What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (2024)

“I hear the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ is making a come back…” wrote Francis Ford Coppola in an Instagram post last week. Yes, even the Godfather director had something to say about the viral TikTok trend, which at that point was barely a week old.

It seems to have started on, of all days, January 6, when a 28-year-old Canadian blockchain product developer named Kayla Trivieri shared a video declaring: “Clean girl is out; mob wife era is in, okay?” It has since been viewed over a million times, spawning a million other videos both for and against the trend, which encourages animal prints, flashy jewelry, big fur coats, and such (plus trend pieces like this one and the nod from Don Coppola himself).

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (1)

Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas

TikTok’s algorithm is designed to bring these declarative, catchy “aesthetics” to the top of our feed, and these trends are often criticized for their shallowness and disconnect from anything anyone is actually doing or feeling in real life. The “mob wife aesthetic” is just the latest to surface. But it does stand out against trends of late for its real-life roots in culture and its mature, brazen attitude, which feels like a shift.

Of course, women were dressing like mob wives long before TikTok made it trendy. The Sopranos celebrated its 25th anniversary (and joined TikTok) the same week that Trivieri’s video went viral, although she claims she had “no idea” about the HBO series’ milestone when she posted it; she said she was simply responding to what she saw on the streets of New York City, where she lives. So if anything, this is all just a reminder of what we’ve been missing, or perhaps are discovering for the first time.

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (2)

Talia Shire in The Godfather

As Trivieri, who is of Italian descent, points out in her video, the mob wife aesthetic is a welcome pendulum swing away from what she calls the “clean girl aesthetic”—a minimal, Sofia Richie–esque beauty look and stealth wealth style. It also follows the rise in popularity of girlish aesthetics in general, from coquette to Barbiecore. The mob wife, by comparison, is a little more grown up. It’s right there in the name: She’s a wife! She’s not a girl; she’s a woman. She’s confident in her sexuality. She puts ziti on the table. And she’s well aware of how the world works—and how to bend it to her advantage. Trivieri put it best when she said: “Carmela Soprano walked so you bitches could run.”

“The whole Y2K thing felt a little younger, and I think this is a little bit more mature, sexier, and bold,” Trivieri explained over the phone last week, referencing the recent popularity in low-rise jeans, ballet flats, and going-out tops—the styles that followed the Sopranos premiere in 1999. “Being a mob wife is all about standing on business,” she continued, using another popular TikTok phrase that means, in her eyes, to be “confident and assured in yourself.”

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (3)

Edie Falco in The Sopranos

Although there is nothing stealth about the mob wife aesthetic and the quote-unquote waste management wealth it implies, “it’s not about having the most expensive outfit,” Trivieri clarifies. Rather, she says, “It’s an energy, an aura. It’s about being very forward and bold.” It says basta to minimalism, and to status-y beige brands of the moment like the Row and Toteme.

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (4)

Kendall Jenner in a look from Versace’s fall 2023 show

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (5)

A look from Dolce &Gabbana’s fall 2023 show

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a runway trend, but the mob wife aesthetic is there if you want it: Schiaparelli’s big jewelry and powerful silhouettes, Alaïa’s black leather and bodycon—and as always, Italian designers like Versace, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana.

It says basta to minimalism.

Sarah Jordan Arcuri, the self-declared “Mob Wife Aesthetic CEO,” who goes by @thesweetpaisana on TikTok, shared a video in October in which she broke down the look: all black, as much leather as possible, “your mom’s fur jacket from the ’80s,” gold jewelry, and sunglasses, plus an Italian designer bag. “If you look like you’re going to a funeral, you know you’re doing it right,” she said. To me, Arcuri looks less like Carmela Soprano in this video and more like her husband’s mistress, or “goomar,” Gloria Trillo—and I mean that as the highest compliment.

In addition to fictional characters, Trivieri is also taking notes from real-life women like Kris Jenner, Martha Stewart, and Nicki Minaj, whom she says “give the energy” of a mob wife, despite not being mob wives. (“Don’t take everything so literally,” she advises.) Celebrities like Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, and Kendall Jenner have also embodied the look lately with big fur coats, knee-high leather boots, and red lipstick.

The popular Instagram account @sciuraglam, which documents stylish older Italian women, is a source of inspiration for Trivieri as well. (A Sciura is an elderly lady from the city center of Milan.) They remind her of her nonna, she says. “That’s what I aspire to dress like every day. Italian women are always so put together whenever they go out. But they also have fun with patterns, prints, and colors.”

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (7)

Kris Jenner

The mob wife aesthetic may offer a nice change of pace, but it’s not for everyone. As any actual mob wife could tell you, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re whacked. Of course, the look is already seeing its fair share of backlash for arguably being appropriative and exclusionary, and, you know, glorifying the whole organized crime thing. Ironically, TikTok users seem to have had it up to here with trends in general. [Gestures emphatically.]

One day you’re in, and the next day you’re whacked.

Francis Ford Coppola also has a point: It’s not just about mob wives, but also mob sisters. He wrote in his Instagram caption last week that the more Waspy style of Kay Corleone, played by Diane Keaton in The Godfather, was inspired by that of his real-life wife, Eleanor. Meanwhile, the style of Connie Corleone, who wears all black, big furs, and plenty of jewelry in the film, was inspired by that of his sister, the actor Talia Shire—“a sultry, delightful Italian princess.”

So give it a few more weeks. Maybe by then, we’ll all be dressing like Janice.

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (8)

Emilia Petrarca


Emilia Petrarca is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering fashion and culture. She previously worked at New York Magazine's The Cut, where she spent five years obsessing over everything from going-out tops to Anna Wintour’s lunch to The RealReal. Her work has since been featured in The New York Times, T Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and more. She also took *that* video of Larry David at NYFW.

What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? (2024)


What Does the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” Actually Mean? ›

If you're wondering what exactly the “mob wife” aesthetic is, you are not alone. Though questionable due to its connection to crime, the name suggests that this trend would tap into everything the social imaginary and pop culture have associated with mobsters' romantic partners, but with a sense of levity.

What does mob wife aesthetic mean? ›

Mob wife fashion is synonymous with opulence, exuding a sense of confidence and authority. Drawing inspiration from iconic figures like Carmela Soprano and Victoria Gotti, this style embodies a blend of high fashion and streetwise sensibility.

Why is the mob wife aesthetic popular? ›

Rather, the trend is about embodying the confidence and self-assured nature of Hollywood's classic mob wives — think Edie Falco or Drea de Matteo in “The Sopranos,” Sharon Stone in “Casino” or Lorraine Bracco in “Goodfellas” — and along with it, the sultry and often decadent nature of their style.

Who started mob wife aesthetic? ›

Sarah Jordan Arcuri, the self-declared “Mob Wife Aesthetic CEO,” who goes by @thesweetpaisana on TikTok, shared a video in October in which she broke down the look: all black, as much leather as possible, “your mom's fur jacket from the '80s,” gold jewelry, and sunglasses, plus an Italian designer bag.

What is the mob wife nail trend? ›


These nails are extra long, extra square, extra pointed, with extra white French tips. No milky white subtle tips seen here. It's over the top and garish, with animal prints and 3D patterns popular, as well as glitter embellishments or a classic red.

What is the difference between mob wife and clean girl aesthetic? ›

Marking the biggest shift from the 'clean girl' trend is mob wife makeup. With a penchant for bolder, more defined looks, there's no room for barely-there blush or concealer-only looks here. Instead, reach for black eyeliner – messily smoked out across the lid – and lipsticks in either rich reds and browns.

What is the mob wife trend in 2024? ›

In millions of TikTok videos, 2024 has officially been hailed as the "year of the mob wife." The style is big, bold, and often involves a (real or faux) fur coat. There's no "quiet luxury" here, honey — a true mob wife always makes an entrance.

What celebrities are in the mob wife trend? ›

Closer to the viral mob wife aesthetic that encourages animal prints, big fur coats, statement accessories and leather—celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Sobhita Dhulipala are channelling their inner mafia spouse with looks that fit the suggested prototype of this trend.

What is mob wife makeup? ›

The face. Killer cheekbones are de rigeur so it's time to fall back in love with a hard, unapologetic contour. “Mob Wife Makeup is a tougher variation of an '80s power makeup," says Neil. "So drop the pretty blush and shape the face with bronzer and champagne gold highlights. It's all about the money, honey!”.

What is the slang for mob wife? ›

The informal moll has most often been used for the romantic partners of 1920s and 30s mobsters, like Al Capone's wife Mae or George "Baby Face" Nelson's girlfriend Helen.

What is the mob wife craze? ›

It's been in every news outlet. It's totally taken over." Acuri's Instagram Highlights feature women embracing the mob-wife aesthetic, which means fur coats, flashy jewelry, animal prints, leather jackets and glamorous makeup. She calls it "The Mob Wife Movement."

Where did the mob wife trend come from? ›

Ms. Arcuri has been posting about the mob wife look since 2022, but interest in the trend did not surge until the beginning of this month. Its fans coalesced around a snippet of audio posted by Kayla Trivieri that has since been used as the soundtrack to more than 2,000 other videos.

What is clean girl aesthetic? ›

The trend is all about a minimalist approach to beauty and fashion. It features fresh-faced beauty with little to no makeup, well-fitting clothes in neutral tones, and simple hairstyles. Clean girls practice self-care, including gentler exercise routines like yoga, healthy eating, and journaling.

How old is Mob Wives? ›

Mob Wives is an American reality television series that premiered on VH1 on April 17, 2011.

What does mob style mean? ›

Mob style clothing is typically associated with the fashion of organized crime members, particularly in the 1920s to 1950s. Here are some examples of mob style clothing: 1. Pinstripe suits: Mobsters often wore pinstripe suits, which were tailored and fitted to their bodies.

Who is the mob wife aesthetic influencer? ›

In one of the earliest videos linked to this trend, influencer Sarah Jordan Arcuri, the self-proclaimed “Mob Wife Aesthetic CEO,” — broke down how to dress like a mob wife.

What are mob girlfriends called? ›

goomar or goomah: Americanized form of comare, a Mafia mistress.


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