Unbuttoned button-ups and preppy casual are the oxymorons that are taking over the fashion scene right now and it’s all thanks to the “coastal grandmother” aesthetic. Yup, the Nancy Meyers movie look has officially become a fashion trend and it’s everything we want it to be and more. We’re focusing on fashion today but some would say “coastal grandmother” is more than just a fashion trend, it’s a lifestyle. There’s even a playlist to prove it and an AD article on how to get the look in your home. The “coastal grandmother” is fashion’s newest IT girl and her look is easier to achieve than you might think (plus you probably already have the pieces in your closet). And no, you don’t have to be a grandmother to achieve this look, but it also doesn’t hurt if you are 🙂 Let’s explore WHAT the look actually entails:
So you get the vibe: it’s basically the grandmother who retired in Nantucket and spends her days at the beach picnicking with lobster rolls, white wine, and a good book. Her home is filled with collected vintage, seashells, and hydrangeas. You know her style is preppy, but loose, flowy and of course, a little beachy. Here are the staples you need to get the look:
Relaxed White Pants
The classic white pant. It’s probably in your wardrobe already – bonus points if you have linen or flowy white pants. It’s time to bust them out y’all OR if you’re in the market for some new white pants here are some of our favorites:
1. J Crew Seaside Pant | 2. Banana Republic Flowy Pant | 3. Cigarette Jeans | 4. Linen Blend Pant | 5. Wide Leg Pant | 6. Barrel Pant
The Loose Button Down
Next, you’re gonna need a button-down. Typically the coastal grandmothers wear plain white or blue and white striped –– it can be layered under a sweater if it’s chilly, or worn on its own with a few buttons unbuttoned. OR for the risk takers: you can wear it completely unbuttoned and add it to your outfit as an additional layer.
This particular one is Emily’s latest favorite because it drapes great, is made of lightweight linen, and is super breathable. Those are three boxes I want all my shirts & it’s made our “what you bought last month” top seller list 2 months in a row (it’s that good).
Or for some other options, here are some more of our picks below!!
1. Target Button Down | 2. Cotton Button Down | 3. Target Relaxed Button Down | 4. Old Navy Pinstripe Button Down | 5. Light Blue Target Button Down | 6. Everlane Button Down
The Fisherman Sweater Or Cardigan
The fisherman sweater is a classic one, I know I have a ton that totally scream “coastal grandmother” so shop your closet because you probably do too! These sweaters are great to wear on their own, layered with a button-down (like in the last section), OR my personal favorite: draped over your shoulders and tied in a loose knot (so preppy and fun). Here are some of our picks:
1. Blue and White Stripe Sweater | 2. Collared Sweater | 3. Ruffle Turtleneck Sweater | 4. Clubhouse Sweater | 5. Fisherman Sweater | 6. Grandpa Cardigan
The Tonal Sandal
Grandma goes to the beach all the time (because she probably lives just steps from the water), so you’ll rarely catch her in a closed-toe shoe. She loves slides because they’re the easiest and most comfortable and they’re probably a woven espadrille material or a brown leather. Here’s what she’s wearing (if she’s wearing shoes at all):
1. Ralph Lauren Slides | 2. Bloomingdales Slides | 3. Veronica Beard Raffia Slides | 4. Steve Madden Cognac Slides | 5. Madewell Boardwalk Slides | 6. Madewell Gumsole Slides
The Woven Bag
Now having beach energy means you’re gonna pair your outfit with a fun beach bag of course! To match the sandals, grandma is gonna have a brown woven beach bag that’s big and not too structured. Here are some of the totes we picked for the “coastal grandma” look:
1. J Crew Woven Tote | 2. Relaxed Knit Tote | 3. Circle Handle Bag
So that’s it on the coastal grandma trend – let me know if you’re gonna try it out!! See ya in the comments 🙂
You’ve nailed my mom’s whole look and decor in one post. But don’t forget the hat! Coastal Grammies care about sun protection and have an array of bucket and semi-structured woven hats to go with a great pair of sunnies. ☀️
So that’s the name for the look I’ve been rocking this summer! Ha! Y’all know what brand has awesome pieces for this vibe? Honest Cotton. It’s a small ethically made clothing brand and the owner has really classic pieces and is so nice. This brand is on the pricier side for me, but I’ve found it’s the only thing I want to wear all summer in hot and sticky Texas, so it’s worth . I’m wearing the Honest Cotton robe right now as a I drink my morning coffee and plan to wear one of the tunics to a park picnic in a few hours! https://honest-cotton.com/
Thanks…I think that’s the robe I’ve been looking for!
This is a great tip- I love their knit tank. Thanks Lori!
Thank you for the helpful link. The look is just lovely and so relaxed. It’s priced more than some labels but definitely not Jenny Kayne more.
My favorite thing about this trend is that Brad Pitt is participating.
Hahahaha hilarious. Looking up “brad Pitt coastal grandma trend” right now.
Sorry for the double-post, not sure how that happened.
It’s a thing!!🤣
I’ve always liked this easy-breezy look.
All the outfits look great with white sneakers, too!
Great to see so many diverse images.😊
Um, “COSTAL GRANDMOTHER SLIDES”??? COASTAL.
like preppie, but for people who are already out of college!
This post is so fun. I love seeing classics of fashion celebrated — this look never goes out of style. =)
But what I want to talk about is the FARMHOUSE. I love how it is looking. Unsure about adding color above the panelling and wallpaper in the entry. It seems so soothing and relaxed now. Curious what the hearth will be. Tile? Slab?
And the entry:
kinda surprised you didn’t link the lady who started the Coastal Grandmother movement–Lex Nicoleta
She was featured in the linked AD article.
agree–but it would have been nice to have a direct link to the one who started the CG trend
This comment probably won’t be published, but I can’t bite my tongue any longer. This is the most uninspired, lazy post ever. Enough with Target and Madewell promoting; they don’t need it. Anyone can walk into any mall in America and find them. I’ve been a follower for years and am confused by the lack of quality, unique, inspiring content. Is it the age group of your staff? Do you not pay them enough to shop anywhere other than Target? You all live in one of the world’s most metropolitan and diverse cities, Los Angeles, and only seem to shop at Nordstrom, Madewell, and big box stores. What is happening with EHD?
I do wish there was at least one older person on her regular staff. Maybe we would get a different perspective on clothes and decorating?
I agree, a little diversity would go a long way.
As a 60ish reader, I certainly agree. The short ruffled dresses, long ruffled dresses, and short shorts are of zero interest to me. I like seeing clothing from different price points, so don’t mind some Target goods, but so much of the same brands – yep, Target, Madewell, and J Crew. Yawn.
I also can’t get with the super long and pointy manicures the young staff have going. I cook, garden, play with grandchildren, and basically use my hands to live my life. Seems counterintuitive to limit the use of my hands as tools.
The thing is, I’m more into this site for interesting design information, and the eye candy of all of the details, I love some, not others, and I think that the diversity of opinions, and taste are what makes our world a more beautiful place!
Now, I’m off to do some coastal grandma stuff!
I totally agree!
Not sure how to even mention this next wish for EHD, but most of the decor of the staff looks all the same (which isn’t bad!). The farmhouse looks like it may look fresh and new style-wise but here again is a spot where an older perspective decorating-wise might be so helpful. I live in a suburban ranch style house and entertain. Most of the staff live in LA in smallish apartments with small balconies and yards. I would love to see homes like that now and then, with updated style that is comfortable and beautiful to look at.
Maybe there are other blogs that have this content? Any suggestions?
This blog https://cindyhattersleydesign.com has a mix of home/fashion/lifestyle that I like. Definitely a more “mature” take on life! I like that she does some shopping on Etsy and EBay.
Cindy’s blog is the best!
I even wonder why there aren’t other name brand sites. Am I the only person who shops at Loft, for example? But none of that here! They have their few stores and no more.
I’ve wondered if as they’ve tried linking to non-big box brands over the last few years, and were linking a bunch to POC and small brands, us readers just didn’t click/didn’t buy? Based on the monthly top ten bought posts which are heavily big box
agree! + + + this / wanting an older person who is comfortable with their body enough to show real style and not trend-chasing.
THANK YOU!! I’m really ready to call this site off, period. Plus, the writing styles of the contributors are becoming worse. Caps and slang and an over-abundance of exclamation points.. Almost high-schoolish. But, perhaps it is not meant to be for those of us closer to 70 than 40. Personally, I am interested in true style, not the “style of the month”. As a “coastal grandmother”, by the way, I honestly do not know of many women in my age group who actually follow this trend unless these items are already in the closet, in the home, or passed from generation to generation. You’ve pretty much lost me, EHD.
How on earth did a fun and harmless weekend post (which alerted me to a trend I knew nothing about) provoke such a hate-fest? Honestly, people. I am always amazed that this site manages to produce so much good quality FOR FREE every freaking day, in good times and bad, while setting a kind and positive tone that is very hard to find online. If you have problems with any of it, surely there are better ways of expressing them. Otherwise, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, okay?
(PS Actually, forget that last sentence. Too snarky & just the sort of thing I was complaining about.)
1000% agree. The only thing that drives me away from EHD are the rude, preachy, judgmental, cranky comments. I’m surprised that EHD hasn’t just killed the comments because the readers here are forever ungrateful for FREE content.
Ally, appreciate the scolding. Suggestions to EHD are just that, suggestions which they usually take very well and use. BTW, the content is free to access but we are the commodity. The amount of clicks to the site and the links for purchase is how the blog makes money. Fewer clicks, less money.
The writing is sub-par for sure. It is very stream-of-consciousness with very little care toward the beautiful and careful use of language. I was wowed by Emily’s recent post of her old colorful stuff. That style plus Emily’s great personality caught and hooked me, but now I am here basically for a quick flip through the content and then to hang out and read the comment section!
In fairness, Emily has had a partnership with Target for almost a decade. Possibly longer.
I think this is an important business aspect to note. EHD most likely has a contract agreement with Target and others. They have to a full business with a staff of ~18 people to operate with all its salaries, insurance and expenses to cover. I would guess that private clients don’t cover all these expenses. The payments for placement, clicks and purchases helps offset the operating expenses of running a free website. Smaller companies do not have the advertisement budget to offer this. I absolutely support small business. I own one. But I understand the necessary Give/Get required by EHD. In return, Target often donates product to the absolutely heart-warming and generous charitable design EHD does for those who cannot afford to hire a designer. We, the reader, receive free ideas and content.
As for the writing, sure it could be better. However, the designers are not journalists and most people come here for the design foremost. A copy editor would be required to oversee the grammar and writing style. A full time editor makes around $60+k. And ironically, that would require more big box placement to cover that!
I love this look! Definitely bringing back the Martha Stewart vibe! Being from California–it’s like your super cool second cousin from Nantucket came to visit–simple outfits but the quality makes them effortlessly stylish.
Such a fun post!!! You nailed the look!!
Agreed on getting the “actual” coastal grandmothers into the design and fashion mix! Anyone know who makes the romper in the first tonal sandals pic?
The coastal grandma’s house is filled with weird antiques and her most worn item is a pair of wellies that she got from a nice lady before you were born.
Bahahaha!!!🤣🤣🤣 So, so true!
Wow, my mom, an actual coastal grandmother, will be thrilled to know she’s so hip! These are the clothes we’ve been wearing for decades 🤣
I love you all…BUT! HOW could you leave out the skinny turtleneck???!!! I mean…what we all really wanna be is Diane Keaton at ANT stage of her life, and you CANNOT do it without a skinny turtleneck!!! Resources please!
Yes! I’m totally coveting that turtleneck! I’m off to find a sustainable maker who does it in cotton. I’ll report back if I have success.
I can’t believe how hard it is to find a turtleneck like that! I found another classic, the rollneck sweater.
Most of the turtlenecks are oversized and/or boxy.
This cable knit version is a nice alternative.
I’m leaning toward Eileen Fisher, because of my success with past pieces from her, and overall, a great company.
One more ivory sweater that’s not a turtleneck but is from a small company in NYC. I have one of their blankets, and it’s beautiful, so I’ve considered this sweater for awhile.