Life's a Beach
Hi everyone, happy Wednesday!
Today’s issue is my 120th! Old-timers, you know what that means — every tenth issue I write about some things I don’t like and don’t want, just to have some fun and switch things up. The timing is slightly unfortunate, as I’ve recently acquired an influx of new Italian subscribers thanks to a WIWO shoutout in Vogue Italia editor Federica Salto’s newsletter (thank you Federica!) Hello, ciao, welcome! I apologize that your first WIWO dispatch is on the pessimistic side, but I hope you’ll stick around. Lots of cool stuff coming, I promise!
Quite a few of my tenth-issue newsletters have centered around trendy TikTok aesthetics, so let’s keep the pattern going. Today I’d like to introduce you to the latest craze: the coastal grandmother aesthetic. Think Nancy Meyers movies, Eileen Fisher lookbooks, Ina Garten’s whole lifestyle. Personally, I do not believe any of these TikTok aesthetics are real (is anyone actually out here exchanging their Y2K baby tees and low-rise jeans for oatmeal cardigans and eggshell slacks?) If you love this look, more power to ya, but it’s definitely not for me — which is what makes it perfect for this issue! Let’s unpack, shall we?
Do y’all remember that enormous Jacquemus straw hat that had all the Instagram influencers in a vice grip in like 2018? Emily Ratajkowski wore it, Sofia Richie wore it, Kylie Jenner wore it (and nothing else). The sun hat is a coastal grandmother staple (gotta protect your skin from the Mediterranean sun!), and I’m not opposed to some stylish headgear, but I thought this hat was ridiculous 4 years ago and I think it’s ridiculous now. I mean, just imagine the weight of that thing! The Jacquemus Le Grand Chapeau Bomba is no longer available, but a spate of copycats have sprung up to fill the void, so I guess if you want to go around feeling like you’re carrying a stack of textbooks on your head, knock yourself out?
Coastal grandmother delicacies include artisanal ciabatta, heirloom tomatoes, herbs freshly-plucked from your garden, and, obviously, lots of seafood — grilled tilapia, lobster salad, oysters with a squeeze of lemon. Of course, not everyone is out here living in a cozy cottage steps away from the beach. I recently learned of the existence of oyster delivery services, and I must say, I’m a bit skeptical. I like oysters, don’t get me wrong, but not enough to have to shuck them myself; I like ‘em when they’re served to me on a silver platter, nestled in a bed of ice. Also, I have no doubt that Island Creek is very conscientious about packing and preserving them to maintain freshness, but like, how can you be sure? Anyone ever tried an oyster delivery service before? How did it work out?
Vintage clothing store Na Nin is basically the embodiment of the coastal grandmother aesthetic, but for hottie 20-somethings: a quick gander through their in-house line shows beachy girlies lolling seaside draped in loose, laid-back linen and easy-breezy button-downs. And I’m not gonna lie, the overall effect is quite seductive; a few years ago, I bought a pair of their drapey raw silk pants on Depop, but just never felt quite right in them, for some reason. The waist seemed too high; the hem seemed too short; I could never figure out how to style them with the other clothes in my closet. The fact of the matter was, they were perfectly fine pants, but I just never felt at ease in them because they weren’t me. No shade to the brand, because the clothes really are quite lovely, but I have a better sense of my personal style now to know that I should steer clear.