Who knew!! Grandma’s look is a top fashion trend.
As I understand it, Coastal Grandma refers to the comfort-loving style of some affluent, middle-aged women who have retired to the upscale New England coastal areas. Think The Hamptons! Or Nantucket. Or Martha’s Vineyard. Their style is WASP-chic (in my opinion) without compromising on comfort. I’ll assume that these women did their part in younger days in making inroads in a working world dominated by men. They did it in skirt suits and high heels — now that the granddaughters are reaping the rewards at workplaces, grandma wants to be left alone to live in her coastal home in comfortably chic clothing.
And now, the granddaughters are embracing their Hampton grandma’s style. Is it because the anxiety of the last 2 years has pushed the young ones to discover the comforts of Grammie’s life, including her sartorial choices? Some non-coastals might say this kind of wardrobe choice has always been their gig; well, it now has a name. Also, is it just me, or this style is a natural evolution of the Annie Hall look? Looks like Annie doffed her menswear vest, untucked her button down shirt, donned a white cardigan, replaced the tie with a drapey scarf.
The look is airy, loose but not baggy, skewing towards light beige, ecru and white with a touch of light blue. Preferred fabrics for Coastal Grandmas are linen. Denims, too because coastals love their jeans and khakis as long as they’re white or light tan, on the looser side; no skinny jeans, please. Well, maybe soft leggings for yoga?
And, that classic white or ecru button down shirt! Whether it’s tucked in or not, it’s a go-to for the Coastal Grammie. Add to that the hand knit longish cardigan, a brimmed hat, tan loafers or slides, straw handbag and a mesh shopping bag (for farmer’s market shopping), you’ve got the basic Coastal Nana look down. Touches of blue such as a chambray shirt can add a soft touch of color while staying in the same aesthetic lane. Do you agree?
Each time a fashion trend pops up — I dive into my closest and fabric stash. Here we go again….
What exactly inspired the Coastal Grandma trend in fashion? Apparently, a creator on Tik Tok explained this style and named it “Coastal Grandma”. Also apparently (because I haven’t watched it) the same vibes are perfectly depicted in the 2003 movie “Something’s Gotta Give”, and other movies directed by Nancy Meyers (e.g. “It’s Complicated”). I’m also told that Ina Garten, star and chef of the Food Network’s “The Barefoot Contessa” fame is also an inspiration. So is Oprah. Martha Stewart lives in Maine and I consider her the original Coastal Grandma; she fits certainly fits the profile but in a recent interview Martha didn’t think she did.
Grandma friends, if you’re reading this and actually live in the above mentioned New England coastal areas, let us know what you really wear around the place. Or, if you’re two generations behind, is your Nana’s closet worth raiding?
A Florida edition of Coastal Grandma would be good to explore, or a Pacific coast edition. How about a Gulf Coast edition?
Now, a trend called Fancy Grandma is popping up. What? Is Nana adding a touch of sequins and arty clothes to her look??
Edit: here are links to three articles I would love for you to check out regarding Coastal Grandma Style. The Zoe Report. Refinery29. And her kitchen! (A must read)
Until the next blog post (hopefully soon), have a great summer!
7 thoughts on “Coastal Grandma Style”
Samina, you are working on your version of Coastal Grandma? As I am carrying an extra 10 lbs on a 5’1″ frame, much of this look is not flattering on me without a fair amount of fitting thru the torso and adjusting lengths so that I still show some figure, or I’d just look rotund!
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Hi Joan! As it so happens, I just signed up for a live Zoom class by Sarah Veblen (on the patternreview.com platform. The subject is just what you mentioned: sewing loose clothing without the bagginess. Should be interesting. I think she will cover the same fitting things you mention — length and torso fit. I personally think that if a loose garment fits in the shoulders, the baggy look is half taken care of.
All that white and khaki — I’d get dirty! This “coastal grandma” lives on the east coast of Lake Michigan, and I’m still busy sewing, junking, painting, working, and going to Walmart. There’s no way I could keep all those colors spotless! Maybe if I gave up sloppy joes . . .
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Hello, Jean! I can’t help but think the same. That’s why I asked the question. Does anyone walk on the beach in white or ecru clothing?
Well, it’s my fault for falling down that rabbit hole. And as most Nancy Meyers movies bug me, I will again whine: who needs two or three copies of the same cookbook (and don’t look at my bookshelves because that Junior League is missing some pages, while the second has the rest of the pages)? Who is going to clean that kitchen? (staff, I know….)
I sit on the west coast beach in khaki shorts. They are not ecru by any stretch of the imagination. and I am curious about the loose without being baggy effect. I think fabric choice plays a big part in it.
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Always love your comments 🙂 . I am curious about how others deal with the loose-but-not-baggy issue. You’re right in that fabric choice plays a part. I also think that when shoulders and neck are fitted closer to the body, the rest the garment can be looser than usual. I’ll see what Sarah Veblen’s class divulges. 🙂