‘I’m shocked’: Britain’s ‘coastal grannies’ become TikTok style icons | Fashion

meIn March, 26-year-old influencer Lex Nicoleta posted a video on TikTok in which she coined the term “coastal grandma.” The look, an aspirational way of dressing, Nicoleta explained, was inspired by the white linen-clad stars of Nancy Meyers’ romantic comedies, including Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give. More than fashion, the coastal granny embodies an entire lifestyle. She thinks of well-to-do retired women in button-down shirts, shopping at organic farmers markets or hosting cozy candlelit dinners for other divorcees in beachfront mansions. Crucially, you don’t have to live on the coast or be a grandmother to enjoy the trend.

The TikTok hashtag #CoastalGrandmother has been viewed more than 207 million times and has appeared everywhere from ITV’s This Morning to Vogue. Celebrities are on board, with the style championed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Kendall Jenner. Donning cream chinos, oversized sunglasses and an equally oversized sun hat, Anne Hathaway praised the trend on Instagram. “I’ve been ready for #coastalgrandmother chic since before TikTok was born,” she wrote. “May this moment never end.”

In addition to Oprah relaxing in baggy knits, the celebrities and fictional characters most often referred to as coastal granny icons are wealthy and white, leading some to criticize the trend as exclusive.

Despite this, the popularity of the coastal grandmother continues to grow. We’ve seen what makes a perfect coastal granny both on the big screen (see Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated) and off screen through celebrity hangouts like the Hamptons. But closer to home, what are real-life British seaside grannies doing with this trend? And how does it feel to be called a style icon?

See also  Growing demand from the paint and coatings industry will boost the fortunes of pigment emulsion manufacturers, assesses Fact.MR

Denise Melfi, 80

retired nursery worker Shoreham

Denise Melfi.
Denise Melfi: ‘Your style changes slightly as you get older’

“Friends tell me that at my age I shouldn’t wear gray and beige. This trend shows that you can. All my life I have worn jeans with a cute top. Your style has to change slightly as you age, just things like necklines. Everything that is aimed at people my age seems to be scratched. Even my grandchildren tell me: ‘Nana, please stop buying stripes.’”

Anne Sadler, 74

personal assistant of bury, lancashire

Anne Sadler.
Anne Sadler: “At my age you don’t want to dress too young”

“Maybe younger women want to dress like this because they want to be comfortable. My pants are from M&S, my blouse and denim shirt are from Bonmarché and I bought my hat at a market in Suffolk. I like Joanna Lumley’s style, especially on her travel shows. She wears a lot of flowy clothes and looks elegant. At my age, you don’t want to dress too young, but you don’t want to dress too grandma either.”

Jane Regan, 68

Retired former owner of a media recruitment agency London now Hove

Jane Regan, left, and Deborah Tilly.
Jane Regan, left, and Deborah Tilly: ‘My style has changed because my body has changed’

“Americans love a preppy look. They are much more conventional than us. My style has changed because my body has changed. I wouldn’t wear the tiny things that I wore in my 20’s now. Living in Greece influenced how I now dress for the summer. Today I’m wearing an NRBY dress, Spring Court trainers and Jil Sander sunglasses. I love independent shops like Igigi in Hove and Cordelia James in Lewes. I follow Diane Keaton and Linda Rodin on Instagram. They wear very expensive clothes, so it’s just for inspiration.”

Deborah Tilly, 74 years old Age: 74

Retired makeup artist london now now Brighton

“Do women in their 20s dress like this? Probably not! I think the trend is very American and quite old-fashioned. I like the pieces a little more eccentric. I bought this Sud dress in Paris, my jewelry in Greece and my glasses are Pagani. I love Havaianas because they are comfortable and I have always worn French Sole ballerinas. Six years ago, I traveled throughout New Zealand and South America. Friends of mine who are exactly the same age said that I was too old. I figured if I don’t do it now, I never will. You have to make your own life.”

Anne Munday, 76

retired nhs worker by Bedford

Anne Munday.
Anne Munday: ‘When you get to my age you have to be sensible’

“I like to keep up with trends without going overboard. When you get to my age you have to be sensible. I would like to dress much cooler but I would look a bit silly. Since I retired I don’t like suits anymore. Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton are my kind of people, they look casual but smart. I chose to wear stripes today because I am visiting my granddaughter, who lives by the sea.”

Karen Knight, 71

Retired radio host from Hove

Karen Knight, left, and Pam Tennant
Karen Knight, left, and Pam Tennant: ‘It’s funny to be described as part of this trend’

“It’s fun to be described as part of this trend. I wouldn’t call myself a style icon. I don’t think you have to dress scruffy when you’re older. You only have to adapt things for those parts of your body that you do not want to show. I like to mix more expensive things with cheaper things. I wear this top to death because it’s light, easy and I don’t have to iron it. I’m not a fan of how Diane Keaton dresses. She looks good on him, but it’s pretty serious.”

pam Tennant, 80

Retired radiographer Hove

“I’ve had most of my clothes for a long time. They don’t usually go out of style. I have two daughters in their forties who would tell me if I look old-fashioned. They would like this trend as they tend to dress like this too. Your style changes slightly as you age, but I don’t feel like I’m looking old. I feel like a 40- or 50-year-old, that’s how I’ve always dressed.”

Rachel Lewis, 67

Part-time sales at Eternal boutique, from Hove

Rachel Lewis.
Rachel Lewis: ‘You have to be positive about aging.’

“Young people probably like this trend because it is different from their peers. His usual uniform is very skimpy, while this one is fluffy. It’s amazing to be called elegant. It feels great when people congratulate you when you’re older. You have to be positive about aging. From time to time I have thought about a nip and tuck, but you have to enjoy the stage you are in. You can look younger, but you can’t be younger, you can only feel that.”

Beverly West, 65

Retired math teacher Kent

Beverly West.
Beverley West: ‘I don’t want to look like a lamb in lamb’s clothing’

“I’m surprised that anyone can admire what I’m wearing. Perhaps women in their 20s will like this style when they get their first job and want to look quite smart. I have a basic wardrobe of all my favorite things that I just wear. Since confinement I have not made any purchases. I don’t want to look scruffy but I also don’t want to look like a lamb in lamb’s clothing. It’s always a big fear, dressing up too young.”

lesley mcbride, 67

Retired official of Hove

“I can see the timeless appeal of this trend. I haven’t heard of him, but he’s like me. On the main street I love Phase 8 and Next. There’s an independent shop in Hove called Jaba Yard that also does nice cotton pieces. In the past I loved Laura Ashley. Today I like clean lines and colors. A floral print when you’re older can make you look even older.”