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Coastal grandmother: What is it and how to embrace the aesthetic

The Independent logo The Independent 23/06/2022 Laura Hampson
coastal copy 1.jpg © Instagram/TikTok/Getty/The Independent coastal copy 1.jpg

Hot girl summer. It’s a phrase that’s been thrown around in recent years which, at its core, encourages women to look their “hottest” during the summer months. A smart rebranding of toxic diet culture it is not. Instead it encourages women to feel confident in who they are, and hook up with whoever they want in the process.

Sounds great, right? To some, it may. But for me, someone who has never owned a bikini and is getting married at the end of summer, I never quite gelled with the concept. Enter: coastal grandmother.

Like any good trend, the coastal grandmother aesthetic originated on TikTok. The hashtag currently has over 107 million views on the platform, and over 10,000 on Instagram.

But what is the trend and how can you embrace it? Read on for our coastal grandmother guide.

What is the “coastal grandmother” trend?

As explained by TikTok user Lex Nicoleta, who coined the term, coastal grandmother is like a character from a Nancy Meyers movie (think: Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give, and Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated), or celebrities like Ina Garten, Oprah, or Martha Stewart, the latter who has already admitted she doesn’t “identify” with the trend.

It’s all about home cooking, making large salads, warm interiors, living by the coast (preferable, but not essential), and a wardrobe that consists predominantly of white linen.

How to dress like a coastal grandmother

TikTok user Diana Triesit described the vibe as “old white rich lady” and said the younger version is “coastal granddaughter”.

She said the aesthetic was similar to influencer-turned-fashion designer Matilda Djerf’s, with oversized jumpers and wide-legged trousers.

Nicoleta explained in a separate video that there are three elements to dressing like a coastal grandmother: classic, comfortable, and chic.

“Number one is classic. Coastal grandmother is traditional and classic by nature, typically not including a tonne of trendy pieces,” she explained.

She said that number two was “comfortable” as coastal grandmothers are “busy tending to their homes, running errands, and walking on the beach obviously”.

She added of the final element, chic: “Yes, we’re wearing a lot of comfortable pieces, but they are always pulled together with the details. Structured sunglasses, a sweater pulled over the shoulder, beautiful jewellery, and great shoes.”

Even celebrities like Anne Hathaway have embraced the trend. Earlier this year, Hathaway posted an image of herself to Instagram wearing a sun hat, white shirt and cream-hued trousers.

“I have been ready for #coastalgrandmother chic since before TikTok was born. May this moment never end,” Hathaway captioned the image.

How to embrace the coastal grandmother lifestyle

One thing Nicoleta is adamant about is that coastal grandmother is not a trend, but a lifestyle.

“Hobbies include, but aren’t limited to, cooking, hosting, gardening, spending time at the beach, visiting the farmer’s market, and decorating your home to perfection,” the influencer explained in a recent video. “Essentially making your own life feel luxurious,” she added.

She also clarified that you “don’t need to be in the one per cent” to achieve this aesthetic.

“It’s about taking elements of an aspirational lifestyle, and bringing them into your everyday life. It’s a come one, come all situation.”

I, for one, will be taking Nicoleta’s words on board. If you need me, I’ll be making an apple pie from scratch and getting on the next train to Whitstable in my white linen shirt.

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