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Why is everyone talking about the ‘Mob Wife’ aesthetic trend?

By Megan Bedford

Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva in The Sopranos, Dua Lipa in NYC, Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano in The Sopranos, Kendall Jenner in Aspen. Images HBO, @DuaLipa, @KendallJenner
Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva in The Sopranos, Dua Lipa in NYC, Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano in The Sopranos, Kendall Jenner in Aspen. Images HBO, @DuaLipa, @KendallJenner
If you're even slightly aware of fashion and beauty trends making their mark right now, you'll likely have encountered a look being called the 'mob wife' aesthetic.

Encompassing both the fashion and beauty worlds, and dominating social media algorithms, it refers to a maximalist look that recalls elements of the style of characters like Carmela from the The Sopranos, Sharon Stone in Casino and Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.

As questionably named as the previously popular ‘clean girl’ aesthetic, which highlighted the favour for a more pared back look and refined skin and makeup, the ‘mob wife’ aesthetic takes a 180 degrees swing into a ‘more is more’ approach.

Highlighting the speed of current trend cycles, the new mood also veers well away from the ‘quiet luxury’ fashion approach popular in 2023, where minimalist outfits with clean lines and premium fabrications took hold, or ‘coastal grandmother,’ a beachy linen-dominated that was big the year before.

Instead, meet the return of fur coats, animal print, big hair, red lips and chunky gold jewellery, the hallmarks of a look making the rounds of plenty of influential stars right now.


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Where did the ‘mob wife’ trend come from?

Glamourising organised crime seems distasteful at best but the look has little to do with real life gangsters or their behaviour, and a lot to do with the on-screen representations of the women in their lives. It also ties strongly into throwback 80s and 90s fashion and beauty trends being revisited for a new generation.

It’s no coincidence this month also marks the 25th anniversary of mob series The Sopranos, fueling the focus, with characters Carmela and Adriana’s outfits and hair and makeup in the show often being referenced in relation to the new trend.

Though some of the elements were emerging in the outfits of influential style stars over the last few months, the ‘mob wife’ reference in particular can be traced back to a TikTok video by 28-year-old Canadian Kayla Trivieri on January 7, declaring “Clean girl is out; mob wife era is in, okay?”

It has since been viewed 1.7m times and spawned thousands of related clips and posts agreeing and sharing new ways to wear the look.

With celebrities having already embraced the look over the northern winter season, it was Trivieri’s TikTok that gave name to the approach and is quickly expanding its popularity, with many others jumping on board.

Fueling the fire? Stars ready and willing to underline the look, if not the trend’s name. Dua Lipa was spotted in New York in a lace catsuit and an oversized faux fur coat late last year. Kendall Jenner wore a floor-length Phoebe Philo brushed shearling (fur effect) coat in Aspen. Jennifer Lawrence arrived at the 2024 Golden Globes after-party wearing a burnt-caramel velvet dress topped with a matching leopard print, fur-trimmed coat (see above). Sofía Vergara served bold gold and black Schiaparelli ensembles on her press tour for Netflix series Griselda.

When even Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola weighs in on the trend, you knows it’s making its mark with a wider audience.

“I hear the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ is making a come back…” Coppola shared on Instagram, explaining the inspiration for the two wives characters in the most famous mob movie trilogy of all time.


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What is the mob wife look?

Trivieri has said she wasn’t particularly inspired by the famous screen representations, but more what she has seen emerging on the streets of New York where she lives, but used the term to encompass a number of items being paired together.

“Starbucks and black puffers are out, we’re wearing vintage furs,” she declares. “We’re already seeing the cheetah prints, the sparkles, the glitz, the glam, the big hair, this is just a vibe.”

As ‘fur’ (faux or vintage is celebrated) coats are arguably the mob wife aesthetic’s most-sought-after item, those of us currently in the southern hemisphere summer, may see the trend pass us by.

But it looks like leopard print may have more lasting power, with the pattern appearing on the runway and in stores.

A return to bold glamour, with sleek dresses in luxe fabrications paired with flashy gold jewellery may also make more of a mark, particularly as awards season wraps up.  Expensive-looking leather pieces, from jackets to slim trousers are also a part of the look. Add in oversized frames with a flashy designer logo and you’ll be on the money.

Beauty too, plays a part in the trend, as proponents embrace long nails, French manicures, smoky eye looks and 90s supermodel hair (piled up or in voluminous blowouts) reign supreme. Lip looks encompass glossy red or brown-pencil lined finishes.  It’s a delight for makeup lovers bored by recent understated looks, but it may not be for everyone, particularly those of us who lived through the 90s, where these looks were commonplace.

The life cycle of the trend remains to be seen, but you can expect elements to linger well into the coming season.


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