Coastal Grandmother

May 06, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw, in Blog Posts
I am leaning hard into the Coastal Grandmother trend that seems to be popping up everywhere.

I am not a grandmother. This is not what defines the trend. You can be Coastal Grandmother whether or not you have children, or grandchildren, or if you are a man. You can be a person of wealth or you can be on trend on a budget. 

Coastal Grandmother is a vibe, a lifestyle. It’s wind-tossled hair, with maybe a floppy hat. It’s simple but well cut, natural fiber clothing in soft colors. It’s comfortable and flowy, not tight or binding. It’s definitely not high heels. It’s a bike with a basket, a visit to a Farmer’s Market, it’s toes in the sand. It’s seafood and rosé, it’s cooking from your Ina Garten cookbooks. It’s button downs but not too tailored or preppy. It’s jewelry, but layered meaningful pieces, not the glitzy “you must be able to see if from across the street” kind. It’s expertly done, muted makeup, it’s letting your natural glimmering silver highlights take the stage. It’s a trend on TikTok, it’s trend in home decor, it’s so much a trend in fashion in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, it’s hard to find anything else. I recently found myself swooning over a long linen dress worn as an open long layer over boyfriend jeans and a designer t-shirt.

I, along with many other women of all ages, am embracing this trend with open, tanned arms. It’s a vibe I’ve been honing, rather unconsciously, for years, as I’ve spent as much of every year as I can living near the ocean and making big salads from Farmer’s Market finds. I’ve noticed certain stylish women in their 20s (including Audrey Small) gravitating toward this aesthetic for months. I suppose I should be glad that I have three boys instead of girls, who would be emptying my closet of all my favorite clothes.

Men can be Coastal Grandmother too. Stanley Tucci, with his tailored linen shirts, worn untucked of course, is cited as an example. On a recent trip to Palm Springs, I spotted plenty of deeply tanned men dressed in cool, elevated, slightly dressy linen shirts. It’s what you change into for a nice dinner outside on a warm evening, after tennis or golf.

Why is this trend so popular? I think we all crave comfort and joy in simple, beautiful things right now. We want to unplug from the barrage of terrible news blasting us from every source, however temporarily, and enjoy a walk outside in a beautiful place wearing something comfortable.

There is even a playlist. Listen to it here.

Some fun articles about this trend:

I Can't Shut Up About Coastal Grandmothers
What Is the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic TikTok Trend?
Coastal Grandmother Style