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The Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic: What is it?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

If you are on the same side of TikTok as me, I’m sure you too have been seeing all kinds of videos talking about the “coastal grandma aesthetic”. Basically this aesthetic is the modern embodiment of the classic preppy look that is typically associated with New England and Cape Cod. Thus, as a Massachusetts native, and someone whose personal style is definitely more on the preppy side, this trend has caught my attention. I grew up going to Cape Cod, and observing the fashion there, so I am ready to dissect the core elements of this aesthetic. 

Essentially, neither I, nor the content creators who are promoting the aesthetic, intend to actually look like a grandma. Rather, this trend consists of wearing rather simple, yet timeless pieces that are summer staples, which can be worn at any age, and ultimately become part of a capsule wardrobe.

I have compiled a list below of some pieces to help you achieve this look: 

  • The first piece is button up shirts, especially a white one. These shirts are staples in my closet, as they are very versatile and can be worn anywhere, from the beach as a cover up, to a restaurant as a part of a more formal outfit.
  • The next item on my list is anything that is white linen. I have a pair of shorts, pants, a skirt and a few shirts, and I find myself wearing these items all the time. The linen material is very comfortable and breathable in the hot summer, and the white matches with any outfit. You can even get pieces to be part of a matching set, if you are going for an all white look. 
  • For shoes, I would recommend tan leather or espadrille sandals, which can be paired with almost any summer outfit. 
  • For accessories, you are going to need straw hats and bags, to further channel that coastal feel.
  • Lastly, for the color scheme, I would recommend sticking to neutrals and pastels. White, black, tan, navy blue, baby blue, and pink are the main colors I have seen in this trend. If you opt for a pattern, go with a classic gingham or pinstripe.
Hannah Delea

Holy Cross '23

Hannah Delea is a current junior at Holy Cross pursuing a degree in political science and a self designed interdisciplinary minor called "business, ethics, and society". She loves all things beauty and fashion, as well as health and fitness, which you can read more about in her articles.