Thoughts on “The Coastal Grandmother” Label

Onto the newest trend and stereotype “The Coastal Grandmother”.

Just a sampling of The Coastal Grandmother. Even though a few of them are NOT grandmothers. And WTF is Martha? She’s the Coastal Grandmother Supreme?

I know. I know.  I KNOW! This label is meant to be fun. But personally, I find it inane and elitist and you can read on for my thoughts regarding yet, another stereotypical visual of the older woman.

*sigh* I can breathe now. Here’s Martha in her, what appears to be Easter Coastal Grandmother best. It’s hideous. Thank God the woman can cook and bake!

Somewhere along the line, a younger woman decided that she wanted to go to bed early, thinking that all women over the age of 50/60/70 go to bed early.  Yet, nothing is mentioned about catching the “early bird special” at chain restaurants at 4:30 PM—the way many grannies do. She, bless her heart, had this image in her head of the perfect home–beach house style. And the perfect vision of the perfect woman, grandma age, creating fabulous meals, while dressed in a sweater tied around that perfectly, crisp button-down shirt with the starched collar perfectly popped.  There’s more to it, but to get you “woke” (a trendy phrase meaning nothing more than awakened), on the trend, I’ve come up with some assessments below.

Early Bird Specials in South Florida Are Dying, Thanks to Baby Boomers -  Eater

How about all those wanting the Coastal Grandmother lifestyle head to dinner at 4:30? That’ll pop your bubble!

Why does Halloween have to be on a weekday?! It's bad enough the old rich people  go to bed early. But now everybody else too! | Halloween Ecard

Honey, forget Halloween. Old Rich Coastal Grandmother’s hit the hay after drinking that bottle of wine at 3:00 in the afternoon!

Read on if you are not offended. Read on if you are offended. Read on if you want to become a Coastal Grandmother or already are. Read on if you refuse to follow this trend. Just…………………….read on!

TCG Movie Choices: Most-loved movies of TCG are by filmmaker Nancy Meyers—she’s big with this labeled group.  I saw two of her movies. The first being “Something’s Gotta Give” which I liked. I didn’t love it. I liked it. A lot. I didn’t love it because I’m sick and tired of seeing perfect people and their successful careers on the big screen. Personally, I’m sick and tired of perfect people pretending to not be perfect.

The Beautiful Filming Locations of Something's Gotta Give — LocationsHub

Look what they are wearing at the beach. The BEACH no less. I get so freaking hot at the beach that unless I’m down by the water, my body gets drenched in my own sweat! This is soooooooo Coastal Grandmother–and Grandfather!

Yeah. Give me a dark swimsuit so those ultra-violet rays are even more attracted to me. Hey, something’s gotta give-right? The sun giveth to me damaged skin!

The second being “The Parent Trap”. Not the stellar original starring Hayley Mills but the cheap knock-off starring Lindsay Lohan. I’ll admit, Lohan was great with her clipped British accent but the original version was far better. However, if you want to see one of the best Disney movies ever. Actually the only Disney movie besides Pollyanna, that is greatness, please watch the original parent trap!

Annie and Hallie Are Back With the Cast of 'The Parent Trap' | The Mary Sue

Isn’t she precious? Every Coastal Grandmother’s dream….

Hayley Mills looks back on 'Parent Trap,' Lindsay Lohan remake

I’ll take the original version. Haley Mills was a bit less perfect and was a tad snarky!

My director of choice is Jean-Pierre Jeunet.   Think “Amelie”— quite possibly the greatest film of all time. And Amelie wore cool clothes and had a fabulous hairstyle! There was nothing coastal about her. Granted.  Amelie was too young for Coastal Grandma status, but the movie is just so charming and showcases people who arent’ wealthy or perfect!

The Word Travels Blog: Travel Movie: Amelie

Amelie. THE greatest movie of all time. However, TCG would cringe at the fact Amelie was a waitress, loved a man who was employed in a porn shop, and loved dark colors! 

Think “Delicatessen” An extremely dark and lovely film, also by the same director.  I loved the dark and quirkiness of it.  The cinematography is dark. Furniture is sparce and there is a darkness cast over the rooms.  Nobody is perfect. It’s awesome!

Delicatessen (1991) - Photo Gallery - IMDb

The interior shots of Delicatessen would have TCG reaching for that box of wine on her countertop!

The Coastal Grandma would ban my favorite movies from her bright, white living room or screening room!

The Coastal Grandma Clothing: The clothing style of this group? Loose fitting ensembles. Think Eileen Fisher. Personally, I can’t stand Eileen Fisher’s clothing. The items resemble burlap sacks. And don’t get me started on the way women wear the brand’s clothing. Also, think light, airy, ill-fitting khaki pants, button-down shirts, clothing that doesn’t bring out your feminine side at all.

Jesus. Who actually totes wine around in a wicker tote? I use a brown bag so nobody knows I’m drinking “medicine”. And those pajamas? I think the last time I wore an actual pajama set I was ten. Mules? My feet slide right out of them. I’m highly insulted by the French market basket. TCG will spend a lot of money on hers. I get mine for 5 euros in France!

Despite the fact that TCG wears white and light neutrals, she LOVES Eileen Fisher. This must be the look TCG sports during hurrican season!

Ahhhhhh. Here we go. The “dressed” CG ensemble.

Credit: Anne Hathaway/Instagram

Celebrities are getting in on the act. It’s *eyeroll* Anne Hathaway pontificating how she adores the CG look. But wait. It looks like she’s in Paris or some city in Italy. Screw that. I would NEVER walk around my beloved 6th arrondisement looking like that. And another thing. She’s skinny. She can carry that look off better than those of us with meat on our bodies. 

Look. I have a couple of loose-fitting pants. But I wear those pants with fitted tops to balance the look. I also wear delicate shoes such as ballet flats or delicate sandals.

My rebel Coastal Grandmother look. Loose pants that add about 30 pounds to my ass . But they are sooo comfortable. I wear them with a very fitted top and ballet flats to balance the look.

I also have a ton of black in my wardrobe. All year I wear black. In summer I switch between my black clothing and my Lilly Pulitzer frocks. But I lean more toward the Morticia Adams style of color. In fact, most of my black clothing is being packed for our visit to France next month!

Why don’t Coastal Grannies wear little black dresses?  This baby is already packed for France!

The CGM also wears old-school waspy sunhats.  Years ago, I attended a wedding in Connecticut. It was my ex-husband’s cousin. He married some Mayflower babe. I never saw so many wrinkled, baggy clothing and those sunhats. I think my ex-husband’s relatives may have been ahead of their time. My wigs are my hats. They cover my scalp from sun exposure and look more fetching than those ill-fitting chapeaus.

British Grannies wear fascinators to weddings, while WASP Coastal Grandmother’s wear chapeaus like this. TBH, this is one of the fugliest hats ever..

..and I thought Emily in Paris didn’t know how to wear a beret. These. Are. Awful.

They also favor those ridiculous oversized wraps, tunics and all things Chico’s and Talbots. No thank you. I’ll take J. Crew and Old Navy with a bit of Lilly Pulitzer thrown in for good measure.

The coastal grandmother: easy, breezy, laid-back yet immaculate – are you  ready for the latest on-trend lifestyle? | Life and style | The Guardian

If I wore this, I would be in an emergency room with a broken arm or neck. It would get caught in a door in the house or car, it would fall off me and I would trip over it. Why would anyone wear this? 

I will opt for my Lilly Pulitzer Wynne maxi dress with slits!

My fitted clothing would award me with the label of “Slut Puppy Grandma”.  I’m fine with it. More to follow on this subject later in the post.


The fitted Mother-of-the-Bride Summer Wedding look. Black? OMG. It’s so anti-coastal grandmother!

The Coastal Grandmother’s Beauty: Makeup? TCG seems to either eschew it or prefers an extremely natural look.  Actually, many of them can afford  plastic surgery and fillers.  But subtle!  Nobody can tell! Who are we kidding here?   What I find hysterically funny is the young woman who pegged the whole Coastal Grandmother thing, used a filter for her face in her Tik-Tok video. Really? You wanna be a grandmother? Let’s see wrinkles, lines, ruddy complexion and sun spots. God forbid any of them spend up to an hour applying their face unless…unless a makeup artist is coming to the house!

The originator of the phrase “Coastal Grandmother” Lex Nicoleta,  looks older than Diane Keaton with her over-blurred image. IRL, she’s absolutely beautiful. Why would she blur her face like that?  I guess she wanted to look the age of TCG! It’s nuts. She’s incredibly beautiful and ruins her look with those freaking filters.

Coastal Grandmother face? The real face?  The beauty is also in the surgery she had for basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. The true Coastal Grandmother has spent a lifetime of summers at the beach. Sitting by the ocean with a book when younger, then spending her child-rearing years running around after her children, slathering them in sunscreen while she doesn’t have the time to do so.

Remember last year when I had my overpriced lip filler? Well. These days I make my big mouth bigger by filling in with a five dollar NYX lip pencil. In addition, my eyebrow grew back from my MOHS surgery. 

Would it be fitting to encourage all those Coastal Grandma wannabe’s to damage their skin with baby oil and iodine then decades later have them realized they made a huge mistake?  Real life Coastal Grandmother vs. Wannabe Coastal Grandmother! | Skin care tips, Baby oil tan, Baby oil

Quite possibly, the dumbest thing I ever did to my skin. isn’t brought up in The Coastal Grandmother aesthetic. It should be.

The Coastal Grandmother Homestyle: And let’s broach the subject of furniture, shall we?  TCG, surrounds herself with shades of white in that ever-so-beachy way.  Without sounding like a complete hypocrite, I surround myself with shades of white and off-white slipcovers. These slipcovers, upon closer inspection, have traces of dog-paw dirt, spilled wine drops, and fake tan spots. I like that lived-in, kind of dirty aesthetic!

Not gonna lie. This airy and clean look moves my needle. But it’s just too strategically imperfect perfection. 

My version of light and airy. Offwhite with tan and brown. Very uncoastal coastal.

And that splash of color is from a bloody paw of Chippy’s and one of his stray eyelash hairs.

I definitely would be kicked out of The Coastal Grandmother club due to having VERTICAL blinds in our sunroom. They are so tacky and out-of-style! But I’m too lazy to change them.

The Coastal Grandmother lives to read books by Erin Hilderbrand. Like Summer of ’69.  TCG can look back fondly on those years. I look back on my Summer of ’69 in a different way. It was the summer I tried, unsuccessfully to convince my strict parents to allow me to get a mother’s helper job on Fire Island–allowing me the freedom to live away from home (about 5 miles away) for the summer. My parents did not trust me.  It was also the summer I started to spend hours making my frizzy hair straight so I would look “cute”, and the summer I discovered baby oil and iodine.  Causing me to have bad burns and blisters–a front-runner to my MOHS surgery!

My summer of ’69 was spent fighting with my parents, getting bad sunburns and attempting to tame my frizzy hair.

Might I sugges the wonderful read, Where’d You Go Bernadette” My iconic favorite female fictional character, Bernadette was far from a Coastal Mother or Grandmother. She was downright nuts! My daughter Oona loved the book because Bernadette reminded her of me!

Not only one of my favorite books but it was a movie with the great Cate Blanchett! She was my ideal Bernadette! 

Fresh flowers? I love ‘em. But I don’t have a yard to grow them so I buy them from the local grocery store. I do, however, treasure my years-old poinsettia plants.  I’m sure any self-righteous Coastal Grandmother would shudder at the thought that I keep Christmas plants in my home all year!  But, being a good Catholic girl, I don’t like to kill living things.

13 Coastal Grandmother Fashion Essentials - PureWow

I’m so jelly. I would love to have a Coastal Grandmother garden like this. But I wouldn’t have the time to tend to it because I must work for a living. I also don’t own this much property. I’m poor!

 I have to settle for Peonies from the grocery store..

…and repotting poinsettias on the deck…

Poor Chippy. He’s probably contemplating what his life would be like had he been a Coastal Granddog!

Did you know that TCG loves to cook? Cook!! Since when has cooking an actual meal become a part of this aesthetic?  TCG prides herself with comparisons to Ina and Martha.  OK. I love both of those women because they have taken cooking to a simple and elegant level. Ol’ Martha has even gotten many women to bake. This is all ages. OK? But….TCG cooks while dressed in her Coastal Grandmother attire. HTF does she manage this?  I, being the messiest cook and baker of all time, must wear filthy pajama bottoms, an old tee shirt and no wig.  It’s only after the cooking/baking is done, that I run upstairs, plop hair on my noggin, put clothing on, run downstairs to my family/guests/husband, realize I forgot to put underwear on, then run back upstairs to undress, throw old panties and a stretched out bra on, then back downstairs.  Truth: when it is just my husband and me, I don’t bother to get out of the pajamas–something that took The Frenchman years to come to terms with–but it’s either me in slob attire or bad food.  I rest my case!

Coastal Grandmother' look is transforming home interiors

I love Ina. She must be preparing a special Coastal dinner because she’s wearing a white shirt. 

This is MY cooking attire. I’m wearing a white shirt too–but it’s got spots and stains on it. And I’m wearing pajama bottoms and I took my hair off!

What I cooked and baked..

What is that green stuff?  Did she cook that or is it the decor? I don’t look that good when I sit down to eat. I guess Coastal Grandmothers really cater their meals in secret!

And since TCG loves to drink the little cocktails every evening, I doubt she should turn out croissants, pain aux raisins and other delectable the way I do.  I save my drinking for the weekend only. And that consists of a Kir Royal during Fall/Winter/Spring and an Aperol Spritzer during summer.  Throw in a glass of red wine when my husband wants to watch soccer, or fowtbawl, and he wants me to sleep. My tolerance is low. I don’t know how these women can drink every night of the week.

Gen Z and Millennials are embracing the 'coastal grandmother' aesthetic -  Vigour Times

Ohhhh. I feel sooo much better now that Ina is in her “everyday” blue shirt. And enjoying her everyday cocktail. My liver would be shot.


That whole Coastal Grandmother vibe brings forth the toney, old-monied and well-monied woman. The one who owns a beach house—perhaps in the Carolinas, The lower Jersey Shore, all the way down to the Carolinas.  The New England Coastline as well.  The Hamptons.

South Hamptons Beach House With Deck and Heated Swimming Pool | HGTV's 2019  Designer of the Year Awards | HGTV

Don’t fool yourselves. The Bon-a Fee-day Coastal Grandmother spends her summers in a home she and her wealthy husband own in the Hamptons!

I prefer my coastal vibe to be along the Mediterranean. Where the amount of salt in the water makes me float and, when I’m in my thinner stages, allows me to take my top off and let my girls enjoy the heat and sun!  Again, my “Slut Puppy Grandma” vibe comes into play.

My vision of Coastal Grandmother decor. The apartment we rent in Theoule-sur-mer. And I cannot wait till we are back!!

The house on the far right? It’s the home my husband spent his summers. In St. Tropez. I get to ride his coattails and I am not ashamed! 

Robert Moses State Park Beach - Babylon, NY

Whereas I got to destroy my skin with the crowds of Robert Moses on Long Island. And to this day, I miss that beach so much. So anti-Coastal Grandmother!

I’ve got my two-piece at the ready! 

The apartment we rent in Theoule overlooks the Sea.  It’s very shabby-chic and very French with pragmatic but pleasing touches.

I love L’estagnol beach in France. Next to Moses, it’s my favorite beach ever!

And yes. I love my New York beaches. I love my Long Island beaches far more than the Jersey Shore which is closer to our Philadelphia-suburb, inland home.  But when I do go to the beach, I’m not donned in khaki pants, a chambray shirt, Birkenstocks and a waspy sunhat.  My normal mode of beach dress is a simple frock I can slip out of the moment we throw our old towels down on the sand.

Truth is, the majority of us do not own a beach home. Many of us are comfortable in our lives.  We have nice stuff. We have nice furniture. We have our own personal style.

It’s also that subtle smugness of this label that completely turns me off. That longing to be part of the elitist group –didn’t we go through that with college sororities? Aren’t we supposed to be accepting of all women no matter what their socio-economic status? Why would anyone shove what they have down another person’s throat?

Knock it off already! Why does everything have to come down how celebrities do it?  I have no aspiration to be like any of these women (although I AM a huge fan of Fonda’s activism)

I dunno. It just bothers me that so many women are on the band wagon for this aesthetic. It’s so not individual.  Be yourself. Don’t be a poseur!  Feel good about your personal aesthetic and embrace it!

All is not lost, though. I do have a favorite Coastal Grandmother duo. Grace and Frankie! Yes. They have that great Coastal home they share on the California Coast. And they were married to very well-monied attorneys. And one likes to drink, whilst the other digs her weed.  One dresses the part of Coastal Grandmother, with a penchant for tighter clothing and the other……….is more of a Coastal Crunchy Granola Grandmother (I can relate). But I love them. I love their characters because they are fun. They have become wiser in their advanced age then they were in their younger selves. They remain loyal to themselves and each other!

Not gonna lie. THESE TWO are my FAVORITE COASTAL GRANDMOTHERS! But I’m pissed off that their faces are filtered!

And they are funny AF!

So. What are your views on The Coastal Grandmother?  I’m curious. I swear social media gets more and more phony by the day—but I still find it fun and entertaining!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in #Humor, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Thoughts on “The Coastal Grandmother” Label

  1. Susan says:

    Oh lord, I love it! Coastal? Hilarious. And I hate hate Ef clothing too. The way to dress if you want to look like you’re wearing expensive burlap sacks. I have tried it on and promptly ditch it. I can buy nice black crepe pants for a third of the cost at Macys.
    I like white rugs, white upholstery slipcovers etc. but give me an old leather couch any day! Cool in summer, warm in winter. The cows wear it for a reason!
    Love this post! Long live Grace and .Frankie!

    • Catherine says:

      I love your thinking Susan!!Yeah. The pricepoint for EF clothing is ridiculously overpriced and when it comes to sustainability–why doesn’t she make the clothing smaller? LOL. The cows got it right! XOXOXO

  2. marsha57 says:

    Hahaha!!! I loved this! I have seen those Coast Grandmother posts. I’m ok with the look…except for Eileen Fisher…who really does look good in that? Never mind the cost? Ridiculous!!! And, to be honest, I’d love to have one of those summer beach homes, but that’s not happening to this granny (what my grandkids were supposed to call me was Grammy, but it ended up Granny) ‘cuz I want to eat and pay for my anxiety meds! I think we should wear what we like…what we feel comfortable in…what we (perhaps wrongly at times) think we look good in! Life’s too short to follow a formula…though I do love the Talbots of yesteryear when Michael Smaldone was the designer. And, I would love a big garden full of flowers. I have to settle for containers and not even that this summer since we’re in the midst of moving. Thanks for a fabulous read! Oh, and I googled Frankie’s clothing…can’t afford that either!

    • Catherine says:

      Marsha. I love the way online articles state that you don’t need to be well-monied to have the Coastal Grandmother vibe. EF. Ridiculously expensive. Talbots is now overpriced and yes, the brand USED to be great. To even furnish in Coastal decor is expensive. Who can afford new furniture everytime a new trend pops up. Frankie’s clothing is hippie chic and wealthy hippie chic! XOXOXOXO

  3. Barbara B. Contreras says:

    I don’t know how I should feel about this level of ignorance but I had to google Coastal Grandmother to even know what you were talking about! lol

  4. Jenny says:

    You are the GOAT! I will turn 52 this summer and am so not feeling the Coastal Granny vibe. It’s been tough to find fun adult clothing for upcoming summer weddings but you inspire me! Thank you so much for all your hard work. Your blog is wonderful!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jenny! And thank you!!!!!!!! Yeah. I’m just not feeling that vibe at all. There are nuances that every woman has but overall–it’s an excuse to be smug and elitist! XOXOXOXO

    • patty says:

      OMG. Agree about how hard it’s been to find flattering dresses to wear to weddings this year! Puffed sleeves, flutter sleeves, smocking, tiers and more tiers… I find them very infantile.

  5. Liz says:

    Ok, I’ve never heard of this label so the whole blog made me LOL. The style though, does remind me of my grandmother’s big satin panties that she always called her “breezy step-ins”. 😆 lol

  6. Elizabeth says:

    This post felt mean-spirited to me. I get that this CG trend isn’t your thing, but your comments seemed uncharacteristically unkind. Be assured, your dislike of this esthetic isn’t even remotely offensive to me, but the insulting overtone is.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Elizabeth. I’m really surprised that you found this post so mean-spirited. Regulars of the blog are well-aware of my snarky humor and that’s what was most important. I also did mention that this post was in fun so that’s where it goes. I do respect your opinion though. Everyone here is always encouraged to add their honest thoughts and I thank you for that!! XOXOXO

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you for your gracious response! Your humor (especially the snarky side) is one of the things I love about your posts. I don’t know what struck me about this one -I read it three times before writing. Probably something off with me!

      • Catherine says:

        Hey Elizabeth! Nothing is off with you. Your initial reaction was your gut reaction and that’s all good. XOXOXOXOXO

    • Audry says:

      I have to agree with Elizabeth here. I love your sarcasm but this felt meaner than your usual sassy humor. Some of us can wear EF pieces selectively or like to wear crisp cotton pajamas! It’s ok to say you don’t like something without insulting those who do. My mom taught me never to say “ewww that’s gross” when someone enjoys eating something I don’t like. Same rule applies here. Love your blog but please be kind. xo

      • Catherine says:

        HI Audry, And you are 100 percent welcome to give your opinion. It’s always appreciated. However, allow me to add a caveat. I did mention that this was in fun. And there are thousands of people out there who despise my personal taste in clothing. Many feel I’m too “old” to wear shorts, short dresses, etc. Many eschew my obsession with makeup–but I take it in stride because you just cannot please everyone.
        In addition, I’ve come across many women who could and even could not fit that bill, and many are incredibly snobbish. I don’t think a bit of shade delicately placed before them is such an unkind or mean-spirited thing to do. It’s all in the tone. Unfortunately, the written tone comes across harsher than the spoken.
        Thank you for your comment though. I certainly welcome all and every type of thought here. It’s what family is all about and this blog has always been family! XOXOXOXO

  7. junedesilva says:

    I also had to Google the whole CG thing – 😂. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Brit?! We’re in France at the moment and I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant time (as usual). Amuse-toi bien 🤩 xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Hey June! Have a blast in France. I’m starting to prepare. Some of my packing has already been done! I’m looking forward to the return! OXOXOXOXOO

  8. Juliet says:

    I think Id rather hang out with Slut puppy grandmother or Morticia grandmother, or woman-with-actual-books-in-their-slightly-chaotic-house grandmother or anyone but coastal grandmother – sure she sounds perfect, but to be honest she sounds perfectly dull. The CG sounds to me like she exists only as an extension to everyone else – she bakes for other people to visit, she has a lovely open house – for other people to visit, she does this or that… for other people to visit. I guess she hits the wine and cries a lot when there is no one else there. It all sounds a little Miss Haversham to me, I’d much rather whoever this woman is, that she is having a good time on her own terms. I like the esthetic sort of – but knowing my propensity for crumpled looking mess and missing my mouth if there is something tasty I suspect I’m going to have to pass on most of it.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. Yeah. The decor is very nice–but ridiculously expensive! One of our white sofas was purchased over a decade ago at Ethan Allen and the cost then was close to $8,000. No way would I go out and spend that kind of money on another sofa. Furniture is an investment and nothing to change every time a new trend is created.
      I also know too many people fitting into that CG from growing up. They were incredibly snobby and elitist and I prefer not to socialize with that ilk:) XOXOXOXO

  9. Jeanne says:


    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jeanne. Yeah. I was so upset to see Grace and Frankie end. So many unanswered questions. What about their children? Their ex-husbands? Any new business ventures? We need closure! XOXOXOXO

  10. Ann R says:

    Oh Catherine who needs these labels they are so limiting to a person. We all have different life experiences why do we need these silly labels. I suggest this gal that coined this label take it along with “yacht rock” and shove it. (What’s with “yacht rock” we didn’t have money back then when those songs 1st came out??!!?? and puts a undeserved taint on great songs of our younger days). What happened to the days when we said “we’re doing our own thing” and individuality??

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Ann. I think it’s because some people long to be a part of a group. If that’s their thing then fine–so be it. But the rest of us don’t need to have this viral style shoved down our throats. It’s daunting simply because there are those who will go into debt just to achieve this look and life style because “the internet said so” and it shouldn’t be that way. You are correct. It should be “do your own thing” without being told what to do! OXOXOXOXOXO

  11. Momcat says:

    I’m a grandmother of three hooligans under four, I bake, I’m not as rotund as Ina but getting there if I don’t stop eating my damn baking. I actually own a second home on beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada. It’s a fair size place on a half acre on the ocean. Am I CG? No way! EF is so not my jam. I bought a duster on Poshmark for 25.00 and the sleeves are meant for sticks! Otherwise her stuff is way too $$$ and baggy for me. The reality is this..unless you are really,really rich keeping a second home is expensive so ours pays its keep by being rented out in the summer to CG wannabes. We get to use it in the spring and fall..yup when it’s cold and rainy and we spend our time cleaning and fixing it up. Fashion is pretty workaday here. Jeans,BOGs, T shirts, beat up cashmere sweater to keep warm and yes I wear a hat but it’s on old hemp Tilley inherited from my mom to keep the pine sap out of my hair and allows me to work outside in the rain. The house is my husband’s darling so I put up with it for him and we have a beach outside the door. The money that is spent would rent us a house in the South if France or Tuscany or wherever for a couple months every year.
    I don’t know who this IG chick is but I’d like to see her deal with a dead mouse under her kitchen sink or clean a house full of windows or having to figure out a way to McGiver the front door lock so she doesn’t have to spring for a new one…or have a trailer jackknife in a country road (it was borrowed to transport six Muskoka chairs 200km because Costco don’t ship out here) All I can say is she needs to live the reality because it isn’t what she thinks. Except the wine, we buy it by the box!!;) LOL..and yes my wardrobe is 75% black or navy because…the reality of grandchildren. Except for the weed and the posh hippie vibe I skew more Frankie than Grace.
    I don’t think your post was mean spirited at all. The whole CG thing is just fake IG click bait but look how many glom onto it!!! Stay real girl, stay your true self it’s what we come here for<3<3

    • Catherine says:

      Al! You said it all and so eloquently! This. This. This!! My stepdaughter and her husband have a second home down the shore and they rent it out for quite the nice sum! But the work they have to deal with is incredible! A mouse. Yes. A hurricane. Yes. The hard, cold winder that can break pipes. Yes. On the surface things can seem so beautiful but dig down a bit and it isn’t so! XOXOXOXO

  12. vavashagwell says:

    I’ve never heard of Coastal Grandmother, LOL. (a good thing!) And Eileen Fischer, never understood those clothing items. I will say that J.Crew has lost me recently – their stuff is not very inspiring. Most of the time on Coastal Oregon, it isn’t hot enough for sunbathing, so I could see wearing the long sleeves/pants shown in that one movie photo.

  13. Terri Christensen says:

    I just want to say you always look nice. I agree with you about Eileen Fisher – overpriced rectangle clothing. Why does the media always make older women so frumpy! I love your blog.

  14. Nancy says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I look forward to your posts; they’re so very entertaining and I love your humor and your take on different issues. These always lift my spirits. And I’m so impressed with your baking!

    I just recently saw a reference to the Coastal Grandmother thing and thought “I’m a coastal grandmother–what is this?” I live in a coastal town in L.A. a mile from the ocean, but I would find it difficult to dress in such cloying layers. I’d have a hard time getting things done. I just don’t think I’ve seen anyone who dresses this way, but am going to see if I can spot this look. I think it would take a certain something to pull it off.

    I do like Talbots’ dressier pants and their jeans. Have you written about Talbots in an essay I missed? You have to search a little harder for the classic pieces they used to be known for, in my opinion, and the quality and fit isn’t always consistent. A few years ago I bought several of the St. James brand striped tops (French sailor shirts). Is that a thing in France, do you think? I guess that’s my Coastal Grandmother look–French sailor tops and Talbots ankle jeans.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip to Theoule-sur-mer. That really does sound amazing! Please keep these essays coming. You have a real gift.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy,
      I honestly feel the same way that you do. I’ve never seen any of my friends dress like a Coastal Grandmother IRL. And growing up on Long Island, the New York Beaches are rife with older women–especially toward the Hamptons. We locals always wear minimal clothing in the summer. A bathing suit. Cutoff shorts. A tee shirt or a sun dress. If a hat, a baseball cap. And when the late summer weather brings about cooler evenings, an oversized sweatshirt or sweater over the shorts. I swear the Coastal Grandmother thing is a look created by influencers who shill and try to make money! XOXOXOXO

  15. Kathryn says:

    I guess technically I am a CG- I live on the coast and I am a grandmother 😯😉😊. Like a few of the other readers this post sounded more aggressive than funny . I subscribe to the you do you and I will do me theory. I try to embrace people embracing their style even if it mimics some one else. To each their own I guess. Enjoy the summer sun !

  16. I’d never heard the term before I read your post and strangely enough, I saw the term today on something to do with HGTV. Who knew? Anyway, I live in a prairie city in western Canada, I’m a thousand km from the ocean. My kids live out on the west coast of Canada (but not in beach houses, they rent small places because no one can afford to buy in Vancouver anymore). I often put on my pjs early but I never get to bed before 1 am (I’m retired, I can stay up all night if I want and I was a shift worker so it’s easy for me). I’d never wear those ugly hats – OMG, that is something I’ve always said. I admit, though, that I do like some of the clothing but I’m too short and definitely not skinny so I can’t wear a lot of that oversized look. I do dress well though, (when I’m out of pjs) – why not? At least I think I dress well. My house is vintage ‘Danish modern’ teak from the 50s-70s – most of it I bought used and I like lots of colour in my house. I do have a gorgeous garden that I tend in our very short summer but it’s not Martha Stewart gorgeous garden, it’s small city lot gorgeous. I used to feel somewhat intimidated by the CG types – I can’t say I feel that way anymore. We all have something in our lives that isn’t perfect. Whether it’s our weight, our homes, our marriages, our skin, whatever – we are our own worst critics and probably those CGs in their darkest moments, are no different.

  17. Cynthia Floor says:

    OMG I am so with you on this. My concession to CG is my collection of Tod’s loafers. And I am more Grace than Frankie. . . weed has been out of my life for eons. Wine, less so. Martinis put me to bed. Have fun in France! (And use that sunscreen).

  18. cathe says:

    OMG I didn’t even understand what they were taking about! Thanks for explaining it to me. Kept wondering why costal grandmas were being portrayed by over filled/filtered influencers. Still don’t get that one.
    I wish you lived near me I’d have you decorate my place. I spent all week trying to figure out what to do. Took one look at your living room and I figured it out in a second! And I agree the original parent trap was the best.
    I can’t wait to hear about your trip to France. Theoule-sur-mer is one of my favorite places and have so many fond memories of it. Hope to get back there some day, but in the mean time will live vicariously through you.

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