‘Excuse My Grandma’ Offers Fashion Advice, ‘Brunch With Babs’ Serves Up Holiday Tips at KnitWell Event

FRIENDLY ADVICE: Kim and Gail Murstein of “Excuse My Grandma” were among the guests making merry Wednesday night at the KnitWell Group’s Holiday House in New York.

While some waited patiently to have permanent jewelry zapped on by Catbird, and others sipped Serendipity hot chocolate, most of the attendees were checking out the festive assortments from Talbots, Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Loft and Haven. The setting felt decidedly late December, since the halls were decked and the trees were decorated at the Irish American Historical Society. The Mursteins dressed accordingly, with Gail Murstein wearing a Talbots black knit suit and her granddaughter in a red cashmere cardigan and slim black pants.

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Started as a podcast, “Excuse My Grandma” took off after posting videos to Instagram and TikTok.

The duo’s first viral video was sparked by her grandmother telling her, “‘Date someone who wants you,’” Kim Muerstein said. “And I said, ‘Not my type.’”

“Obviously, I was kidding but our generation does think about dating and lifestyle so different from yours,” she said.

Her grandmother added, “I think it’s actually better today. You don’t have to get married at 21 or 22. You can have a little life experience.”

The duo agreed on a few dating tips: finding someone who loves you and sees you for how you are; prioritizing your partner and sharing mutual values. One of Kim Murstein’s favorite one-liners from her grandmother was, “’Don’t think of it as he ghosted you. Think of it that you left him speechless.’”

Fashion-wise, the Mursteins “focus on really classic style,” Kim Murstein said. “People really love Grandma Gail’s chic old classic style. Coastal grandma and ballet flats have been really popular are those things are part of her uniform daily.”

Grandma Gail advised shoppers to look for “simple — classic black pants, white shirt, beautiful sweater and a pocketbook that you can keep for 30 years.”

Kim Murstein offered, “My advice is steal things from your mom’s closet or your grandma’s closet. All of the stuff I have been wearing recently is vintage Grandma Gail and I’ve never gotten more compliments.”

“And enjoy — fashion is to be enjoyed,” her grandmother added.

Another social media influencer and Talbots partner, “Brunch With Babs” Barbara Costello, who has 3 million Instagram followers, was also eager to chat with KnitWell’s executive chair and chief executive officer Lizanne Kindler. With the holidays approaching, Costello suggested, “Plan ahead. Get everything you can get done ahead of time. For Thanksgiving, I’ve got a fabulous turkey gravy in the cookbook [that was released.] You can make that tomorrow.”

She continued, “Just plan ahead. Your freezer is your friend. That way you won’t be getting ready the day of the holiday and missing it all, because you’re trying to catch up and get things going. If you plan ahead, you’re going to be part of the memory making instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Who wants that?”

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