyish style — I call it cottagecourt.

Though tenniscore is more so about vibes than functionality, the look got me successfully through several unofficial New England sports: cocktail-making, strolls through the woods, and bike rides to the beach.

Eclectic Grandpa Goes Cottagecore

When it came time for another New England staple (read: a good old-fashioned lobster bake), I combined the cottagecore look with an aesthetic as chaotic as the activity itself.

Comprised mostly of quirky knitwear and button-ups, eclectic grandpa is the TikTok-born look that hits closest to my usual style. I started with the aforementioned garments — both in contrasting striped patterns — and added a floral print maxi, really leaning hard into the “eclectic” aspect of the trend.

It’s Maine state law that sweaters must be worn draped over shoulders at all times — any other styling will result in a mandatory sentence. Law-abiding citizen that I am, I followed suit (sweater?), using my whimsical knit as an accessory. Successfully combining the two trends into one — we’ll call this one eclectic cottagecore — I finished my ’fit with lobster red Mary Janes and a mini basket bag.

Though this Bloomingdales trip took me far beyond my fashion comfort zone (and New York state lines), I returned home feeling even more in-tuned with my style. Who would have thought the dreaded TikTok aesthetic could feel so authentically me?