Coastal-Granny Dress: How to dress in style on the cheap

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

Ahead, you’ll see that all of my original pieces are under $50. I paired these items with shoes and accessories I had in my closet, which I also shopped for you. Keep reading to check out my look and see if the coastal-grandma style is something you want to try for yourself.

Look 1: Effortless neutral dress and cozy cream sweater

Main part: This Old Navy Cotton-Poplin Cami Maxi Swing Dress ($36, originally $45) is incredibly comfortable and has one of my favorite features: pockets! It runs a little big, so I would recommend sizing up. I’ve washed it twice now and it’s holding up nicely. Honestly, I think I need it in more colors.

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

Clothing Notes: So how exactly is this Channel coast grandma? For starters, a neutral color palette is key – you should keep your look to shades of tan, beige and white. The lightweight fabric and shoe make it a great outfit for the beach and you always want to exude those seaside vibes. Outerwear for coastal grannies is strictly sweaters, which is why I completed this look with my cream cardigan.

Look 2: White shorts with a gingham blouse and a knit cap

Key pieces: This Old Navy Puff-Sleeve Smoked Seersucker Babydoll Swing Blouse ($20, originally $35) is great for me because I have a D-cup, but it’s so supportive, I don’t even need to wear a bra. The quality is very impressive, and the puff sleeves are beautifully designed. I paired the blouse with my favorite old navy high-waisted slouchy straight cut-off non-stretch jean shorts ($24, originally $35), which have a five-inch inseam. I’m loving the long shorts that are trending this summer.

Accessories: I completed my look with this adorable Familyhouse Handmade Knitted 100% Raffia Bow Sun Hat ($6), which has the sweetest surprise on the back — a big knitted bow. I wear my super comfy Birdies Cardinal sneakers ($145) that are so cushioned, it feels like you’re walking on tiny pillows.

Clothing Notes: If a knit hat doesn’t immediately give off a coastal-granny aesthetic, I can’t help you. Diane Keaton would definitely wear this hat for her beach trip in a rom-com. Every coastal babe should have white denim in her closet and these shorts are perfect for summer. My white sneakers are great for running errands in your adorable little town while you bump into an old flame (pretend with me).

Photo credit: Popsugar Photography / Macy Kate Williams

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