TikTok fashion trends—like massive Abercrombie and Shein hauls—typically aren’t very eco-friendly. But “coastal grandmother”—an aesthetic that’s currently taking over the app—is more than a trend. It’s a classic style you can rock for years to come. It’s also something you can easily assemble by shopping your own closet or visiting your nearest thrift store—no fast fashion brand purchases required.
You don’t have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother. According to content creator Lex Nicoleta who coined the term, it’s “for anyone and everyone.” But what does it look like, exactly? Simple: Relaxed, beachy vibes, light neutrals, and summery goodness.
“Coastal grandmother is Martha Stewart adjacent, not fully Ina Garten—think Nancy Meyers-chic,” she says. “It’s Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give, it’s Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated, it’s Hamptons, it’s my-garden-is-bigger-than-your-first-apartment, it’s a light white sweater—even though it’s the middle of summer.”
Basically, no matter where you live (near the coast or not!) you can enjoy the easy, breezy style—and the carefree attitude that goes along with it. To get you going on your own coastal grandmother journey, Nicoleta came up with a starter pack of items you probably already have at home.
Coastal Grandmother Starter Pack
1. White Button-Down Shirt
Because “nothing says effortless class like one of these bad boys,” Nicoleta says. “You can really get them from anywhere.” Even if you don’t have one at home, this item is a wardrobe staple that can be found at every thrift store.
2. Bucket Hat
Bucket hats originally made their way into people’s hearts in the late-’80s, mid-’90s, and early-2000s… and they’re still going strong today. Go with white, straw, or another neutral to complete your coastal grandmother look.
3. White Dress
Nicoleta says a go-to white dress is a staple in every coastal grandmother’s closet. “Something with a delicate silouette—simple and beautiful.”
4. Linen Pants or Shorts
Linen pants will never go out of style. “They’re breezy and cool, and when you pair them with one of your button-downs, you give all the coastal grandmother vibes,” Nicoleta says.
Nicoleta recommends going with sunglasses that have a classic and timeless shape when you’re looking for something that would be coastal grandmother-approved. Her secret to finding a great pair? Going vintage, and you can start by looking at these online vintage clothing stores.
You likely already have a great pair of sustainable sandals in your closet to match this aesthetic—something neutral in color, like brown or tan.
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