My Style Is Somewhere Between Coastal Grandma and Gen Z—Here's What I'm Buying

Kat Collings Coastal Grandma Style Grandmother Dressing Gen Z Style

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@katcollings

Mallory of the Pop + Nod boutique recently went viral on TikTok thanks to how she comically described the fashion struggle millennials are having being caught navigating two very different trending dressing styles at the moment: coastal grandma style and Gen Z style. Ever since watching the TikTok (see it below!), I've been quite amused thinking about how I fit into the spectrum between the two. First, let me break down each style.

Coastal grandma is all about dressing in modern takes on cozy and breezy classics that you'd picture on Nancy Meyers–like characters living their best lives in an affluent coastal town. I'm talking crisp linens, chunky cardigans, summer tote bags, slide sandals, and more. While the name implies this style is solely for an older person, that is not at all the case—the focus is solely on the vibe and the aesthetic these looks bring to mind.

As for Gen Z style, it's predominantly geared towards those in their late teens and early '20s. The key influences here are a mix of trends from the mid-to-late '90s and the early aughts with a heavy focus on skin-baring pieces. Think cutout tops and dresses, platform sandals, butterfly clips, bold colors, and baguette bags.

I've come to realize that when it comes to my personal style, I sit somewhere in between the two dressing trends. I am pretty much open to wearing most coastal grandma pieces, but I prefer to mix and match them with more fashion-forward favorites. As for Gen Z style, I have definitely cherry-picked pieces and details that are tweaked and more toned down in a way that fits my own style. For example, I love the flip-flop trend, but rather than go with a platform version, I would opt for a more streamlined heeled take.

Ahead, shop my top picks for achieving both styles, plus what I am buying with everything in mind.

Coastal Grandma

Linda Tol Coastal Grandma Style Grandmother Dressing Cardigan White Shirt Slide Sandals

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@lindatol_
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This cardigan is the epitome of cozy-chic.

Lightweight white pants are a staple when it comes to warmer weather.

These slide sandals are one of the most popular styles at the moment.

This one-and-done black dress instantly makes you look polished.

I'm getting Diane Keaton vibes from her role in Something's Gotta Give.

There is nothing more classic than a light blue striped button-down shirt.

Here's a classic summer bag option.

This wide-leg denim style feels timeless.

A chic neutral cape is key for chilly beach nights.

This wardrobe wouldn't be complete without a white linen shirtdress.

Gen Z

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This strappy white top can be worn with everything from jeans to a matching skirt.

Strappy cutout details are everywhere this season.

Corset tops are having a moment and are often worn in a more laid-back way.

Baggy jeans are coming back into the spotlight in 2022.

I'm having flashbacks to the to the 2000's with the resurgence of platform flip-flops.

Lacing details turn this tank top into a statement piece.

Colorful crochet pieces are very much the vibe for summer.

French twists get a glitzy update with this hair accessory.

There's no way you don't turn heads in this vibrant jumpsuit.

What I'm Buying

Kat Collings Coastal Grandmother Style Gen Z Look Bralette Linen Pants

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@katcollings
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This knit bralette is super versatile—wear it alone, under a button-down or even layered over a contrasting tee.

I am obsessed with the woven bags from Dragon Diffusion. I want one in every style.

A ribbed cropped cardigan feels spot-on for chilly moments beachside or in an overly air conditioned place.

This straw bucket hat style is right up my alley.

White, black, pink or tan? I can't decide which version of this dress I like the most.

I love the cozy-meets-sexy feeling of this sweater.

A heeled version of the flip-flop trend is at the top of my list.

These '90s-inspired jeans have endless styling possibilities.

My holy-grail baguette bag at the moment.

Throw this dress on to do everything from farmers market shopping to meeting friends for brunch.

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