The Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic Is Actually Everything We Needed—Here’s How To Get In On The Viral Trend

The pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction this year, and instead of an uninhibited “hot girl summer,” we’re going for the sweet aesthetic of a coastal grandmother.

By Anna Hartman3 min read
coastal grandmother instagram

Finally, a trend we can get behind. If you would’ve told us that we’d be twinning with gran this summer, I’m not sure I would’ve believed you. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and half of the women on TikTok are doing it, and we really can’t say we’re surprised. It is the exact opposite of the tacky Y2K resurgence and trashy Euphoria-inspired outfits, and with many saying it’s a lifestyle more than a swift viral trend, we’re hoping this classy and polished way of dressing is here to stay. 

It can be argued that this aesthetic has been around long before TikTok ever even existed, but the resurgence of this lifestyle has made its way into mainstream fashion magazines and celebrities’ Instagram feeds with the help of Lex Nicoleta, a TikToker who curated her entire brand around this term. While many are flocking to embody this relaxed, monied attitude, it’s no surprise that others are quick to criticize. This TikTok trend has received its fair share of hate from all corners of the internet claiming that it’s elitist, racist, and unattainable. To be fair though, what hasn’t been labeled that at some point these days? 

There’s no need to actually be a grandmother or have loads of cash lying around to participate in this trend (although that certainly couldn’t hurt). Essentially, all you need is the right attitude and a few key wardrobe staples. You can weave this trend into every area of your life – from how you vacation to what you serve for dinner, and everything in between – but what we’re going to focus on today is the style aspect of the “Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic.”

Making this trend youthful and attainable while on a budget and keeping intact the original aesthetic is simpler than you may think. Rather than overhauling your entire closet to make way for this trend, all you need is seven style essentials. You may even have these in your wardrobe already and simply need some inspiration from our favorite influencers on how to style them. Shall we break it down then? Pour yourself a glass of freshly brewed iced tea, set aside your paperback novel for a moment, and let’s get started.  

1. Button-Up Shirt

Basics are key. The first step to any “Coastal Grandmother” closet is by adding a white or chambray button-up shirt. You see it in nearly every Instagram post and TikTok video surrounding this trend. It’s as essential as the white t-shirt in a woman’s closet, and it looks sophisticated no matter how you style it. 

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2. Cashmere Sweater 

Whether you’re wrapping it around your shoulders (the go-to move) or throwing it on with a pair of wide-leg pants for a leisurely walk on the beach, it’s no question that you need a cashmere sweater in your wardrobe. Stick to coastal hues with white, cream, tan, and light blue for a solid basic to pair with any look, or opt for a white and navy blue striped sweater for a more nautical vibe. 

If a cashmere sweater isn’t in your budget, no worries! You can either grab an affordable lookalike, or head to your local consignment shop and browse through the aisles to find a discarded gem.  

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3. Wide-Leg Pants

Airy cotton and linen fabrics are simply a must for coastal gran. Slide into a pair of high-waisted flowy pants with a drawstring waist to build the foundation of an effortlessly stylish outfit. This lightweight look is perfect for any daytime activity to stay cool while still looking polished. 

If you want to take it a step further and really get involved in linen this summer, head over to our recent ‘Editor’s Picks Of The Week’ where we shared 20 fashionable favorites for the season.

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4. Chic Sun Hat

Not only is this wardrobe essential a stylish addition to any spring or summer outfit, but it’s also extremely practical. Keep your precious, ultra-hydrated skin safe from sun rays with a chic and feminine sun hat so you can spend your days lounging outside without a care in the world. 

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5. Hair Scarf

Picture yourself traveling down the coastline, riding shotgun in a white convertible while listening to Norah Jones. Obviously, you need a silky headscarf to keep your hair from flying free and getting tangled in the sea breeze so you don’t show up to the country club looking disheveled. 

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6. Black Sunglasses

Skip the trendy rose-tinted glasses this season and opt for a classic instead. Black oval sunglasses are a timeless staple and will ensure that you ooze elegance, no matter the occasion. 

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7. Nap Dress

A dress you can quite literally nap in? Sign us up. Nap dresses are unquestionably one of the best designs that have come out of the fashion industry. Forego your matching oversized sweatsuit and chucks, and slip into a darling nap dress that will feel just as comfy while looking perfectly put together. 

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Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re seeking out classier fashion options because you’re sick and tired of the Euphoria-inspired outfits you’re being bombarded with, or you’ve always felt like a coastal grandma at heart and were simply waiting for your moment to shine, we hope this style breakdown is just what you needed. Let’s class up the joint this summer with a crisp, sophisticated, and feminine wardrobe that’s sure to impress even the classiest ladies in Nantucket. 

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