9 Grandma Trends That Are Basically Mainstream at This Point

The life span of a trend goes like this: At first, a select group of insiders begins to wear what we call a "micro-trend" until, at a certain point when there are enough versions to be found at a range of price points, it's officially a trend with a capital T. At that point, it either expires after the current season or proves to have staying power and therefore becomes "mainstream."

For as negative a connotation as it usually has, mainstream actually isn't such a bad thing. Really, it means that a trend that was once niche has proven to be worthy of a long-lasting place in your closet, and, at least to me, that's a beautiful thing.

Recently, I got to thinking about the whole idea of grandma dressing. When we reported on the budding trend back in February 2019, it was definitely a niche style. But since then, I've watched specific grandma fashion trends like oversize sunglasses and polished top-handle bags go from micro to truly being everywhere. And the same is true for six more of these retro-inspired styles that span everything from swimwear to jewelry to lingerie.

So without further ado, I'm sharing nine grandma trends that have become so popular they're essentially mainstream (in the best way possible). Scroll down to discover them all and shop the pieces worthy of having in your wardrobe for a long time.

1. Lingerie-Inspired Swimwear

We called this trend last summer, and ever since then, underwire detailing and high-waisted bikinis have only become more popular. Based on the number of pretty options to choose from, it's safe to say you'll be seeing a lot more of these.


(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

Styling: WeWoreWhat Claudia Bikini Top ($95) and Emily Bottom ($95)


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Styling: Faithfull the Brand Toulon Bikini Top ($90) and Toulon Bottoms ($90)


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Styling: Montce Gingham Bustier Top ($150) and Paula Tie-Up Bikini Bottom ($122)

Shop the trend:

2. Chunky Gold Jewelry

If you look inside any fashion girl's jewelry box right now, you'd overwhelmingly find oversize and chunky jewelry staples. The statement pieces lend a luxe element to anything you wear them with, so it's not hard to see why this trend has taken off.


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Styling: Cinco Gala Bracelet ($99); Reliquia Enia Ring ($128); Maslo Curb Chain Necklace ($68)


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3. The Sweater Drape

Want to take your outfit from average to above-average in less than 30 seconds? Drape or tie another sweater on top of your outfit mimicking the below styling ideas. This one couldn't be any easier.


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Styling: ASOS Design Sweatshirt ($29)


(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

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4. Printed Silk Scarves

Printed scarves will always remind me of my grandma, as she has passed down many of her beautiful silk scarves to me over the years. Fashion girls are reclaiming the vintage trend now by styling scarves around their heads, tied into their hair, around a handbag handle, or in any number of different ways.


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Styling: Parade Scarf ($16)


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Styling: Rowen Rose top, skirt, and scarf

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5. Retro Sunglasses

Micro sunglasses are a thing of the past now that these '70s-inspired bifocals have emerged as the latest sunglass silhouette. Square and geometric frames in warm-toned colors are the way to go here.


(Image credit: @tamumcpherson)


(Image credit: @chrissyford)


(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

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6. Cardigans, of Course

Ahh, cardigans. The trend we love to love is so popular right now that it's easy to forget it was inspired by our dear grandmas. As stylish women all over are proving, cardigans are a year-round type of trend.


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)


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(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

Shop the trend:

7. Top-Handle Bags

Ladylike bags with structured shapes and top handles are the ultimate grandma trend. Polished and timeless, the modern versions are 100% worth adding to your closet.


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)

Styling: Little Liffner Baby Boss Bag ($273)


(Image credit: @ada_oguntodu)

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8. Grandma Underwear

High-waisted underwear has seen a more recent return to style, especially when worn around the house as part of a loungewear look. The comfortable style might not be for everyone, but it's certainly earned a spot in the lingerie drawers of stylish women all over.


(Image credit: @laurencrowe88)


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)

Styling: Cuup Scoop Bra ($68) and Highwaist Underwear ($18)

Shop the trend:

9. All the Pearls

Pearls went from preppy to trendy and are yet another staple in fashion people's closets, especially baroque and freshwater pearls with their imperfect shapes.


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)


(Image credit: @annawinck)

Shop the trend:

Next up, 21 pairs of comfortable jeans to ease you back into wearing rigid denim.


Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.