"Coastal Grandma" Style, Explained

Grab something striped, a straw hat, and a ridiculously soft sweater.

Meryl Streep in a garden, channelling the Coastal Grandma Trend
(Image credit: Alamy)

This week, "coastal grandma" may have suddenly slipped into your vocabulary. The preppy new trend on everyone's lips is a world away from the micro-minis of yestermonth.

What Is a Coastal Grandma?

Think shingled beach homes, light and airy chambray button-downs, linen everything, bountiful backyard gardens filled with various lettuce varieties, and a meticulously maintained chicken coup with more square footage than a Manhattan apartment. That's coastal grandma.

When coastal grandmas tire from pruning their hydrangea bushes, they grab a nice crisp, chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc and that juicy mystery novel from the weekly book club. Bonus points for real estate overlooking the ocean!

Adjacencies to the Coastal Grandma Lifestyle Include:

  • Any main character that screenwriter Nancy Meyers has created.
  • Any combination of khakis and stripes Martha Stewart has worn.
  • Any excellent olive oil that Ina Garten would use.
  • Oprah at peak heirloom season.

Where Did the Coastal Grandma Trend Come From?

While some say that the coastal grandma mascot is Diane Keaton in the 2003 movie As Good As It Gets, we must credit the originator, Lex Nicoleta, who popularized the term on TikTok this March. Since then, Anne Hathaway further solidified the aesthetic on Instagram, stating she's "been ready for #coastalgrandmother chic since before TikTok was born."

Ina Garten, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton wearing the coastal grandma trend

(Image credit: Alamy)

How Can I Also Become a Coastal Grandma?

Semantics aside, you neither have to be a grandmother nor live on the coast to achieve coastal grandma nirvana. Cosplaying a moneyed middle-aged New Englander will do. For that, you'll need the following:

Stock Your Closet With Coastal Grandma Fashions:

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Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director for Marie Claire, where she's worked alongside the publication for eight years in various roles, ensuring the brand's fashion content continues to inform, inspire, and shape the conversation about fashion's ever-evolving landscape. With a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara is responsible for overseeing a diverse fashion content mix, from emerging and legacy designer profiles to reported features on the influence of social media on style and seasonal and micro trends across the world's fashion epicenters in New York, Milan, and Paris. Before joining Marie Claire, Sara held fashion roles at Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine and Self Magazine and was a style and travel contributor to Equinox's Furthermore website. Over her decade of experience in the fashion industry, Sara has helped guide each brand's style point of view, working alongside veteran photographers and stylists to bring editorial and celebrity photo shoots to fruition from start to finish. Sara currently lives in New York City. When she's not penning about fashion or travel, she’s at the farmer’s market, on a run, working to perfect her roasted chicken recipe, or spending time with her husband, dog, and cat. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork