Romance hasn't exactly been the cosiest of bedfellows to the pandemic. Dates and special moments have been on hold, and the monotony of our daily lives hasn't made for the best backdrop to grand gestures, darling fashion moments and Instagrammable opportunities. But the restrictions (both physical and sartorial) of the last year led to fashion lovers finding an outfit outlet for their most whimsical aesthetic dreams: Cottagecore took off in a big way during 2020, and the look has now developed to encompass almost everything under the category of romantic.
My feed is filled with hazy mise en scènes, in which girls with flouncy, cloud-like dresses skip through fields clutching baskets and a handful of hydrangeas. There are whimsical bolts of chiffon literally fluttering through the air of social media, blouson sleeves taking up prime digital space and anything that could be bedecked in bows or crystals or floral embroidery has indeed been bedecked to within an inch of its life. Even the charming empire lines and extravagant ensembles of Bridgerton are truly impacting what's being searched for and bought IRL, and I don't think anyone expected Georgian vibes to take off after the many years of casual streetwear reigning supreme.
We are clearly shifting into an era of joyful dressing, and for many, it has manifested as this ultra-theatrical and dreamlike world in which pastels rule, hair bows are as important as undies, and somehow, just somehow, the afternoon or early morning sun manages to hit just right. It's a realm I'm keen to jump into, so below you'll find the most romantic fashion trends of 2021, as worn by IG darlings. In addition, you'll find some pieces to shop out the looks, but it's well worth noting that many of these pretty pieces can be found secondhand and are sometimes all the better for it.