How do you define coastal?

How do you define coastal?

Happy Friday!  Today, I want to continue our talk on fashion descriptions and ask HOW DO YOU DEFINE COASTAL?

I believe discussing fashion words going into a new fashion season is helpful….so today we go from chic to coastal…

Or can they be the same woman? Coastal Chic…I like the sound!

In our search for off-the-beaten-path shops in San Antonio, Leigh Ann and I discovered the Texas Beach Boutique.

San Antonio is 3-4 hours away from a beach, so many residents are able to enjoy Texas beaches often.

Let’s begin our discussion by assessing how this shop owner might answer were I to ask, How do you define coastal?


How do you define coastal

Remember the Gidget movies with Moon Doggy….I do not think any of us want to dress each day with that type of vacation style while out and about.

And these days…coastal can be defined as traditional vacation wear or as style we wear daily.

As you will see in point #2, this has little to do with age of the wearer. 

How do you define coastal?

how do you define coastal

This little shop is opposite of the new Coastal Grandmother style….I shared that in the post Coastal Grandmother Style: Is It You?

Just based on the styles in this little store…I would say colors and prints are how they define coastal.

How do you define coastal

how do you define coastal

Also, many of the styles are flowy, comfy styles and not fitted to the body.

The long necklaces with tassels elongate the whole look with longer kimonos and wraps.

how do. you define coastal

how do you define coastal

I would’ve immediately jumped to this type of coastal as something only worn on vacation, but the plaid here threw me off.

I should’ve asked the owner if she transitions to fall and winter clothing or keeps to these types of designs.  I regret I did not strike up a conversation. 

With a whole wall of palazzo pants, definitely How Do You Define Coastal would be answered with flowy comfort style.

How do you define coastal?

I would be curious to know if this shop is open during fall and winter…the beaches certainly are.

However, it is currently stocked with summer wear.  Or are there some of you who prefer style such as this all year long…please share how you define coastal.


How do you define coastal


Yet, there is another definition completely opposite of the first and that is the Coastal Grandmother Style.

What is interesting to me is how many young women have embraced it and are promoting it on their social media…women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

I am just surprised by how they have embraced and are marketing a style with the word grandmother in it.

But, I would much rather see younger women dressed like Diane Keaton than the looks we discussed yesterday in the H & M email.

Coastal Grandmother Style is mostly soft neutrals…still relaxed, but not as colorful or featuring as many prints.

If this is how you define coastal…then you would enjoy the new neutrals at Talbot’s…THE NEW NEUTRALS.

Coastal Grandmother Style is worn all year long without question and not just limited to vacations…many women have embraced it for their complete lifestyle.

how do you define coastal

So, now that you have seen two distinct definitions ….please tell us, how do you define coastal and is it something you embrace for your own style?

Do fall into the more colorful or soft neutral camp?

Here are some sale looks you might enjoy….I believe you can get an additional 40% off the sale prices: SUNDANCE SALE

Enjoy your Friday and I hope to see you tomorrow for Would You Wear it with me and Jennifer!   I return on Sunday with a recent sale purchase and how I styled it!

Thanks for being here, ladies….and make sure to… 


By Pamela Lutrell

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How do you define coastal


  1. I’d buy those floral slip-on shoes in a heartbeat!! There’s a lot to like in that little shop. I love palazzo pants (not the plaid, however!) for lounging around in the summer. I don’t know Pam. I guess I would tend to go more with the neutral coastal style, but this brighter, sunny style is a lot of fun. I absolutely believe “coastal” and “chic” can be the same woman. Look at the women who define ‘coastal grandmother’ in the movies. I’d definitely call them chic. Not office chic, like yesterday’s discussion, but casual chic. Coastal to me is light, natural fabrics and textures, non fussy and relaxing, informal and soft, light colors, incorporating elements of nature. It calls you to put your feet up and dream a little bit. It’s a style I have in my home and it’s inviting and makes me smile. It’s natural, textural and I think this easily translates to fashion. I’m kind of interested to research how this style works in a freezing cold winter! I know my home doesn’t change (just add chunky throws), but I’m going to see if I can find some winter coastal fashion articles!

  2. Coastal grandmother to me is soft neutrals of white, beige, linen, straw, raffia with light jewelry preferably in gold. I grew up on the beaches of Long Island and have seen this style for years in the Hamptons and along the shore. Yesterday I spent the day at one of our beautiful beaches on the south shore and did a lot of people watching. After seeing too many thongs, tattoos and oversized tee shirts I noticed a woman strolling by who was of a certain age. She wore a straw hat, dark bathing suit and a long sleeve white shirt gathered and tied at the waist. Her head held high and posture perfect she was the epitome of coastal grandmother.

  3. I didn’t get a chance to comment yesterday, but everyone else covered it well! But it has me thinking. First, that language in general and its meaning changes greatly over time, and is best described as fluid. Many words today have completely different meanings than their origins, and even grammar changes (I say “by accident,” the next generation says “on accident”). I believe the word “chic” now simply means “fashionable” (though workplace still means workplace … so far). In that sense, coastal can be chic. What you are calling coastal today I would have called “resort wear.” While I think both coastal grandmother and coastal (resort) are fine, they don’t resonate with me, in part due to living in a northern climate. I like the natural, luxurious fabrics of coastal gm, but most pale colors don’t flatter me (I need deep or rich). Resort is closer, but I don’t respond to prints, sayings, or graphic tees. I do love Nantucket red and turquoise, and some fun beach accessories are always welcome to find a place in my wardrobe. The Foundational Five is far closer to how I dress than any of these labels.

  4. Yes! For me as well! I have a talk on the foundational five coming up on Sunday! Thanks Linda!

  5. This shop is generic coastal to me. I’ve seen exactly the same fashions in Florida resorts (esp. tourist hotels), Cape Cod, Amelia Island, Maine and NH. The style is fun and breezy, but I wouldn’t live in it. I would / do live in coastal grandma and other neutrals.
    I just loved your short beach trip of 3-4 hours! Yesterday we drove from RI to Maine. We went through 4 states (RI, MA, NH, and ME) in 3-4 hours, which is a big trip for us!

  6. I should add that if you like on the New England coast, real life is not all sunshine on sparkling waters. The reality can be stiff wind off the water (a blessing this summer), coastal fog (cold and moist) that socks us in, and changing temps. You learn to always have a sweater and an anorak handy.

  7. Yesterday it was a humid 104…you are describing something I would love right now! Thanks for the dreams.

  8. I live 5 miles from the beach in Southern California. I go to the beach only for exercise walking. I wear tan lightweight hiking pants, a long sleeved white sun shirt, a Fanny pack and a big raffia sun hat. It’s the same outfit I wear summer hiking in Colorado and on less populated portions of the River Walk in San Antonio. Since your incident last spring I have added a whistle on a lanyard to my ensemble. Years ago while in Spain 4 guys tried to steal the shoulder bags of me and my friend. I blew on my playground whistle and scared them away. I guess I’m a Coastal Grandmother walker.

  9. Oh my….I could drop a house payment in that shop! Love the top with the v overlay….love the palazzos with the exception of the plaid……not that I don’t like plaid, but not on these thighs……
    I embrace the trend, mostly the colorful choices….but the neutrals to tone them down when needed.

  10. I learn more towards the coastal grandmother side of things, & more for my home than in my clothing. I like using the colors of sand & sea, & after years of dark & heavy furnishings, I would like to go more towards lighter & more natural furnishings. As to clothing, I do like the natural fabrics & neutral colors with blues & soft greens for summer, but winter in the Midwest calls for something more substantial. I also am not a fan of the oversize flowy look because I prefer classic looks with more structure to them. While the coastal looks in this shop are fun, they don’t appeal to me. The prints are too bold & busy for my simple taste. I do think coastal chic could be a thing as a casual look.

  11. It’s a 12-hour drive to the coast for me, but I’m fond of seashells, floppy hats and beachy summer casual looks. The ripe wheat fields look like the ocean if you squint your eyes just right!

  12. We have a place at the shore, and relatives further up the East Coast living on the water and our styles share some common elements with these places -hats, tote come to mind- but it’s a lot sturdier and sporty. To me coastal style is a tub full of old Keds that you take off before you come into the house, ratty hats, big tote bags to carry stuff, sun faded clothing. It shares a lot with serious gardener.

  13. I see Coastal as Au Natural. I envision the colors of sand and stone: pale beige, tan, grey abd certain browns. I see the blue sky and tge blues and greens of the sea water. I see the white of the underside of ocean waves and white puffy clouds. I feel natural fabrics like wicker and woven cottons. Simple easy cool and pretty!

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