There's a scene in the season 2 finale of The Sopranos where Tony gifts his wife Carmela a fluffy, floor-length sable coat. The fur was stolen: It conveniently "fell off" a truck for Tony's crew to receive. Carm, of course, knows the coat was illegally acquired, but she's certainly not going to reject her new fabulous present. The housewife later models it—and only it—for Tony in one of the show's rare moments of marital harmony between its central couple.
The scene has become a frequent reference point for TikTok's favorite aesthetic of the moment: the mob wife. "Clean girl is out: mob wife era is in," declared creator Kayla Trivieri in a video shared last month. "This is just such a vibe," she said while pointing to a screengrab of Carm draped in her opulent fur.
It's understandable why the scene—in addition to others seen in mob-centric films like Scarface, Casino, and The Godfather—appeals to those eager for a new style icon. Carmela is powerful and pampered. She's adjacent to Tony's criminality, with just one toe dipped into the Jersey mob scene, and benefits without getting her hands dirty. Her glamour is gaudy, and her luxury is loud—a refreshing departure for those bored of stealth wealth style.
But as trend forecaster Agustina Panzoni points out, the fervor for the mob wife look has become slightly overblown. “Many of the trending aesthetics that get popularized on TikTok aren’t trends in themselves but resonate with existing movements within the zeitgeist. In the case of the mob wife aesthetic, it isn’t a trend but is aligned with the wider cultural shift toward hedonism that has us prioritizing pleasure over productivity,” the analyst explains. Following the confines and mandates of the pandemic, Panzoni has observed an inclination toward decadence, and this, she says, is the “‘legitimate cultural root” of the mob wives movement.
The rest is…well, maybe a matter of convenient timing. Considering furry outerwear like Carmela’s is a core component of the aesthetic, it tracks that it would explode during the cold-weather season—particularly for winter 2024, which saw supremely warm and fuzzy outerwear in Resort showings from Burberry, Chloé, Khaite, Ferragamo, and Jil Sander.
"We’re seeing a lot of real-life personalities and TV characters decked out in furs," says Megan Gokey, Klarna's Head of B2C Marketing in North America and the United Kingdom. “Faux fur coats have gained traction, with a remarkable 557-percent surge in purchases in the past three months.”
Lauren Nouchi, the co-founder of APPARIS, an outerwear label known for its faux fur offerings, has also seen firsthand the effects of the mob wives' mood. “We are certainly not mad about it, to put it lightly,” Nouchi shares, sharing that the brand has experienced an enormous uptick in its sales, particularly with its fuzzy animal print outerwear.
As Panzoni puts it, the aesthetic "is aligned with the winter season, which points to our constant need to repackage popular seasonal products into structured, narrative-focused aesthetics." But there's also a tin-foil-hat aspect to the aesthetic that Panzoni can't help but point out. "I love the conspiracy theory that Mob Wife was a planted 'trend,'" she shares, referencing the speculation that the aesthetic was fabricated to promote the 25th anniversary of The Sopranos.
“It’s so interesting because it coincides so perfectly with this anniversary,” says one creator, referring to Max (formerly HBO Max) debuting a TikTok account for series just as #mobwivesaesthetic started garnering views. Are the influencers that are encouraging their viewers to throw on furs, drape themselves in diamonds, and seek out mobster husbands Max marketing agents in disguise?
“This gets us thinking about how these aesthetics come to life, our engagement with them, and the role-slash-impact of media consumption,” describes Panzoni. Barbiecore started brewing after the movie's announcement, and it had a huge impact on its marketing. The Eras Tour and Renaissance World Tour also had their own uniforms. Is fashion becoming a medium for branded storytelling? This a query Panzoni hopes you keep in mind as you scroll through TikTok and see other -cores and aesthetics sprout.
Ultimately, Panzoni sees the mafia-themed fad fading away relatively soon. “In my opinion, the narrative of ‘mob wife’ will quickly reach exhaustion, like most character-based aesthetics,” she says. “People might be still going for vintage furs instead of puffers. But will we call it ‘mob wife’ months from now? I doubt it.”
However, if you do find yourself gravitating toward Carmela’s look—she is, after all, an excellent source of outfit inspiration—consider one smart investment instead of rejiggering your entire personal style. A piece of high-quality fur outerwear that will last you for years. "Faux fur allows for more flexibility and creativity—you can just get away with more than you can with other fabrics," offers Nouchi of APPARIS. "A leopard print? Of course. A bolder color than you would normally wear in, say, a T-shirt? Why not. For us, it’s more about the feeling behind the trend, which is an unbothered confidence—it is unapologetic and the paradox to minimalism."
Ahead, you'll find a curation of some of our favorite faux fur coats on today's market that are more timeless than trendy. As for styling your new furry number, well, Carm typically pairs hers with a diamond tennis necklace and an eye roll directed at her mobster husband.
Black Fur Coats
Retrofête Averie Caot
The Frankie Shop Pam Faux Fur Coat
Banana Republic Upsala Faux Fur Coat
Animal Print Fur Coats
Unreal Fur Bengal Kiss Faux-Fur Coat
RED Valentino Leopard-Print Faux-Fur Coat
Stand Studio Leana Zebra-Print Faux fur Biker Jacket
Brown Fur Coats
Goldie 5 Faux Fur Coat
Stand Studio Opal Faux Fur Coat
Karl Donoghue Shearling Coat
White Fur Coats
FRAME Chunky Faux Fur Jacket
UGG Gertrude Double Breasted Teddy Coat
Fare Quilted Faux Fur Jacket