9 Items That Are Perfect for a Summer Spent Outdoors

Emma Spedding

There's nothing like months spent inside to make you crave the great outdoors—after spending most of 2020 in a second-floor flat with no balcony or outdoor space, I've been dreaming of fields and walks that don't involve dodging people on pavements. Whether you're isolating in the Cotswolds or Clapton, the lockdown has brought on a nationwide appreciation of nature. I've personally been flower pressing daisies I've collected from the banks of East London's canals and now class a bike ride as my perfect activity.  Turns out I'm not alone and this has a name— 'cottagecore'.

It's an internet aesthetic that started trending on the platform TikTok and which The Guardian defines as 'a visual and lifestyle movement designed to fetishize the wholesome purity of the outdoors.' Holiday pictures on Instagram have been replaced by images of freshly-baked sourdough, bikes with baskets filled with hand-picked flowers and art-directed picnics. This social media trend is also impacting how people dress, with a return to nostalgic countryside styling. Think Princess Diana on a weekend away in the country—vintage floral tea dresses, basket bags, colourful gingham and shorts sets.

Keep scrolling to see the nine items that are perfect for a summer spent outdoors—whether you're in the countryside, or pretending you are. 

Floral Mini Dress

Look for mini dresses in vintage floral prints that look straight out of a Laura Ashley catalogue. 

Loveshackfancy Kimbra Tiered Floral-Print Silk-Chiffon Mini Dress (£471)

Faithfull the Brand Margherita Shirred Floral-Print Crepe Mini Dress (£77)

Gingham Prints

Gingham is a print that will always remind me of summers spent outdoors—don't just stick to a classic navy check, but play with colourful ginghams for a real picnic feel. 

Solid & Striped Belted Gingham Linen Playsuit (£273)

& Other Stories Seersucker Bandeau Bikini Top ($39)

Cute Hats

This is an item many of us won't have worn since we were six, but printed hats look so cute with white sundresses or shirts. 

Asos Design Fisherman Hat With Under Tie in Ditsy Floral (£13)

Faithfull the Brand Frederikke Tie-Dyed Linen Sunhat (£51)

White Linen

Cottagecore is all about simplicity, and when it comes to getting dressed nothing is simpler than a white summer dress. 

Asceno Seville Linen Midi Dress (£371)

& Other Stories Tiered Ruffle Mini Dress ($99)

Shorts Sets

This is practical, yet cool, and so is perfect for all outdoors activities, from cycling to rounders.

Faithfull the Brand Linen Shirt (£79)

Faithfull the Brand Linen Shorts (£97)

Hair Accessories

Bows! Shells! Pearls! A hair clip is a lovely finishing touch to any outfit. 

& Other Stories Starfish Hair Clip (£29)

Cult Gaia Hair Bow (£45)

Basket Bags

A basket bag is a cottagecore essential—you need something to carry your freshly baked sourdough and sweet peas.

Arket Large Straw Bag (£80)

Dragon Diffusion Triple Jump Large Woven-Leather Basket Bag (£365)


This is an obvious one, but opt for colours that you'll find in the countryside.

Sister Jane Mini Smock Dress With Puff Sleeves in Pastel Tweed (£89)

& Other Stories Voluminous Puff Sleeve Mini Dress (£85)

Pretty Collars

You can't talk about nostalgic fashion trends without mentioning a frilly collar. In our books, the more lace, the better.

Arket Embroidered Poplin Blouse (£59)

Loup Charmant Cala Peter Pan-Collar Cotton Lace-Jacquard Blouse (£270)

Pastel Knitwear

For those unpredictable days, knitwear is a countryside essential at any time of year. Opt for pastel colours and cropped cardigans for a more summery feel.

Asos Design Chunky Knitted Short Sleeve Tee in Yellow ($25)

& Other Stories Puff Sleeve Short Cardigan (£29)

Next, our guide to the key trends for spring summer 2020. 

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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