FASHION

The Craftcore Fashion Trend Grows, so does Crafty Chic Aesthetic

the craftcore fashion trend grows, so does Crafty chic aesthetic

Wondering what the “craftcore” fashion trend is, and why a crafty chic aesthetic seems to be dominating the closets of style influencers everywhere? No worries. Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has developed a primer to answer your pressing questions. What is the “Craftcore” aesthetic, and what are the best ways to embrace this new obsession with knitting, crocheting, slow fashion and more?

let’s get to the core of the matter: what’s up with all these “Cores”?

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise (and fall) of many “cores.” From Cottagecore to Zizmorcore, Grannycore to Barbiecore, the internet (and more specifically, Tik Tok) has allowed dozens of super-niche styles to flourish – and to walk the runway.

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The suffix “core” is a Gen-Z-popularized term that basically just means aesthetic – well, aesthetic plus. Because that’s the thing about these cores; though they begin with fashion – a person who dresses up like Barbie, or like their grandmother, or like New York dermatologist Dr. Zizmor – they extend well beyond the way a person looks. Cores are about fashion and style and aesthetic, but they’re not only about those things. They’re also about lifestyle.

If you were to line up these radically-disparate fashion senses side by side, you would start to notice the one thing they all have in common – they’re all fantasies. They’re all about the person (and in many cases, a young person; a person who spent her high school and college years trapped inside her parents’ house during a global pandemic) pretending to be someone she’s not. In another time, in another place. And of course, the fantasy gets easier to believe if it extends beyond clothing – if it becomes a live-action roleplay, where you live your life the way a person from your “core” might live theirs.

Which brings us to Craftcore.

latest trend craftcore

The latest trend is “craftcore” including knitting, crafting, and crocheting.

What exactly is Craftcore?

Well, for one thing, it is what it sounds like – fashion and lifestyle choices that in some way incorporate arts and crafts.

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In the fashion world, this means items that are knit, crocheted, or embroidered. Items that look handmade, whether or not they actually are. It means the rise of vintage, the rise of patchwork, and the rise of DIY. As with many of these cores, you’ll know it when you see it (and trust us, you’ll see it – it’s everywhere in 2022).

And, of course, there is an intense lifestyle element to Craftcore. People learning to knit, to crochet, to cross-stitch. To bake bread. To quilt. In fact, you may have noticed that many of the most popular hobbies of the last few years could easily be considered a part of Craftcore. This is not a coincidence.

Even when we compare Craftcore to the other most popular “cores,” Craftcore feels special. Along with its most closely-adjacent fellow aesthetics – Grannycore, Cottagecore, and others that share the cozy-homey element – Craftcore is remarkably self-actualizing. In fact, it’s a genius solution to an impossible problem.

Though none of us will ever become Barbie, or Dr. Zizmore, or our own grandmothers, Craftcore actually does allow you to become… a crafter. If you take up knitting, if you wear the scarf you make, you really are living Craftcore. Unlike the fantasy of the other cores, Craftcore is a dream that you have the power to make real. None of us are moving to cottages anytime soon (probably not, anyway), but we really might learn to crochet. In this way, Craftcore is unique, even when compared with its fellow cores. It’s the one core that has the potential to extend beyond roleplay – that has the power to become an actual part of our day-to-day lives.

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How to embrace the craftcore trend and the crafty chic aesthetic

And when you take a look at the activities – the crafts – themselves, it’s easy to understand their appeal; and particularly, their appeal amidst quarantine.

For one thing, crafting is easily learned at home, on your own time, at your own pace. If you want to spend all day sewing, you can – but you can also do a little each day (or each week, or month), when your schedule and energy allow for it. You can craft alone, if you’re looking for a little more me-time, or you can craft with others – either in-person or online. Crafting is a highly flexible artform, which made it an ideal choice for a time when so many things were so up in-the-air.

Crafting also allows us to feel good about ourselves, and in a time with precious few triumphs, this is crucial.

 Crafts are tangible. After a day of knitting, a day of baking, you can touch – or taste – the results of your hard work. Not to mention the fact that the physical motions – the movement of the needle; the kneading of the bread – help to relieve stress.

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In the depths of quarantine, we were grateful for any activity that provided both positive reinforcement and a little release. (And it seems worth mentioning, Craftcore is ostensibly sustainable; at a time when many of us feel concerned about the wellbeing of the planet, this is another way in which Craftcore helped us to feel good).

latest trend craftcore

The latest trend is “craftcore” including knitting, crafting, and crocheting.

And of course, there’s the nostalgia factor. As we have all spent these last few years searching for any kind of comfort, nostalgia has played a huge role – not just in terms of Craftcore, but in terms of every industry, and every aspect of life. In this time of crisis, it makes sense that we would want to find a time where things felt better than they do now – even if that time never existed in the first place. Because that’s the funny thing about nostalgia; though it is possible that we are longing for the security of our actual childhoods, or the aesthetics of the actual past, we also may be longing for the illusions of those things. We may be feeling nostalgia for a time that hasn’t happened yet – a time that we are making, in the here and now.

Craftcore opens up a doorway to another world. A world where we can slow down and spend time with the people we love. It offers an alternative to the era of the short attention span, the era of tweets and Tik Tok videos. It’s analog. It’s physical. It asks us to put up our artwork in our homes; to stop and take a look at all the magical things that are still within our control. Even when so much is out of our control. And best of all, it tells us that yes – this world is ours for the taking.

We love Craftcore, and we love any core that lets us work towards making our fantasy into reality. Because at the end of the day, that’s all any of us are trying to do.

What is “Craftcore” and the best ways to embrace this latest trend?

That’s our answer to the pressing matter of what’s driving the growth of the “Craftcore” aesthetic, and the best ways to embrace this new obsession with knitting, crocheting, slow fashion and more. What do you say, dear reader? Feeling crafty?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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