Dark Nautical is a subgroup of cottagecore based around the sea aspect of nature rather than the forest or meadows. It is similar in imagery to both Nautical and Pirate aesthetics, but borrows much more from cottagecore in its romanticized interpretation of western life by the sea. Whereas Nautical tends to focus on much more higher economic class aesthetics and Pirate on chaotic, Dark Nautical centers around a more simple and harmonized life like cottagecore. Dark Nautical is also characterized by a certain existential fear that does not exist in any of the previously mentioned aesthetics. The aesthetic involves being both aware of the vast ocean: what it is capable of, and what lies below, as well as being isolated for long periods of time. This awareness of the danger involved with the sea aligns Dark Nautical with such aesthetics as Witchcore and Forestpunk. Originally conceived earlier, it experienced a resurgence in early 2021 as sea shanties became more popular


Dark Nautical fashion is reminiscent of the 18th and 19th centuries and primarily broken up into two categories: feminine and masculine.

Feminine Fashion:

  • Ankle-length dresses made of cotton or similar simple materials without much embellishments
  • white aprons
  • white underskirts
  • Long hair tied back or styled to be kept away from face
  • blue or black and white striped stockings
  • sturdy boots
  • minimal jewelry, a brooch or a locket (containing the picture of your love lost at sea)

Masculine Fashion:

  • aran or fisherman sweaters
  • henley shirts (striped blue or black and white or solid colors of grey or blue)
  • sturdy boots
  • pipes
  • flatcaps
  • nautical tattoos (anchors, mermaids, compasses, etc.)
  • Yellow rain coat and hat
  • large beard
  • little to no frivolities
  • breeches, jeans, trousers, or other such simple garments


Key features to the aesthetic include

  • lighthouses (of which there are various types and designs)
  • intricately woven rope
  • aran sweaters
  • wood burning stoves
  • sea salt
  • sailing ships
  • storms brewing
  • fishing nets
  • rowboats
  • gas lamps
  • sea monsters
  • seashells
  • compasses
  • old maps
  • seaglass
  • colored bottles



  • The Lighthouse (2019)
  • The Finest Hours (2016)
  • Yours, Mine, and Ours (2005)
  • Poldark (2015-19)



  • The Longest Johns
  • The Dreadnoughts
  • Celtic Woman
  • Stan Rogers
  • Storm Weather Shanty Choir
  • Kraken Shanty Band
  • The Seadogs
  • Pyrates!
  • Ye Banished Privateers


POV: you've never listened to sea shanties before

Sea Shanties - Official Spotify Playlist

sea shanties for thots

lighthouse core

The Lighthouse Movie Soundtrack


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