Stylish and Classic Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe

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This capsule wardrobe is inspired by the Tiktok Coastal Grandmother trend and those great outfits worn by Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon in those wonderful Nancy Meyer's movies like Something's Gotta Give. You can make an almost unlimited number of outfits from these 9 pieces.

I was browsing TikTok the other day and came across a trend that I’ve apparently been following my entire life: the coastal grandmother lifestyle. Invented by Lex Nicoleta, this trend is the opposite of being trendy.

Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe Vertical Heading

As Lex describes it in her Tiktok video, “If you love Nancy Meyers movies, coastal vibes, recipes and cooking, Ina Garten, interiors and more, there is a good chance you might be a ‘coastal grandmother.'”

Y’all, I’ve been a coastal grandmother my whole life. Finally, my moment has arrived!

Me as a young coastal grandmother
Me as a young coastal grandmother

What is the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic?

The coastal grandmother aesthetic focuses on the clean, classic style of older, wealthier women who inhabit luxury oceanfront properties, like Diane Keaton in Nancy Meyer’s film, Something’s Gotta Give. Coastal Grandmothers love gardening, taking long walks on the beach, and spending the afternoon reading on their wraparound porch while sipping on a glass of white wine. They prepare simple, delicious meals using produce bought from the local farmer’s market in their fabulous kitchens with large butcher block islands. Naturally, they’re listening to soft jazz.

Diane Keaton as a Coastal Grandmother in Something's Gotta Give

The Coastal Grandmother aesthetic matches beautifully with the concept of romanticizing your life, which I discussed in an earlier post. Obviously, we can’t all be older, wealthier women who live in the Hamptons. I, myself, managed to only achieve the older part of this lifestyle.

But copying the lifestyle is a fun way of stealing the stress-free aspects of this lifestyle for ourselves, if only for a while. (Also, this is your reminder that Diane Keaton spends at least 50% of Something’s Gotta Give sobbing. When evaluating a lifestyle, always take what works for you and leave the rest.)

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The Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe

The coastal grandmother has a very specific wardrobe to go along with her lifestyle. She wears comfortable but classic, tailored clothing in quality, natural fabrics. This look features neutral colors that work well together. Once again, think Diane Keaton in the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” or Reese Witherspoon in – well, literally anything – but especially in the movie Home Again. (I would consider Reese’s fashion line, Draper James, with its flowy, floral dresses and gingham tops and bottoms to be extremely Coastal Grandmother adjacent.

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If this sounds similar to the Athflow trend I was so into in 2020, well, it’s very similar. In fact, several of the pieces are the same in both capsule wardrobes. But, athflow focused more on clothes to wear around the home (very in keeping with the mood of 2020) and the coastal grandmother vibe is all about laid-back get togethers: trips to the farmer’s market, family dinners, walks in the parks with friends, etc.

As I said, my wardrobe has always had strong coastal grandmother vibes. But I’m going to be on the road all summer and so I need to pare my wardrobe down to as few pieces as I possibly can. So I created a Coastal grandmother capsule wardrobe to take with me on the road. That way I can have several outfits with very few pieces.

Are you ready to unleash your own coastal grandma? You’ll need these essential pieces.

Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe Pieces

Here are the pieces that make up the Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe.

Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe

These 13 pieces make up the coastal grandmother capsule wardrobe.

Coastal Grandmother Style

Here are 8 sample outfits I put together using the pieces above. You could easily put together many more outfits using the same pieces. I took these pictures at home before I left for my trip so I used some shoes and purses I had at home to show some additional ways these outfits could be styled.

Stylish and Classic Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe 10
Stylish and Classic Coastal Grandmother Capsule Wardrobe 11

The Coastal Grandmother Wardrobe in Hot Weather

It gets hot even in upstate New York, which is where I’m currently spending my summer. So I’m currently wearing these 5 pieces when it’s too hot for anything else, which, so far, has been every single day. As you can see, the shorts are basically just short versions of the pants I normally wears and the dress is like throwing on a long tee shirt – with pockets! They go wonderfully with all my other coastal grandmother pieces.

Let’s talk about those J. Crew Shorts. I’m old enough that I, personally feel that shorts should cost $15.00. However, I’m 5’8″ and even shorts with a 5″ inseam feel too short to me. So I gritted my teeth and paid the extra money for the J. Crew shorts because 7″ is the perfect length for me and I can’t find that length anywhere else.

I had a coupon so I paid around $40 per pair. And, honestly, once I got past the pain of paying THAT MUCH for a pair of shorts (shameful!), I loved them. The fabric is so soft, they hang perfectly (no having to pull my crotch down with every step I take) and you can just tell they’re going to look better the older they get.

If you don’t need shorts that long, these shorts from Old Navy have a 5″ inseam, an elastic waist(!), and at $24.97, they’re almost $35.00 cheaper than the retail price of the J. Crew shorts. Plus, you can probably get them half off if you wait for a sale

How do you like the coastal grandmother style? Let me know in the comments!

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