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Coastal Grandma Style is a big trend right now for women of all ages. Read what the trend is about, and what it builds upon before you jump the bandwagon.


  1. What Is the Background of Coastal Grandma Style?
  2. Why Did the Coastal Grandma Style Become a Trend?
  3. Adopting the Style of the Rich Has a Long History
  4. How to Have Coastal Grandma Style
  5. My Coastal Chic
  6. Stylish Monday June Coastal Chic


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What Is the Background of Coastal Grandma Style?

Coastal Grandmother Style builds on the clean, classic style of wealthy midlife women living close to the ocean. Like often in fashion history, a minority group dresses to distinguish themselves from the mainstream. However, in contrast to most fashion style groups, this time, the tribe consists of the rich women of the Baby-boomers and Gen X. More on fashion style groups.


Why Did the Coastal Grandma Style Become a Trend?

It’s all about money. Who wouldn’t love to live in a house at the ocean, be Rich, able to buy high quality clothing, and have servants? In the eyes of middle or working class women, who have to juggle their household, kids, job, and have to save for a week of beach vacation, these privileged women seam to be on vacation year round.

While Jane Doe can’t afford a waterfront property like these ladies, she wants at least dress like them. Therefore, retailers offer inexpensive versions of the Rich women’s style. Consequently, the personal style of a minority has become the fashion for the mainstream.


midlife fashion blogger featuring Coastal Grandmother outfit for a mall visit with tunic dress cropped jacket pantyhose bag
Hipstik pantyhose, Modalu Pippa bag, topaz earrings, T. Tahari scuba jacket, bow flats c/o Vivaia, and paisley tunic c/o Coolibar



Adopting the Style of the Rich Has a Long History

In Europe, for instance, people had to dress according to their class. Of course, people wanted to pretend to belong to a higher class by wearing their clothes. To protect the Rich’s everyday luxe sumptuary laws prohibited the lower classes to dress like the upper classes, and the Nobility.

Another example is Americans’ wearing white in summer. Like the current Coastal Grandma Style, wearing white also goes back to the dressing behavior of rich American women.


How to Have Coastal Grandma Style

This style is all about comfort and being effortlessly stylish without trying too hard. To create the look from pieces in your own closet, search for a dress or jumpsuit in a simple, classic cut. Ideally, the piece should be loose for comfort, but not too loose to look frumpy. Think posh casual, preppy style. On rainy days, wear your outfit with an upscale waterproof (athleisure) jacket.

Add comfortable, but chic flat sandals, slides, sling backs, or mules. The heel should not be higher than an inch-and-a-half (3.81 cm).

Your bag and accessories should look real, elegant, minimalist style. Read look expensive. To achieve the effortlessly stylish vibe, less is more when it comes to accessories. More on looking effortlessly chic.


Outfit details: Maxi dress upcycled from men’s silk shirts, Ray Ban sunglasses, Liz Claiborne straw hat, Vionic orthotics slides (this year’s version), watch c/o Nordgreen (Get 15% off with my discount code HLSTYLE).


My Coastal Chic

Of course, what I wear at the coast depends on the weather, location, season, and activity. When I lived in Europe, I loved visiting my parents in Dirkshorn, The Netherlands on weekend with cloudy weather in the forecast. A yellow hooded raincoat, jeans, rubber boots, and a sweater are perfect to walk on the lonely beach, watch the waves and clouds, inhale the salty air.


midlife blogger in paisley tunic dress amethyst buckle belt, pink athleisure jacket, updo, pink strappy sandals
Very Fine Dancesport Shoes pink sandals, belt with amethyst buckle, topaz earrings, Modalu Pippa bag, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, sun protective pink jacket c/o Coolibar



Stylish Monday Coastal Chic

The collage below shows the interpretation of coastal chic from the hostesses of Stylish Monday. Visit their blogs for more looks, and read what they think about the trend.


collage of 10 fashion bloggers showing their coastal chic outfit ideas
Hostesses of Stylish Monday Coastal Chic: Nina – Sharing a Journey, Nancy –  Nancy’s Fashion Style, Julie – Fashion Trends and Friends, Andy – Pearls and Pantsuits, Emma – The Style Splash, Shelbee – Shelbee on the Edge, Suzanne – Ask Suzanne Bell, Ada – Elegance and Mommyhood, Amy – Amy’s Creative Pursuits, and me. Missing Lucy – Lucy


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I think that it’s a classic style that now has a name and is getting a lot of attention because of the controversy over the use of “grandma”. And whatever the reason, I adore it and wholeheartedly embrace it.


  2. Amy Johnson

    Such great information here on this current trend.

  3. Since you always have worn the look, it is your personal style. It’s a trend for those who now adopt the look.

  4. Very interesting post Nicole and you do look chic! Well, I am a grandmother, I live on the coast of Lake Huron and I love stylish clothes – so I guess that’s me – Coastal Grandma Style. I did not know this was a trend. 🙂


  5. Nicole, I really enjoyed reading this post. The old sumptuary laws always intrigue me. I never even looked at this style trend as a copy of rich people’s trends so that was a really interesting perspective. I love this pink paisley dress on you, by the way!


  6. Loving this trend! You look fabulous!