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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Coastal Grandmother, Colorado style!

Aug 30, 2022 02:22PM ● By Sandra Wise

Are mature women finally getting the respect they have always deserved? When it comes to their fashion choices, one might think so. A popular fashion trend, affectionately called the “Coastal Grandmother” style, is currently—and surprisingly—applauded and adopted by much younger women.

Since finding myself in the demographic category euphemistically known as “Women of a Certain Age” (I’m 76 and a grandmother), I don’t recall ever seeing younger women scramble to fully embrace styles commonly worn by us. However, it’s happening now with the chic yet laidback Coastal Grandmother style. 



The overall look of this fashion aesthetic is relaxed, yet sophisticated. It’s comfortable and carefree, as the style was initially associated with breezy ocean beaches and a vacation-like, slowed-down pace. 

Picture what you might be wearing if you had lots of discretionary time for tinkering in your tulip garden, not hovering over your heart rate monitor as you furiously pedal away on your Peloton. What outfit would you wear sitting in an outdoor swing and perusing this issue of the BEACON, not feverishly finishing a financial report under fluorescent lights? These images perfectly reflect the aesthetic of this Coastal Grandmother style.

So, wise and wonderful women over 50, here’s all you need to know about what you’re probably already doing but just didn’t know what to call it. 

I’m well aware that Colorado isn’t coastal. Though I would like to rebrand this signature style “Marvelous Mountain and Lakeside Ladies” for us Colorado residents. That’s right—the fashion experts tell us you don’t actually need to live on the coast or even have grandchildren to be a Coastal Grandmother.


Simplicity and comfort reign, although there should be some evidence of effortless or carefree polish and style. 

Linen is essential. (Embrace the wrinkles, ladies.) This somewhat stiffer fabric creates a bit of space between the garment and your body and can, thus, have a beneficial cooling effect on hot days.

Minimalism rules. Jewelry is typically unnecessary, unless you want to simply toss on strings of pearls to meet up with a friend who suggests a leisurely lunch at your favorite restaurant.

No part of the outfit should feel confining. This includes things with snug zippers, leaving pants to be almost exclusively pull-on. 

Practicality is emphasized, particularly regarding weather conditions. Loose, flowy separates may be stylishly layered for ultimate flexibility on chilly Colorado evenings. Wear a linen button-up dress as an opened duster/coat or toss a solid- colored sweater or scarf over your shoulders.

Collared shirts in white are highly recommended, although other neutral solid colors or pinstripes are acceptable (preferably ocean blue, or tan, as in the sandy beach). Stay away from prints or bold colors. As a bonus, many of your pieces will mix and match.

A simple, practical hat is a must. Bucket hats are a favorite, although a somewhat wider brim might add a bit more sun protection for our high altitude. If that spur-of-the-moment lunch invitation appears, you can tie a scarf around the crown of the hat for an extra bit of style.

Flat shoes are mandatory. Sandals, loafers, Mary Janes or simple sneakers are encouraged. Absolutely no heels!

There is one final box to check off to earn the coveted Coastal Grandmother credentials, but it involves our inner or attitudinal style: We must keep our thoughts focused on slowing down and enjoying each moment in our lives. That is the true essence of this marvelously healthy aesthetic. Please check off this “inner” box early on to make sure you start off on the right foot—even if you later slip up and find yourself wearing zippered pants or, heaven forbid, high heels.


It certainly seems that we have captured the hearts, minds and closets of a younger generation. Doesn’t it feel marvelous to be in the vanguard of fashion trends? It makes me wonder what else of ours these youngsters might embrace in the future. Perhaps silver hair at 27?

Follow Sandra on Instagram: wise.woman.aging

For more fashion tips check out this article:

Sandra Wise 75 poses with a 1940 Buick Her dress shoes and earrings came from thrift stores The hat she bought from Japan 35 years ago

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