Plus, our top style picks to embody your inner Diane Keaton.
At this point, we’re all a little too familiar with the microtrends born out of TikTok. From coco girl to balletcore to goth-wess, it’s hard to keep up with the endless stream of niche fashion subcultures. And now we have yet another to add to our repertoire: Coastal Grandma.
Coined on TikTok by creator Lex Nicoleta, the coastal grandma aesthetic describes the laid-back lifestyle of an older woman who is still comfortable and affluent (think Oprah or Ina Garten). On the style side, it consists of light silhouettes, soft colors and breathable fabrics. But it’s not just about fashion. The coastal grandmother exudes an aura of ease and emphasizes self-care with weekly rituals like buying fresh flowers and going to the farmer’s market.
“If you love the movies, recipes and cooking of Nancy Meyers, Ina Garten, cozy interiors and more, chances are you’re a coastal grandma,” Nicoleta explains in a video, adding that you don’t have to be a real grandmother (or living on the coast) to embody this style. “It’s for anyone and everyone.”
The coastal grandma prioritizes hot baths, goes to bed early, and enjoys a leisurely cup of coffee on her wraparound porch. She always smells good and only cooks with fresh vegetables from her garden. She gets excited about things like new dishes, fresh linens, and a good Chardonnay. who would not want that luxury standard of living?
The aesthetic has exploded in popularity — the hashtag has over 25 million views on TikTok — thanks, in part, to the aspiration surrounding it. The coastal grandmother is carefree, confident and seems to have it all together. And there is a growing appreciation for this type of energy.
Thanks to the pandemic, many of us have lost the adventurous will to go out all night and have instead learned to appreciate the tranquility of staying and beautifying our homes. Not to mention, the rise of escapist aesthetics like cottage-core has tapped into our collective desire to drop all worries and go frolicking somewhere in a field.
But it costs to live an effortless life. Prioritizing the “little things” in life, like meditating or reading a good book, requires free time and recreation, which is, ultimately, a privilege. Most of us can’t afford to grow produce on our own farm to the Opera. But that’s the beauty of the coastal grandmother’s aesthetic: it encourages us to channel everyday comforts into more modest ways — like, say, buying ourselves tulips or baking an olive oil cake a little. Saturday night.
Many fashion trends dominating TikTok, like Y2K or sexy alarm clocks Euphoria outfits, tend to perpetuate rigid standards of beauty, often excluding people with larger bodies, the elderly, or those with disabilities. But the coastal grandma, with her taste for home cooking and her appreciation for the versatile white shirt, is the antithesis of that. It’s not about striving for chiseled cheekbones or flat bellies. It’s just about being comfortable.
Until recently, the vast majority of “coastal grandmothers” in popular media have been white women (think Meryl Streep in Mom MiaDiane Keaton in something must give and those of Netflix Grace and Frankie). But the popularization of the aesthetic on social media has empowered everyone to claim the coastal grandma lifestyle by incorporating TLC into their daily lives. Today, the coastal grandmother has moved beyond gender, race or class – it’s simply a state of mind.
Being a coastal grandma means knowing what you want, putting yourself first, and putting your comfort first. Basically, it’s advanced self-care. Looking to step into your coastal grandma era? Below, find style inspiration on how to embrace your Diane Keaton interior this summer.