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.
How about all those wanting the Coastal Grandmother lifestyle head to dinner at 4:30? That’ll pop your bubble!
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.
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!
Isn’t she precious? Every Coastal Grandmother’s dream….
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Quite possibly, the dumbest thing I ever did to my skin. But..it 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!