I Had My Grandmother Weigh In on Summer Trends—These 6 Made the Cut

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends


Courtesy of Chanel; Courtesy of Prada; Courtesy of Stella McCartney

The true mark of what makes a trend great isn’t how it dominates the runway, or even if it goes viral on TikTok, but if you can spot being worn by women of all different nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and sizes. Sure, as an editor, I’ll admit to getting caught up in the hype of it all—I’m constantly searching for the next big thing and can get into really impractical and often “ugly” trends. But at the end of the day, if you can’t find that both Gen Z and baby boomers have backed a trend, is it really worth it? For me, the answer is no. And while I’ll never prescribe to the idea that you should buy into something just because everyone else is—in fact, you should always invest in what makes you feel your best no matter what age you are. When it comes to keeping up with the trend cycle, even sometimes I need a little guidance and wisdom to weed through the noise—which is where my 71-year-old grandmother comes in.

Long before I was an editor, I spent countless hours at the mall with my grandmother in my preteen days. Our weekly ritual was to sift through the racks together in search of the best things on sale. And while we no longer live in the same state, and we have very different personal styles, she’s still the one I’ll call when I’m debating splurging on a pair of designer sandals. So, it only seemed natural then to have her weigh in on which summer 2022 fashion trends have her stamp of approval. With years of shopping and trend watching under her belt, she’s got a perspective that can help younger generations (like myself) shift through which trends are truly going to age well but also work for all ages. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Skip: Princesscore
Coastal Grandmother

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends, costal grandmother


Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst; Courtesy of Chloé; Courtesy of Adam Lippes; Courtesy of Nanushka; Courtesy of Altuzarra

I should preface this by saying that for each trend, I sent my grandmother reference images, and then we talked about them for two hours, so in no way did I coax her into choosing the “costal grandmother” aesthetic. As she explained to me on the phone, “I’ve been married for 53 years; I’m far past the princess stage of life. I understand why younger generations love the princesscore trend—the ruffles, puff-sleeves, and tea party florals are darling. But you won’t see Queen Elizabeth wearing this trend, and you definitely won’t see me wearing it anytime soon.” 

She paused, then continued, “However, I approve of the coastal grandmother trend. I love this trend because, as a 71-year-old, I’m all about comfort, especially during the summer. What’s great about this trend is that it focuses on functional pieces (i.e., comfortable sandals or linen pieces).” She further elaborated, “And linen is one of my favorite fabrics for summer because it’s easy to care for, keeps you cool, and is a versatile staple that can come in various variations and can be worn by anyone at any age.” 

Skip: Micro Miniskirts
Adopt: To the Max

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends, maxi hemlines


Courtesy of Chloé; Courtesy of Staud/BFA; Courtesy of Peter Do

While younger generations are animated about the micro miniskirts spotted at Miu Miu, I wanted to know what my grandmother thought about this trend. She confessed to me, “I love the idea of a micro miniskirt. When I was younger, I loved this trend and wore it in the late ’60s all the time. For younger people, I get the appeal of this trend, but I wouldn’t wear it at my age (if you want to, though, that’s your prerogative).” 

She mused, “However, I do see myself wearing maxi hemlines this summer. What I love about this trend is that you can wear a maxi dress (or skirt) year-round. It’s one of the most versatile trends because it can be dressed up or down, and it can come in any color or any fabric. But the best thing about this trend is that women of all sizes, ages, and personal styles can wear it and feel comfortable.” The verdict: We’re all a fan of miniskirts, but a maxi will never fail you.

Skip: Retro Prints
Adopt: Vibrant Hues

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends, vibrant hues


Courtesy of Stella McCartney; Courtesy of Versace; Courtesy of Proenza Schouler; Courtesy of Versace; Courtesy of Tods

The spring/summer 2022 collections felt like a formal departure from the minimalism and a heavy embrace of maximalism embodied in the championing of saturated hues (think Kelly green and tangerine) and retro-pattern trends (like psychedelic prints and tea party florals). But I knew that just because doing the most was back in fashion didn’t mean it would get the nod of approval from Grandma Fox. She lamented, “As fun as the retro print trends are to incorporate into your wardrobe, I’ve seen it all and worn it all already. And if it’s your first time around the bend, enjoy it—go ahead and embrace those funky psychedelic prints, tropical-inspired ones, or even grunge-plaid. But for me, it’s a hard pass. These prints don’t feel as timeless, nor are they universally flattering.”

She added, “However, I think that vibrant hues are a better option for everyone. Because you can then pick whatever color you love the most (I’m leaning towards orange for summer), and you can incorporate it in small doses so that it’s not overpowering.”

Skip: Cutouts
Adopt: Fringe

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends


Courtesy of Alaia; Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai; Courtesy of Proenza Schouler; Courtesy of Chloé; Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst

Ahh, cutouts. I wasn’t sure what my grandmother’s take would be on this trend, but I was surprised when she told me, “Cutouts are cute for other people, but I’m a more conservative dresser, so baring that much skin isn’t my style.” I wasn’t expecting her to think they were even cute (considering how risqué they can be), but I did expect she wouldn’t be donning them anytime soon.

There is, however, one summer trend she thought she could see herself wearing in lieu of cutouts: fringe. She explained, “I think that fringe could be a fun alternative trend that gives more modest dressers like myself the same flirty feeling without having that much skin in the game. You can commit full-stop to this trend by opting for a maxi dress with fringe, or you can adopt small accessories like fringe-adorned outwear and handbags if you want to ease into this trend slowly.”

Skip: Barbie Shoes
Adopt: Ballet Flats

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends


Courtesy of Tory Burch; Courtesy of Miu Miu; Courtesy of Chanel; Courtesy of Chanel; Courtesy of Dior

I promise I wasn’t trying to roast my grandmother; I genuinely just needed to know her thoughts on Barbie heels. She retorted, “Are you kidding me? Do you think this 71-year-old pushing 72 is about to wear Barbie heels? They’re cute for 20-somethings, but they’re an accident waiting to happen for me. I would fall off of those.” I should have seen it coming because anytime I wear heels, she asks me how I walk in them. But I was delightfully surprised when she told me, “The ballet flats trend is something I have worn and can endorse for summer 2022.” 

She explained, “You can find them in all different styles: You can wear them with jeans or a dress and there are no safety issues. The majority of older women (not all) but most, can’t always wear heels, so this shoe is a great stylish alternative to dressing up and being trendy without any broken hips.”

Skip: Oversize and Mini Bags
Adopt: ’90s Shoulder Bags

Grandmother-approved summer 2022 fashion trends


Courtesy of Puppets and Puppets; Courtesy of Peter Do; Courtesy of Ferragamo; Courtesy of Prada; Courtesy of Miu Miu

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to have my grandmother weigh in on handbag trends for summer. I had a general idea of what trends she’d likely endorse—it for sure wasn’t going to be anything small because she asked me what I even put in my Jacquemus bag mockingly. But it was refreshing to hear her perspective on bags. She divulged, “Call me Granny Goldilocks, but when it comes to handbags, I’m very picky about the size. I don’t want something too big—like the oversize carry-all totes because it’s too hard on my shoulders and I don’t have to carry that much with me.” 

She paused, then said, “But I also don’t like the mini bags (sorry, granddaughter) because they don’t carry anything. So for me, the handbag trend I’d wear this summer and all the time is the shoulder bag. I’ve worn this style since the ’90s, and I won’t be ditching anytime soon.” So there you have it, friends, for my grandmother, and for many others, the true test of a worthy trend is if you can wear it for years to come.