“She is many things, but most importantly, she’s always stylish. She’s always comfortable, and she’s always sophisticated. This confident woman always looks as if it took her hours to get ready, but her look is effortless.”
Unless you’ve been living under the sea lately, you have no doubt heard about the “Coastal Grandmother” trend which seems to be everywhere. It’s a style for all ages and its universal appeal transcends generational boundaries. It invites individuals to embrace their unique sense of fashion, celebrate their authenticity and comfort, and it inspires a deep appreciation for the coastal environment.
Truth be told, I’ve been blazing this fashion trail for years. I did not need TikTok to tell me I’m bang on-trend. Described as “casual, comfortable and relaxed,” it just suits my lifestyle perfectly, plain and simple. (I much prefer this over “lazy.”) Seriously though, the craze is refined makes it easy for a long walk on the beach or a romantic candlelit dinner. I’d like to think even if informal, it exudes confidence and effortless style.
Organic and comfy fabrics are what draws me in. The airiness and simplicity of linen, cotton, and other natural elements next to my skin yields total comfort. Where I live, clothing must be lightweight, breathable, and what I call “no fuss”. I shop so that when something interesting pops up, I can throw a couple of basic pieces together and be ready to go. As I pass the mirror to leave, I’ll grab a smart sun hat or a silk scarf as the final accessory to tie it all together. I smile when I receive a compliment, knowing they think this outfit was intentional (and in a way, it was.)
Thank goodness, I’ve “grown into” my sense of style. This gal is no longer interested in what everyone else will be wearing. I know what I like. My taste is refined, but it must also be relaxed. My closet displays beautiful pastels and earthy neutral color palettes, reminiscent of sandy beaches and sun-bleached driftwood. Like I said, it truly suits my lifestyle. At the drop of a straw hat, I can run in and choose a delicate floral-patterned dress for an impromptu lunch date. You may spot me any given day in a long, flowy skirt paired with a gauzy blouse. My mother’s hand-me-down cashmere cardigan gets pulled out for special occasions. And let’s not forget my true favorite: Linen pants. Is there anything that looks lighter and breezier, and still classic? Tailored, relaxed with a drawstring waist and full legs, or daytime capri-length for the beach. There’s just something about linen pants that I love.
With linen pants, it is essential to find the right accessories to accentuate the overall ensemble. Wide-brimmed hats, oversized sunglasses, or a tasteful gold neck chain can serve as statement pieces. Rattan and straw are often used for handbags and footwear. Those who know me will say my shoes tell all. If I choose my ballet flats, I am to be taken seriously, maybe for a Women’s Club meeting. My summery espadrilles say I’m going out and dancing is a definite possibility. And my fun new sneakers will tell you I’m ready for boating, long walks, or a pickup game of pickleball!
For me, this style extends beyond fashion. I try to apply it in my home, too. My wardrobe is made up of soft colors and my home is filled with what I consider “breezy” hues as well. My home reflects who I am, and I try to create a space that is relaxed, timeless, and connected to life on the coast. I want it to be inviting and comfortable, yet classic and elegant. I am fond of cozy furniture, and I want my furnishings to add the perfect touch, but never overdone. On a random outing, I love that I might find a cool pearl lamp or adorable sky-blue pillows, and I’ll mix those new pieces with sentimental belongings and a couple of treasured family heirlooms.
Now that I am describing this, it is obvious. This coastal sensibility is a total mindset. For example, I don’t like feeling rushed or rattled, or have something thrown at me while I’m unprepared. I want to come across as calm and cool and I really try, but let’s just say that I don’t have this part completely mastered yet. You probably know someone who does, though, and if you’re honest, maybe it gets to you just a little, as it does me sometimes. I have someone just like this in my life, and she’s a dear friend – and totally exudes the Coastal Grandmother lifestyle and attitude. She volunteers during the day and exercises regularly. She handles the kids’ numerous activities, joined a book club, and she even started a quilting group in her home. Then, she amazingly still heads home to her inviting kitchen to prepare a fresh and delicious meal for any number of last-minute guests. She thought ahead and brought home a beautiful bouquet of fresh hydrangeas for the table and much of the enjoyable meal was hand-picked a bit earlier out back. Soothing music plays softly as a backdrop for the evening. There’s a warm breeze flowing through open windows and I would swear I could hear the waves. Everything is just so well put together: this host and her home. Total honesty and transparency here: I would give anything to be like this. However, l am a work in progress.
After the lovely and lively dinner, she will lead us to her wraparound porch. Some of us head to the swing, while others nuzzle under a warm plush throw she purposefully placed to be handy. More wine perhaps or perfectly brewed coffee carries the conversations for hours as there are no time concerns. Attending one of her get-togethers is such a treat. If I carried any little bit of stress with me, it gets dumped outside the door. Everyone is at ease. Her guests are interesting and interested and fond memories are being made.
I may be able to dress the part, but she is the epitome of the CG style.