Style/ Beauty

The Mob-Wife Aesthetic Is Taking Over TikTok — Here’s How to Get the Look

Anyone else getting sick of clean, quiet luxury? TikTok’s so-called mob-wife aesthetic — an explosion of animal prints, black leather, and all-gold everything — is your excuse to go a little messier and more maximalist this season, no organised crime necessary. And don’t just take it from us; Sofia Vergara, Dua Lipa, and Kendall Jenner are all on board.

The winter trend got its start last October when TikTok user and self-described “mob wife CEO” Sarah Arcuri posted a video on the basics of the aesthetic. (In short: black leather, animal print, messy updo, gold jewellery, designer bag.) But it really started taking off in the first week of 2024, when TikTokker Mikayla Toninato homed in on the glamorous, messy appeal of teased hair, smoky makeup, and the-bigger-the-better outfits.

It’s ’90s supermodel glamour mixed with the cheeky, pattern-mixing excess of the early 2010s. It’s Mob Wives’ Big Ang (RIP) rasping “money!” and “diamonds!” while smizing into a photographer’s lens. It’s spilling a bit of Chianti on your all-black outfit and not really caring.

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Italian-American culture — specifically that of New Jersey and New York — looms large over the mob-wife aesthetic, which counts icons like Michelle Visage and Teresa Giudice (who, it should be noted, are not tied to organised crime) among its influences. The idea of the mafia gets involved because of the kind of character the look evokes: Drea de Matteo and Edie Falco in The Sopranos, Sharon Stone in Casino, and Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas, to name a few, all partners of mobsters. And we can’t ignore Mob Wives, the Staten Island-set reality series that revelled in black leather and designer sunglasses. These are all outspoken women with highly specific tastes and the swagger to back them up.

Even if you’re not sold on the look as a whole, you might have an appetite for each of its elements. The look unites several micro trends — leopard print, statement tights, chunky gold jewellery — currently ripping through social media. Style them together and you get the mob wife aesthetic. Plus, it’s pretty much the opposite of stealth wealth, the clean girl, and the bow accessories you’ve seen all over your feed; it’s an invitation to a flashier, more glamorous take on dressing that screams “loud luxury.”

There’s a bit of an identity crisis going on here. Despite having a distinct sartorial identity, the mob wife is defined by her husband’s career. (Waste management.) This online aesthetic isn’t alone; the ‘rockstar girlfriend’ also alludes to a romantic partner’s job, arguably to more annoying ends. But Toninato, the TikTok user who helped catapult the trend to popularity, has a different take: “She is a boss in and of herself,” she says in her video. “It’s an attitude. It’s an aura.” Shall we rename her the mob boss instead?

Nailing the mob-wife aesthetic involves stocking up on high-low wardrobe essentials. You’ll need a leopard-print dress, jacket, or skirt, of course. While we don’t condone the use of real fur – vintage or otherwise – there are many great faux furs around (and we advise reading up on the rise of sustainable faux furs) if you want to mix the look into your winter outfits. Black leather – which can also, of course, be faux – is essential, especially in the form of knee-high boots and roomy bags, as are massive shades and gold earrings. Offset all the glamour with a simple white tank top and wide-leg leather pants.

The most important element, though, is the unbothered attitude of a woman with money to spend and no time to waste. No matter how you’re feeling, disappearing into a gigantic coat and a statement dress should help you slip into the mindset of a mob wife, even if you have no idea how to make Sunday sauce. You have places to be, capeesh? Welcome to mob-wife winter — it’s going to be a fun one.

This feature originally appeared on GLAMOUR US.

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