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This Style Instagrammer Is Obsessed with the Way Old Folks Dress

Kyle Kivijarvi wants his photographs to be a lesson in simplicity — and personal style.

elderly men sitting on a park bench talking to a man standing by his bike
Kyle Kivijarvi

Most trends are kickstarted by teens or the ultra-famous. Sometimes those behind the latest crazes are both teenaged and ultra-famous. In these cases, though, the products they push into the mainstream fade fast. Certain sneakers disappear from shelves (and peoples' feet) just a season later; fidget spinners are few and far between nowadays — so too are studded belts.

In attempt to find trends with staying power, Kyle Kivijarvi is turning to an older crowd for guidance. On his Instagram page, which he calls Gramparents, he documents simple-dressing old folks who'd be shocked to hear they've been highlighted on a fashion blog that's been featured in Vogue, Elle and now Gear Patrol.

"I started the page in 2016 when I found myself posting so many of these people on my personal page," Kivijarvi says. "I wanted to give it a designated space for people to enjoy. So I came up with the name Gramparents, and it went from there."

Since then, Gramparents has grown to include both photos Kivijarvi snaps and those followers submit. In fact, nowadays there are probably more of the latter. There are no real requirements for submitting, making what's featured left up to feelings, not formalities.

"There are many different things I look for in a submission to be posted on the page," he says. "Top of the list is: what are they wearing? I look for the classics… Oxford shirts, khaki pants or more laidback looks like bucket hats with sneakers. And location and activity is another… reading the paper in the park or enjoying art at the museum."

The settings certainly help sell the picture, but it's the outfits folks flock to the page for. Sure, they aren't aspirational in a traditional sense, but just like the Coastal Grandmother trend — all-white attire, sandals and al fresco dining — this style is undoubtedly in, even if it there's no real definition for the Gramparents aesthetic.

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"Products and brands that are defined by lasting quality and comfort are usually what you will see," Kivijarvi says of the clothes these folks wear. "New Balance is a great example of both. A pair of 990v3s will always be a classic wearable shoe for many purposes. I’ve seen an old woman jogging in the park wearing them and an old man at The Met wearing them with a suit."

The looks are largely simple, which ties it to several "-cores" — like normcore or gorpcore. But Kivijarvi wants the page to be an advocate for minimalism, not commercialism. While he's made Gramparents merch with brands like Another Aspect, the end goal isn't to sell much of anything to the audience.

"I’m happy it makes people give a little more thought into keeping it simple with their clothing rotation," he explains. Although he runs a clothing page, he's a firm believer that "our clothing shouldn’t be what defines us."

Get the Gramparents Look

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