9 Items That Are Perfect for a Summer Spent Outdoors

June 22, 2020 at 06:00AM


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 Holiday pictures on Instagram have been replaced by images of freshly-baked sourdough, bikes with baskets filled with hand-picked flowers and art-directed picnics.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. 

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

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. 


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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Author Emma Spedding | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC