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Move over, Hipsters! There’s a new trend in town, and this one has required that I make absolutely zero changes to my wardrobe. I suspect many of you will find this trend as easy to adopt as I did. It was as simple as putting a label on the outfits I wear every day anyway. 

A brief history of the trend.

The term “coastal grandmother” was first coined by Lex Nicoleta (Instagram and TikTok). But I’m proud to say that I’ve been attempting to live the coastal grandmother lifestyle since I was old enough to pick out my own outfits, long before I heard the phrase. According to an article in The New York Times, “The coastal grandmother is a specific type: She’s stylish but not trendy, effortless but not sloppy, youthful but not immature. She might live in Brooklyn, Santa Monica, or Miami Beach. She isn’t defined by her grandchildren (though she dotes on them); she isn’t slowed down by her age (though she knows its value).” In other words, coastal grandmothers are effortlessly cool, relaxed, and wise.

The epitome of the coastal grandmother has to be Diane Keaton in 2013’s Something’s Gotta Give. That character was everything and perfectly embodied the trend. Her whole world was filled with shades of beige and eggshell; she must have had an entire closet worth of cable knits in her second home by the beach, and Dr. Keanu Reeves was her boyfriend. OK, so that last point isn’t a part of the trend, but if you thought I’d miss an opportunity to bring up Keanu in that movie, you were very wrong. 

Nearly twenty years after the movie, the style has trickled down to everyday people. The coastal grandmother aesthetic is no longer only reserved for grandmothers who have NYC penthouses but who have decided that they’d rather spend their time reading on the shoreline of their Hamptons home with their dog (lab or golden retriever) before taking a trip to the local farmers market for fresh bread. The coastal grandmother look is for everyone! 

Get the look.

Fully committing to the trend requires the purchase of khaki pants and boat shoes; however, white jeans and white sneakers will work in a pinch. But if you’re like me, this is the trend you’ve been training for! We already have every item on the list. After rewatching Something’s Gotta Give, I’ve compiled a list of things you will need to embody this aesthetic in your everyday life.

 Items to add to your coastal grandmother stitch list ASAP . . .

  • 1 white sweater with horizontal navy blue stripes
  • 1 black sweater with horizontal white stripes
  • 7 beige fisherman’s sweaters, one for every day of the week
  • 1 lapghan that could, in theory, be used by a crackling fire and as a beach blanket
  • 3 turtlenecks
  • 1 black and 1 white duster (the exact same pattern but in different colors)
  • 1 matching hat, scarf, and mittens set, bonus points if it’s the same color as your lapghan
  • 1 bucket hat
  • At least 2 handmade market totes
  • And cardigans . . . a countless number of cardigans

I should warn you if you are feeling nostalgic for this Diane Keaton classic and are thinking about a rewatch: this movie features a scarring scene for knitters where they . . . cut open a rib knit sweater with scissors. I would be a bad crafter if I didn’t give you that heads up. The only comfort I can give you after that scene is that it’s guaranteed that she has at least four more sweaters in her closet that look exactly like the one that was destroyed.

Coastal Striped Cardigan and Coastal Grandmother Sweater are Irina Poludnenko designs!

So what do you think? Are you ready to join the coastal grandma revolution? Is this basically just describing your current wardrobe? I am glad that more and more people are seeing the fun in the granny lifestyle. I can only imagine what “trends” will come next! Keeping my fingers crossed for “Dog-Mom-Chic,” “Keira Knightly-Period-Piece” and “Theater Kid” to all have their moments. But I’d love to know what trends you are waiting for in the comments below!

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About The Author

Samantha Brunson is the owner of, a knitting and crafting blog that chronicles the crafting community with stories from a diverse group of makers.

A self-proclaimed elderly millennial, Samantha is always looking for new ways to share her love of knitwear and crafting with the world.


  • Samantha, you look amazing – I had seen CG mentioned before and skimmed past, not terribly impressed. You stopped me in my tracks – I’m all about cables, cream and navy. (oh maybe a little pink – hope that’s ok!!). I don’t need to shop since I have a closet of the stuff – except for some yarn to make some of these neat designs. Thank you!!

    • I am literally a coastal grandma and this cracked me up. Maybe Southern Coastal grandma is a little different – a bit more color and flip flops!!!!!

    • And also feel like you’re being strangled by turtlenecks as I do (even though my goiter is 30 years in the rear-view mirror) LandsEnd also carries very nice long-sleeved plainTs that layer beautifully under hand knits.

      • I go with these, and they are the best thing since sliced bread, and their quality for the money can’t be beat.

    • Check out “Land’s End” for plain turtle necks .

  • I would like to know where to buy plain turtle neck tops..I live in the back of beyond and shopping is an issue. Actually finding is an issue.

    • has decent turtlenecks, too.

    • And Talbots, everything is on sale now.

    • When I think turtlenecks, I think L.L. Bean or Lands’ End. Basic. Classic. Preppy. Should work with Coastal Grandma given the khaki/boat shoe overlap.

      Even though I live near stores, I usually order basics like turtlenecks online. It is easier to stock up.

      An Alabama Chanin scarf from the MDK holiday collection would be a fabulous addition to the Costal look.


      • And

  • This was delightful! While I’m not on a coast, nor a grandma, and I’m sad to say I’m currently between dogs — I am all in for knitting sweaters that convey enough mystery to meet a Keanu Reeves-type at the farmers market! My sweater picks: “Festival Sweater My Size” by PetiteKnit, “Purl-willing” by Lone Kjeldsen, and “Sailor Sweater” by Anne Ventzel. (Hmm, my knitting choices look like I’m aiming for a North Sea coast.)

  • Finally I’m on trend. I have a closet full of Sperry shoes, cabled cardigans, tanks tops for under the cardies in a variety of stripes (navy, white, black, cream in various combinations). The only thing missing is Keanu!

  • I am a middle of America CG and long for a beach preferably near a knitting store and my granddaughters maybe in that order? Thanks great read

  • I would love to be a CG , but will never be .Just to hard to keep all that white and ivory colour clean …lol…in my dreams only .
    Instead I knit the cables and light colours for hats . Even my knitting is darker (3 young grandsons)

  • Love love love this. Will send asap to both coastal sisters (one is actually a grandma). Oh, to be this cool!

  • CG? Not for me! The moment I put on any item of clothing in a pale neutral color, I become a magnet for all the bicycle grease, spaghetti sauce and red wine in the world! I think I’m more of a Bohemian Grandma, all about the comfy shoes, linen skirts and dresses, layered with eccentric handknits in lush colors.

  • Samantha, I’ve been struggling with my granny wardrobe since my last birthday. Do I toss my beloved faded Levis? Are my Liz Claiborne long sleeved t-shirts so redundant my neighbors think I must sleep in them? (I do) Now I have my answer! I am, after all, a seventy-nine year old Florida coastal great-grandmother of 5. Move over Diane, I’ll be on Bradenton Beach knitting that navy and white striped cardigan. ❤️

  • Check out The Shore Shoe as a possible addition to any costal wardrobe. Designed to make walking on sand easier for everyone. And I wear them for more comfortable walking on any surfaces.

    • Have you purchased these locally? I grew suspicion when I found several misspelled words and format issues on my quick scroll through the website.

  • I was right there with you until you got to the turtlenecks. I’m a hardcore turtleneckaphobic, so I’ll have to miss on that that aspect of CG.

    • Me too, my neck is too short and they strangle me. My mother used to say that in the dim past we probably had a relative that was hanged.

    • Same, luckily we all get to be our own coastal grandmother. For me it’s more about a crisp poplin or swoopy linen shirt.

  • My look wavers between “I used to be a nun but now I’m just a regular math teacher” and “Failed sister wife” both of which also include cardigans.

    • I’m dying to see your runway walk!

    • Years ago I was told my look is “parochial school chic” – I’m afraid it hasn’t changed much…we may share some styling!

      • LOL, just finished a 16 year stint working at a Catholic school! I can totally relate! Plus my kids went to the school so I was in the community for 20 years!

    • Hahahahaha

  • I can’t ever follow a trend, my attention span isn’t that long. I might try for an off-white wardrobe, but inevitably color will happen. Stripes!! Prints!! I do love this part: “She’s stylish but not trendy, effortless but not sloppy, youthful but not immature.” This is my goal. Not sure if I’ll qualify for “coastal grandmother” but hopefully will be happy with my version of stylish, not sloppy, and…ME.

  • Before I read a word, the big picture of a living room converted to a beach in all its details had me laughing out loud. And then I read the article. This lady can write! She has it all with visual genius and writing and imagination. I am still smiling, Thank you!

  • I’ve got dog mom chic down. I’ve got stylish waterproof walking shoes, and dog hair covers my entire life.
    Handknit cowls and hats in bright colors are necessary for dog-momming in the dark winter months. Layers of wool provide coziness and versatility. Please let this be a thing.

  • So coastal grandmother’s involves an all eggshell/beige wardrobe? Doesn’t that suck a lot of joy out of life? I guess I don’t need/want to be labeled by any particular fashion trend

    • You need a swift kick in the pants.

      • They’re linen, so it’s all good.

    • All in good fun!

  • And for great aunts, denims, aloha shirts, knit toques, cabled cardies, and muddy boots. All to add adventure to the visiting great(in so many ways) nieces and nephews.

  • Love this!!!

  • Love your writing and your style Samantha!

  • LOL I love that “elderly millennial”….I will steal that! I dig the CG vibe, but I need more color in my life.

  • I have enough beloved Coastal Grandmother items to pull that off, and often do. But I also need ‘A Little Bit Gen Xer A Little Bit Alexa’ 🙂

  • I am a Coastal Grandmother in the summer, and just discovered that I’m a “Grandfather’s Cabin” in the winter (I live in MN). Love this trend!

  • My current style is dog-mom (the chic portion is questionable). Black leggings, long solid neutral colored layered tops –any style as long as they are soft and comfy. Boat shoes or sandals. Topped with hand knit cardigans or pullovers and colorful accessories such as hat, fingerless mitts, and/or cowl as dictated by the weather.
    BTW the Destination Pullover/sweatshirt from MDK FG#17 is one of my favorite layered pieces this time of year.

  • You are hilarious. I love Something’s Gotta Give and strongly desire to become Diane Keaton whenever I watch that movie. Thanks, too, for the shopping list.

  • I’m totally a costal grandma. Oh wait, do you actually have to be a grandma? I’m grandma age. But my kids have not had kids yet. Portland Maine is a great place to rock the CG look. Lands End. LLbean. Mixed in with handknits . Boom, Bobs your uncle!

  • Thanks for the heads-up! Now I want to re-watch the movie and knit stripes!

  • That knitwear from FIT knocked my socks off. Just amazing stuff

  • I’m more Rocky Mountain grandma (tho I do miss living near the ocean) so I have a lot of blue jeans and jersey lounge pants (aka fancy sweats) and long and short sleeved t-shirts (mostly in various shades of blue, grey and pink), a few plaid flannels, and a variety of sweatshirts (hoodies and “cardies”) rather than sweaters since they’re easier to toss in the washer (large dogs, grandkids and volunteering at an outdoor forest school favor sturdy jeans and less snaggable sweats). I do wear linen pants (I even have blue/ white and sage/ white stripes with oversized white cotton and linen button downs) in the summer and have several sweaters (and the yarn) in my to be knit queue, including a remake of my ancient, cabled Irish Fisherman wool sweater that finally succumbed to wear and moths.

  • Aaaargh – I am too scruffy for white or beige in any shape or form. White also reminds me of ladies of a certain age (I am of this vintage – 21 plus one eighth!) who belong to a lawn green bowling club where white cardigan, white pleated skirt and white bowling shoes are the required uniform. This is the UK that I am talking about though.

  • Being that I live in Texas, I live the Third Coast Grandma Style, which I’ve shortened to Mimi Magic. Differences include at least one pair of cowboy boots, a flouncy skirt or two —a girl’s gotta dance, a couple of western hats (straw and felt) and a little more color—come on, now, y’all.

  • I’ve had my style described as “kindergarten teacher:” cardigans layered over camisoles, paired with comfy slacks or a cute knee-length skirt, plus costume jewelry or a shawl and ballet flats. All in bright colors, of course! I couldn’t do coastal granny – not enough color for me.

  • Well it would take away decisions of what to wear every morning!

  • Sounds like LandsEnd and Talbots are having their moment!

  • So funny! That’s one of my favorite movies. I’ll keep that list handy.

  • Loved your article! I don’t often (read “never”) feel that I am the latest word in fashion. You made my whole holiday season!

  • This post with the comments is one of the most fun reads I’ve had in awhile. Spot on!!

    • Also watch the hilarious Netflix series Grace and Frankie (particularly Grace, played by Jane Fonda) for an elegant overdose of CG style. Frankie (Lily Tomlin) wears CG-Hippie Version—basically, opposites attract.

  • What? And forego red, orange, green, yellow, purple (the list goes on and on)! Beige, in very small doses, thank-you very much! I would have to honestly say this is Not Me.

  • …sister to librarian “chic” – cardigans all day every day!

  • I am a little weirded out that I have been moving toward coastal grandma without realizing that I was following a trend. Does this explain my temptation to buy topsiders?

    Some may be interested in listening to Articles of Interest ( by Avery Trufelman. It’s a podcast that explores why we wear what we wear. This entire season is about the preppy/Ivy look and how it became a fashion default.

    • Yes, I totally thought about this podcast while reading through the comments. I believe Trufelman mentions at one point that Uniqlo, mentioned in the comments as a place to buy turtlenecks, was Japan’s answer to Ralph Lauren and the rest of the preppy aesthetic.

  • Loving the article and the comments here. Loved that movie. Every once in a while I do the creams/white/beiges to throw people off track. However, I am a grandmother who wears Gudrun Sjödén separates with Fluevog shoes and boots. Wild colors. Mixed patterns. Earrings by Etsy and by my own two hands. Handknit sweaters. Crazy cowls. I admire Diane Keaton and her style. I’m aiming to be a non-skinny Iris Apfel when I grow up.

  • I like that look, honest I do, but for me the world exists for color! Magenta and pink! Pink and red! Blues and greens! Purple and gold! Grey and gold! Black and brown! Yellow and whatever! Whatever and whatever! Beige is for ceilings and caulk. But we all sing to a different rock band, so we’re good.

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