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


(Image credit: @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.


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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


(Image credit: @lindatol_)


Gen Z


(Image credit: @isabellecoheen)


What I'm Buying


(Image credit: @katcollings)


Next: TikTok Said This Bag Is Not the Vibe Now—Here's What to Replace Yours With

Jennifer Camp Forbes
Contributing Editor

Jennifer Camp Forbes is currently the shopping updates editor at Who What Wear, where she has worked in a variety of capacities for over a decade, including creative director and various editor roles. She’s well-known as a shopping expert that’s sought out for advice and insight on the latest trends, outfit ideas, and fashion picks thanks to her thoughtful shopping roundups, digital moodboards, and extensive knowledge of up-and-coming brands, plus the new arrivals sections of the chicest retailers. Jennifer has had a lifelong interest in fashion which led her to intern at Harper’s Bazaar as an undergraduate. Later, while working towards her masters degree in psychological counseling at Columbia University, she founded two digital fashion publications: Le Fashion and Olsens Anonymous. The popularity of both sites grew and after graduation she decided put her plans to become a therapist aside to pursue a career in fashion. While she has called Los Angeles and New York City home in the past, she currently works remotely from Massachusetts. When she’s not obsessing over and writing about her latest fashion finds, she is delighting in raising two little ones with her highschool sweetheart, perusing TikTok religiously, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, creating abstract photographs, and eating the best Mexican food she can get her hands on.