As a borderline geriatric millennial (I can’t tell you how painful it is type those words out), I have to confess I’ve yet to download TikTok, and seem to miss the majority of the trends the social media platform spawns. However, a recent viral trend from the app has caught my (ageing) eye as it’s started to spill over into more mainstream media – namely, the coastal grandma aesthetic. And let’s just say, I am fully here for it.
You can keep your hot girl summer; this season, I am fully embracing the lifestyle, and accompanying outfits of living my life in a Nancy Meyers movie – which is the essence of the coastal grandmother aesthetic, in case you were wondering exactly what I’m on about.
The term, which was coined by TikToker Lex Nicoleta, is all about embracing the good, but simple pleasures in life and taking things slow. Think luxuriously sipping on a chilled glass of rosé whilst the sun goes down or taking the time to cook a delicious meal from scratch (with ingredients from the farmers market, naturally). It’s about adopting a more wholesome lifestyle, in place of the frantic, screen-time heavy and often disconnected days I know I’m guilty of falling into a pattern of.
The coastal grandmother takes time to arrange flowers, spends her money on expensive candles rather than the next fashion trend, and wiles her days away gardening rather than scrolling through Instagram. What’s not to love?
And whilst this cosy style of living alone would probably be enough to tempt me to the coastal grandmother side of life, it’s the accompanying fashion that’s *really* convinced it’s the only way I want to live my life – and dress – this summer. So, what exactly does the trend mean, sartorially speaking?
With Diane Keaton from Something’s Gotta Give as your muse, think neutrals in linens and cashmere, bucket hats and oversized beach baskets. It’s the sort of laidback, preppy combination that I can fully get on board with – the antithesis to the mini skirts, crop tops and isty-bitsy bikinis that tend to flood my Instagram feed as soon as the mercury starts to rise.
And I’m far from the only fan of this look. Lex Nicoleta (or the Coastal Grandmother™ as her bio states) now has almost 120,000 TikTok followers and the trend has over 60 million views. And even celebrities are taking notice of it, with everyone from Anne Hathaway to the original purveyor of the look – Nancy Meyers – acknowledging its existence.
Achieving the look to compliment such a fabulous lifestyle might seem like it could break the bank, but the good news is, it’s actually the complete opposite. With no logos or visible brands in sight, coastal grandmothers wear outfits that look understatedly expensive, but in reality, can easily be recreated with high street finds.
After all, the key to this aesthetic is simple really – it’s all about dressing in head-to-toe neutrals; anything from white to oatmeal, sandy to beige, works; perhaps if you’re feeling adventurous, add in a classic Breton stripe. Don’t worry too much about matching your tones exactly (it’s all about looking effortless after all), and whilst you don’t need to spend a bomb on pieces, look to invest in good quality basics. It may be a trend, but it’s one that’s comprised of wardrobe classics that will last for seasons to come – another reason why I love it.
So I can fully embrace this trend, a pair of relaxed neutral chinos are high on my wish list; I’ll be styling them with a loose fit linen shirt and a crochet bucket hat for a look that’s peak coastal grandmother. To finish off the outfit, I’ll tie a jumper over my shoulders, like this striped style, or even better – a cashmere one like this M&S classic.
When it comes to accessories, less is definitely more – meaning you (thankfully) don’t need to invest in the latest designer sandals to achieve this look. A coastal grandmother is usually barefoot (walking on the beach, or in her garden tending to her herbs obvs), but since that isn’t *quite* my reality I’ll be opting for a neutral pair of Birkenstocks or a classic pair of plimsolls on cooler weather days.
And since no Nancy Meyer’s character would ever be seen with the logo embellished beach bag everyone seems to be carrying this season, I’ll happily save my pounds and go for an oversized high street find like this & Other stories tote – perfect for a day of picking up some produce from the market.
So, whilst living my best coastal grandmother life, spending my days pottering down to the beach from my swoon-worthy coastal bolthole might be *a little* while off, in the meantime I’ll be taking inspiration to live life a little slower and more meaningfully this summer – and of course, dressing the part. Scroll down for 9 more essential items for your coastal grandma wardrobe, and I’ll see you on the deck for sundowners.