I wanted to explore the rainy day aesthetic, because I think the contrast of tones and emotions is beautiful, and I find that it represents a widely universal feeling of comfort, safety, and melancholy. I think that this aesthetic has developed for a very long time in human history, and represents a safe haven of warmth and dryness away from cold wet weather. This also means that the aesthetic was developed by people who evolved in climates that had distinct seasons, including a rainy season. This particular aesthetic requires a cold rainy season, meaning that it is more likely to evolve out of an autumn rain rather than a spring rain.
Due to this, I think one of the characterizing features of this aesthetic is a contrast of colors and textures. Warm tones, and warm low light, contrasting with gloomy, slick cool tones set the atmosphere of the aesthetic. Textures like thick, soft fabric (wool, knits, layers), wet highlights (glistening pavement, slick surfaces, droplets), and diffusing lights (warm lamps, reflections of streetlights or signs, neon glows) are often present. Contrasting colors such as muted blues, grays, and greens mix with bright yellows, oranges, and reds, neutral tones, and emerald or forest greens. Emotions like safety, coziness, sleepiness, and contentment are associated. These feelings are often brought about by objects like beds, blankets, and pillows. Contentment can be related to objects like books or computers, which offer relaxation and low-energy entertainment. It can also be related to snacks, warm drinks, and sweet treats.
Another interesting facet of the rainy day aesthetic is the creation of a cozy space outside of the home. To me, this is often represented by umbrellas, warm clothing, or waterproof outer layers. This indicates being warm, safe, and dry, even while out in the elements, and can elicit thoughts of fresh environments, rosy cheeks, petrichor, exploring cities, forests, or coffee shops, and slow days.
Overall, I think that this aesthetic represents a feeling of having a safe haven to get away to, and take comfort in. Regardless of the weather, I think this aesthetic is something that most people can relate to and take pleasure in. Seeing images such as the ones included in this post make me feel happy, quiet, and reminiscent, which is why I chose to compile them into a post to share with others.
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I think it is very interesting they way that you described the emotional aspect of the rainy day aesthetic. I found this interesting because I think many other aesthetics don’t particularly have an emotional element. I agree with you that the sad and cozy feeling of the rainy day aesthetic is important to its definition. One question that I have is I wonder if people living in locations that are very warm and don’t receive very much rain still relate to the rainy day aesthetic?
Thanks for the comment Andrew, I was thinking about that a lot when writing this post! I’m not sure– I was wondering if it could be universalized with a “stormy day” aesthetic, and perhaps even people who live in desert conditions could relate via a dust storm or a thunder storm. I think this is a really interesting point though, and definitely got me thinking!
What a smart way to describe this aesthetic, “contrast”, I feel like you put it the best way possible. The dark and gloomy mixed with the cozy feeling of “I’m in a good spot, I don’t have to worry about this”. I also feel like the presence of water is always relaxing; a lake, a river, even rain will bring calm. However, I do believe that not all Rainy Day aesthetics will necessarily present that contrast. Some might just want to convey a heavy feeling of desperation, the feeling that you are getting wet and need to get to shelter quickly. It could be that the artist is trying to convey a feeling of sadness, like a kid looking at the window wanting to play but it is raining. I feel like it would be worthwhile researching that other side of the Rainy Day aesthetic. Regardless, I enjoyed your post, it really got me thinking!
That’s super true Gary, thanks for pointing that out! I definitely noticed this contrasting aesthetic when I was browsing Tumblr boards for inspiration photos, and chose to take it a different way. I didn’t even think of including it as an alternative rainy day perspective, that’s an awesome idea!