Like most good things on the internet these days, from beauty hacks to cooking tricks, the latest top trends tend to come from TikTok. The latest trend to take the social media platform – and the summer – by storm? The ‘coastal granny’ aesthetic.
Coined by TikTok user Lex Nicoleta in March earlier this year, the hashtag #coastalgrandmother currently has over nearly 200 million views on the platform, and just under 25,000 posts on Instagram.
Granted, they aren’t the biggest numbers ever in terms of viral TikTok stardom, but that doesn’t matter. The trend has gone beyond social media, and took over the summer.
Once you learn about the Coastal Granny, she’s everywhere you look: newspapers, glossies, TV, even Anne Hathaway declared the Coastal Granny aesthetic to be the trend she’s been waiting for since “before TikTok was born.”
But since the term started making the rounds on social media, viewers have been left with many questions. What is a coastal granny? Do you have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother? What does a coastal grandmother do? Can a thirty-something millennial also adopt the trend?
But don’t worry, we’ve done some digging. Here’s everything you need to know about the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic.
What is a ‘coastal granny’?
“There’s a term I created for this aesthetic,” says Nicoleta (who takes credit for coining the term) in the original video, pointing to a collection of images in the background. “If you love Nancy Meyers movie coastal vibes, recipes and cooking, Ina Garten, cozy interiors and more, there’s a good chance you could be a coastal grandma.”
Think Diane Keaton Something has to give wayor Meryl Steep in It’s complicated. Even the Diana-esque Elizabeth James i The parent trap gives off big coastal granny vibes.
Basically, think of any Nancy Meyers movie and you’re bound to find some sort of reference to the seaside grandmother, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned.
“And no, you don’t have to be a grandma to be a seaside grandma,” adds Nicoleta. The thing is, the coastal granny aesthetic is not limited to the coast, there is one lifestyle.
It’s all about home cooking, making big salads, cozy interiors, long walks (on the beach preferably but not necessary), and a wardrobe consisting mainly of white cotton and linen shirts.
Oprah, Ina Garten and Marta Stewart have all been compared to the aesthetic, although the latter doesn’t think she could “be in a Nancy Meyers movie” and has therefore rejected the idea.
Essentially, you’re channeling a rich older woman who probably has a big beach house in the Hamptons, or a country escape in the Cotswolds, perhaps, for the UK equivalent.
She has a spotless Nancy Meyers-style kitchen decorated with freshly cut hydrangeas. She will be pouring herself a hefty red wine at 4pm while looking out from the deck and she definitely owns a signature straw hat. Or four.
How to Dress Like a “Coast Grandma”
Nicoleta explained in a separate video that the three words she would use to describe the coastal grandmother’s sense of style would be: classic, comfortable and elegant.
“Number one is classic. Coastal granny is traditional and classic in nature and doesn’t usually include a ton of trendy pieces,” she explained.
Number two is “comfortable” as coastal grandmothers are “busy looking after their homes, running errands and going to the beach, obviously”.
The last element is elegant. “Yes, we wear a lot of comfortable pieces, but they are always pulled together with the details,” she explains. “Structured sunglasses, a sweater pulled over the shoulder, beautiful jewelry and great shoes.”
White oversized shirts are the workhorse of this aesthetic, in cotton or linen, closely followed by a light blue or blue striped shirt. Wide-leg linen trousers are a staple for the Coastal Grandmother capsule wardrobe, and can be swapped out for white jeans in cooler months.
If you’re actually by the sea, an oversized striped navy sweater wrapped around the shoulders will complete the look, and for chilly evenings elsewhere, structured knits will do the trick (in white, of course).
And the hat. Whatever you do, don’t forget the straw hat.
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