What Is the Coastal Grandmother Fashion Trend?

“The new coastal grandmother trend is geared toward those who want to have an effortless, comfy yet sophisticated style—inspired by Nancy Meyers’ films like Something’s Gotta Give,” explains Michelle Olson, a luxury fashion stylist with House of Colour. Think of Diane Keaton sitting near the seaside in a cozy oversized sweater, straw hat and linen pants in the 2003 rom-com—or her white and beige ensembles in Father of the Bride. “This trend was coined by TikTok influencer Lex Nicoleta and refers to women or men who love an elevated way of living, while enjoying the seaside lifestyle,” says Olson.

“It’s so popular because it speaks to a desire for simplicity, comfort, and the finer things in life,” adds personal style coach Cate Linden. A coastal grandmother drinks wine while walking along the beach with her shoes off and looks polished at the farmer's market without looking like she tried! Want to pull off the vibe? Here are a few ways to incorporate the coastal grandmother look into your own life:

Embrace seaside colors

“When it comes to the fashion, [choose] lots of neutrals and earthy tones inspired by the seaside like whites, creams, tans, beiges, greens, pinks and blues,” says Olson. This is a capsule wardrobe comprised of traditional, natural classic pieces with neutral tones and texture. Coastal grandmother colors, says Linden, should remind you of a New England beach. “Keep the overall look light and fresh, without too many competing colors,” she explains.

Dress comfortably

“There's something utterly charming about wearing a thick wool cardigan as the sun sets in and the chill is felt ­– it just screams cozy at you whenever you wear it,” says Joe Flanagan, founder of 90s Fashion World. This is the essence of the style: feeling cozy, relaxed and cultivating those little moments of happiness. Grab your linen pants and cozy oversized sweaters!

Embrace classic patterns

“This trend is so fun because first of all, who doesn't want to be Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give?” says Linden. The look is comfy, fresh, and simple, with no elaborate styling required. “It's an aspirational look with a throwback to simpler patterns like stripes, cable knits, and slub linen,” she adds.

Have fun with accessories

Accessories for the coastal grandmother aesthetic include bucket hats, luxe scarves, straw totes, driving shoes, posh sunglasses, and pearls. “If wearing a billowy linen blend dress, then add chunky jewelry and leather slides,” says Olson. “Imagine a stroll around the farmers market in the Hamptons with your best friend while enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.” For shoes, low-profile white sneakers like a classic Keds style are great. And if you’re wearing sandals, Linden says to opt for neutral beige with simple lines, or even a braided detail. “Grab a big pair of sunglasses and you're good to go,” she proclaims.

Don’t overdo it

“Simple is better when it comes to accessories,” says Linden. A slim gold chain necklace or a pair of silver hoops are plenty. “An artful bangle or two can also be effective, but like with clothing, you don't want too much going on,” Linden adds. Instead, choose pieces that feel luxurious without being over-the-top flashy. 

Go for coastal décor

Coastal grandmothers are all about throw pillows, fresh flowers on their tables and opening up the shades to let in an abundance of natural light throughout their homes. They like to tend to their gardens and grow fresh herbs, have interesting decorations on their bookshelves and patterned linens like striped towels and floor rugs around their living spaces. You can also use woven baskets as statement pieces, decorate your credenzas with artsy vases and play some romantic music in the background while you cook or read. For inspiration, watch Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated, or Book Club and pay attention to the soundtrack in the background.

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