It seems as if there’s always a new clothing trend cropping up, and it can feel like a lot of effort to keep up. The coastal grandma aesthetic trend, though, is effortless. And not just effortless, but effortlessly chic to boot (minus the boots, though—picture a pair of neutral-toned sandals instead). It’s not exactly clear where and when this trend started, but we can thank Tik Tok for its current popularity.
The coastal grandma aesthetic strikes the perfect balance of comfort and style. It’s refined without feeling stuffy, and just the right harmony of dressy and casual. You can channel your inner coastal grandma with looks that are chic yet effortless, like you’re all about staying on trend but too wise to sacrifice your comfort for it. Think breezy pieces that you might throw on to enjoy a glass of Chablis with your fresh lobster roll on the balcony of your beach cottage, or as you stroll along the shore at sunset before curling up on your favorite chaise with a good beach read.
If this all sounds as dreamy to you as it does to us, read on for the eight essential pieces you’ll need to pull it all off (or at least look the part!).
Let’s start at the top here with the must-have coastal grandma hats. Opt for either a floppy brimmed straw sunhat or a bucket hat with distressed edges. You could even go for a straw bucket hat if you want to hit all the marks. As long as your hat is beachy beige, butter yellow, off-white, or white, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking your inner coastal grandma potential.
A pair of white capri pants is an absolutely essential part of this aesthetic. If you were to think of the coastal grandma trend as a uniform, the white capri pant might just be the required bottoms. Go for a pair of high-rise skinny white capris in a smart mid-rise chino style or a pair of high-rise skinny white capris.
The next essential pair of pants for pulling off the coastal grandma aesthetic is a pair of trendy and oh-so-comfy wide-leg linen crop pants. Linen, in general, is a must-have material for the coastal grandma, as are bottoms that are as stylish as they are comfortable. Opt for a pair of these breezy bottoms in a mid-rise elastic pull-on style, or with a tie-waist detail for ease of wear.
Moving away from bottoms for the moment, the first top on our list is perhaps the most important. To really dive into the coastal grandma trend, you’ll actually want a few women’s oxford shirts in your rotation. Go for white, off-white, pastel yellow, or robin egg blue, and opt for airy materials like linen, lightweight chambray, or summery seersucker.
No coastal grandma wardrobe is complete without a few women’s polo shirts in rotation. To add a beachy touch to this classic top, opt for a polo shirt with nautical navy and white stripes, and go with a fit that’s a bit looser rather than super fitted.
As we mentioned at the start of this blog, there’s a sense of refined fashion wisdom that imbues this aesthetic, which is why a cardigan is a must-have for this trend. Go for an open-front or button-down cardigan-style women's cotton sweater, either in white, off-white, or summer sky blue. Layer your cardigan over a simple white cotton women's T-shirt, your oxford button-down, or your polo shirt, or simply wrap it around your shoulders while you stroll the shoreline (or at least stroll the shoreline in your mind).
This beachy, breezy trend definitely calls for some comfortable yet polished shorts, which is why this list includes a pair of women's chino shorts. Go for a pair of chino shorts that fall just above the knee in blue and white seersucker, white cotton with a subtle nautical print like tiny navy anchors, or opt for a classic khaki style.
Look to your coastal grandma icons and you won’t see any heavy-duty footwear there. Instead, opt for beige sandals or slides, or some slip-on white canvas sneakers. Think shoes that’ll take you from the new restaurant on the boardwalk and back to your beach cottage again, or sandals that you can slip into while you survey the sand for seashells to add to your collection.
With these eight essentials in your wardrobe, you’ll be set to pull off the coastal grandma aesthetic with ease. Pair any of these looks with accessories like a woven straw purse, some small gold hoops or simple pearl stud earrings, and a pair of summering-in-the-Hamptons-worthy sunglasses, and you’ll have achieved your coastal grandma aesthetic goals, with or without the beach house and the Chablis.