Grandma’s Coastal Clothing: How to Dress Style on the Cheap

As soon as TikTok influencer Lex Nicoleta introduced the internet to the coastal grandma aesthetic, I knew I was all for it. To understand the look, imagine yourself as Diane Keaton in a Nancy Meyers movie, or Martha Stewart cooking dinner at her beach house. Vibes is an all-neutral color palette with lots of lightweight fabrics and classic silhouettes. Although the look should be effortless, it can also be expensive to achieve. That’s why I challenged myself to create two totally coastal granny outfits without a big price tag.

Ahead, you will see that all of my centerpieces are under $50. I paired these items with shoes and accessories I already had in my closet, which I also purchased for you. Keep reading to check out my looks and see if the coastal granny style is something you want to try for yourself.

Look 1: effortless neutral dress and cozy cream sweater

Key piece: This Old Navy Cotton Poplin Maxi Swing Dress ($36, originally $45) is incredibly comfortable and includes my most favorite feature: pockets! It runs a little large, so I would suggest downsizing. I’ve washed it twice now, and it’s holding up well. Frankly, I think I need it in more colors.

Accessories: I paired my comfy dress with these Holden Universal Thread Platform Sport Sandals ($30) which are great for all-day walking around. I appreciate that all the straps are adjustable with velcro. I also tied this Who What Wear Collection Charlotte Cropped Cardigan ($64, originally $128) over my shoulder — it’s my trusty layering piece all summer long; the cropped style looks great with dresses.

Notes on outfit: So how exactly does this Coastal Grandma Channel work? For starters, the neutral color scheme is key – you should keep your look in shades of tan, beige and white. The lightweight fabric and shoes make this an ideal outfit for the beach, and you still want to give off those seaside vibes. Outerwear for coastal grandmas is strictly sweaters, so I completed this look with my cream cardigan.

Look 2: gingham blouse and white shorts topped with a woven hat

Key parts: This Old Navy Puff Sleeve Seersucker Flare Blouse ($20, originally $35) is fantastic for me because I have a D cup, but it’s so supportive I don’t even have to wear bra. The quality is very impressive and the puff sleeves are well designed. I paired the blouse with my favorite pair of Old Navy High Waisted Non-Stretch Denim Shorts ($24, originally $35), which have a five-inch inseam. I love the longer shorts that are trending this summer.

Accessories: I completed my look with this adorable Familyhouse Handmade Woven 100% Raffia Bow Sun Hat ($6), which has the sweetest surprise in the back – a big woven bow. I also donned my ultra-comfortable Birdies Cardinal sneakers ($145); they are so padded it feels like walking on little pillows.

Notes on outfit: If the woven hat doesn’t immediately give off the coastal granny aesthetic, I can’t help you. Diane Keaton would definitely wear this hat for one of her walks on the beach in a romantic comedy. Every coastal granddaughter should have white jeans in her closet, and these shorts are perfect for summer. My simple white sneakers are perfect for running errands in your adorable little town when you stumble upon an old flame (fake it with me).

Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Macy Cate Williams