BACK in the mists of time, I used to have a fairly decent grasp of style trends. My younger self, while never a devout follower of fashion, seemed to know almost by osmosis what was hip at any given moment.

These days? A red sticker sale tag, practical pockets and the presence of an elasticated waistband are much more of a draw than whether a garment will garner admiring glances.

That doesn’t mean I don’t find my interest piqued now and again, though, when a new fad rolls into town. The latest to catch my attention? Coastal cowgirl. Nope, don’t adjust your reading glasses. This isn’t a typo.

Regular readers of this column will be familiar with my musings on the “coastal grandmother”, an aesthetic inspired by elegantly chic matriarchs such as Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep.

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What does this have to do with cowgirls? An excellent question. According to Architectural Digest, coastal cowgirl is “the more accessible and fun sibling” to coastal grandmother. Which reads like shorthand for annoying little sister trying to lasso the spotlight.

But something is definitely catching on. The hashtag #coastalcowgirl has amassed some 137 million views (and counting) on the social media platform TikTok. Model Kendall Jenner and singer-songwriter Dua Lipa are among its big proponents.

The look is all about floaty white dresses, straw Stetson hats, oodles of denim, rugged leather and cowboy boots (picture Baywatch star Pamela Anderson circa 1992 and you get the general idea).

Coastal cowgirl - billed as beach-meets-ranch - follows in the footsteps of urban cowgirls (uber-glam utilitarian) and space cowgirls (sci-fi-esque shimmering silver chaps).

Which has me convinced that, at this stage, wily marketeers are simply sticking loosely geographic terminology in front of the word cowgirl. If mountain cowgirl, forest cowgirl or suburbia cowgirl are next up on the bingo card, then I think we’ve cracked it.

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Yet, coastal cowgirl isn’t just about what you wear – it is also being adopted as an interior design concept. Key to the vibe: rustic faux cowhide rugs, vintage surfer prints and linen curtains billowing dreamily in a sea breeze (admittedly harder to pull off if you live in Motherwell rather than Malibu).

I’m not Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen but this sounds like a slightly posher-yet-equally naff version of the eclectic student flats I used to hang out in circa the 1990s, although back then it was all Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction posters, blow-up furniture and lava lamps. That’s a pass from me, thanks.

In other trend-spotting news, what are your beige flags? Google searches worldwide have seen soaring interest in the term “beige flag” over the past month - a rise of more than 4,000 per cent. Not to mention some 887m views to date on TikTok.

A beige flag, put most simply, is a weird and endearing quirk - or a slightly annoying habit - depending on how you view it. Although certainly not a deal-breaker (that would be a red flag).

One example cited is a woman whose boyfriend sets timers instead of alarms. “It's midnight and he needs to wake up at 6am? He’ll set a six-hour timer.” Others include “dunking Oreos in water instead of milk” and someone “keeping undies even though they have holes in them”.

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Then there is the chap who “gets impatient at restaurants and helps the waitress bring our plates to the table” (hmm, in truth, that sounds more like klaxon-blaring, red flag-waving behaviour).

My own lengthy-yet-not-definitive list of beige flags include taking a tinfoil-wrapped cheese sandwich in my handbag on all trips longer than two hours; saying “go this way” and making a vague pointing gesture in no particular direction; lovingly curating my running shoes by colour and category.

In others? Folks who pretend to have a food allergy when secretly just a picky eater; making a star sign/favourite wine/Harry Potter Hogwarts house their entire personality; anyone who doesn’t love label makers or spreadsheets. Actually, no. Those are all beyond the beige.