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What's Really Behind TikTok's Mob Wife Aesthetic May Surprise You

Updated: Feb 8



If you take your grandma's fur coat, your darkest shades, smudge your eyeliner and throw on some gold hoops… you’ll have the latest mico-trend on Tik-Tok going mainstream--The Mob Wife. Bonus points if you poof your hair. 


BACKGROUND


The clean girl aesthetic which came around in a time after the pandemic when women felt the need to return to calm, placid, peaceful looks reflecting quiet wealth is OUT, and the new trend is LOUD, Messy, its in complete defiance of the simple clean girl look. Women are embracing an aesthetic all about new money and living above the law.


But the internet is divided. Is it cheap? Is it making fun of New York Italians? Why are we changing trends every 5 minutes? Today, we are getting into all of it and highlighting how these micro trends may be pointing to a huge SCAM putting your wallets, your mindset and your style at risk.



THE CLEAN GIRL

Since 2022, everything has been about the “clean girl aesthetic”. You know the girls with the slicked back buns, dewey makeup, platform Uggs, puffer jacket and a cold pressed juice? The Hailey Bieber look? As usual, the pendulum has swung the other direction, and we have the total opposite--dark colors, messy looks and furs (we can’t forget the staple piece of this look making PETA lose their minds!). 


I recently wrote about the bow trend and how sometimes trends reflect something bigger happening in culture and the latest Mob-wife micro- trend says something about young women today as well. There are a few things to know about this latest Sopranos inspired, dark themed trend… especially in light of elegance. 



TRENDS

So first- Trends. They have historically been cyclical, and often new fads harken back to styles rejected and marked as “never again” (what were we all thinking in 2014 with those contour routines?) but since the rise of social media, there is something new called the “micro trend” that never sticks around too long, like that one green sundress everyone had, dad shoes, or particular items like the Dyson Hair wrap that was so popular around Christmas last year. Notably, micro-trends never last very long. They aren’t like the bows trends or clean girl which stuck around for a year or more.


Micro-trends leave almost as fast as they came, leaving many girls whiplashed and confused about what is IN and what is OUT. These tiny trends usually start on TikTok, and by the time Target, Walmart and Mainstream media have caught on, its too late… 


Never in history have trends been created and died so quickly… social media is a huge culprit for this, obviously, but there is a much more sinister problem-- Fast Fashion. Fast Fashion groups are the mastermind behind TikTok that work dailyto find the perfect viral equation to wreck young women's emotions and make them feel like they have to purchase their plastic clothing from exploitive manufacturing in order to stay with the In Crowd. It really is a wicked scam.


THE SHEIN CRISIS

Fast Fashion brand Shein is a prime example of the detriment of Fast Fashion. They very quickly became the most profitable business in their category in 2022 with their cheap, trend-setting designs that have thousands of new trends on their site every week and blast social media with it hoping for a viral bite. They’ve done this for so long they are actually able to tell exactly what is going to be a top seller before its released… its an exact science.


The author of The Psychology of Fashion, Carolyn Mair, from the London College of Fashion, dove into the ramifications of this exact issue and put it well; The desire to buy trend after trend isn’t about attention span—it’s about habituation. When we experience something for the first time, it excites us and gives us pleasure, but with repetition over time, the pleasure dissipates because we habituate to the experience,”


Big Clothing, as I call it (just like Big Tech or Big Gov), is manipulating young women at a scale like never before to purchase their cheap clothing by weaponizing fitting in, moreso than any other time in history.  Put simply, we follow trends… because we want to be liked. We want to belong. But over time it gets old. And all of this is no different for the Mob Wife. 




MOB WIFE AESTHETIC HISTORY

When 28 year old Kayla Trivieri declared 2024 the "Year of The Mob Wife" on TikTok in early January, Clean Girl was immediately out and the sparkle, glitz and glam was IN. Kayla he had created a movement. Within days, her pronouncement was VIRAL. Searches for Vintage Fur– not Faux Fur surprisingly– SKYROCKETED and now girls everywhere are racing to find one for themselves. 


Now, this was just in time, too. January 10th was the 25th anniversary of The Sopranos, an inspiration for this aesthetic– and the executive producers at HBO Max swear they had nothing to do with it. But the comparisons are clearly there. 


However, it wouldn’t be surprising if they really had nothing to do with it. All the trends we have seen of late have returned to a late 90’s/ early aughts aesthetic and the Mob Wife trend is no different, but it hasn’t just been our clothes. 





NOSTALGIA CULTURE

In the last few years, movies have been rebooted and redone like never before… 


Mean Girls hit theaters a few weeks ago (which really flopped, let me know if you want me to discuss that), Spiderman just closed the trilogy on a SECOND remake with exponential success, Wonka just was released as a prequel to the classic chocolate tale, Barbie was nostalgia on steroids and old songs from the 60’s and 70’s are back on the radio.


There is something deeply moving about Gen Z and nostalgia. We yearn for a simpler world, something of meaning and substance to tie ourselves to. We are so tired of being told that the world that’s been left to us is falling apart and we yearn for something comfortable and familiar… even those of us on the edge of the culture war. 


In 2001, cultural theorist Svetlana Boym described modern-day nostalgia as “a mourning for the impossibility of mythical return and the loss of an enchanted world with clear borders and values”. There was even a word coined for it, “newstalgia” combining new and nostalgia, using the past as an inspiration for something new. 


And its women like me in their early 20s nostalgic for only a few decades ago… believe it or not, 2014-2016 have already been considered nostalgic. 


So young women have taken the comforting nostalgia of the fur coats they saw their grandmothers or mothers wear in the 80’s and 90’s, or maybe just a mom on TV at that time, and it feels comforting. We are yearning for something deeper that is beyond glorifying ourselves reflected in culture. 




A DEEPER NEED

Young women aren’t going to feel something deeper just by wearing a coat, or smudging their eyeliner… they might for a moment. Until the next thing comes along next week. It's absolutely exhausting to keep up with these things--but I hope you see you don’t have to. All the Classically Feminine Elegant women in history have never ridden the rollercoaster of trends, in fact their identity is in something so much deeper and it's totally unique to them. They have particular values that their identity is rooted in and these trends aren’t the foundation of that. 


As Gen Z, our generation feels lost, anxious and confused about what is ahead of us, and yet I still think we are perhaps one of the most profoundly creative generations in history with the knowledge, resources and technology at our disposal. We feel a desire for times we have never lived, but that doesn’t mean we have to follow trends that reflect that nostalgia just to fit in. Some, maybe, bits and pieces, perhaps. Remember Classically feminine women of the past never followed Trends to a T but struck out on their own and stuck to their personal brand. Don’t waste your time, money or energy on trends just because they look good. By establishing a personal brand, which will naturally evolve over time, sticking fastly to your values, admiring traditions and deep meaningful important things, you will be remembered and impactful. Don’t let these big fast fashion houses scam you out of money with lies about how you can fit in..


CONCLUSION

On this channel I talk a lot about “Sustainability” but not the green new deal type, I mean creating a long lasting elegant world that is simple yet profound and sets you apart from the masses. This is a bedrock principle of elegance and exactly what the Mob Wife Trend goes against. Saying that, feel free to grab a fur, they are extremely stereotypically elegant, but without the roots of classical feminine elegance, it will never mean anything. 


We must separate the aesthetics of trends from the values of femininity. Many of the women last year who were baking bread at home to put on Instagram are now smudging their eyeliner and putting on black boots ready to act like their husband is imprisoned for fraud-- We have to have something much deeper, something establishing and wholesome that isn't just a fleeting trend to align ourselves with. I believe that Classical Feminine Elegance can guide us there in an age of uncertainty.


So what did you think? Do you like the Mob Wife aesthetic? Let me know in the comments in this video:





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Hannah Brusven founded The Swish in 2018 to combat trashy & politically biased women's media and create a  place for young women looking for a little more than more society feeds them.

 

Here we believe elegance is powerful, and the key to unlocking confidence, persuasion, and impact. Explore trends, traditions, lifestyle, and more with The Swish-- for an inspired elegant life. 

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