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.
What I'm Buying