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Fur coats, leather and lingerie: How Mobtown does the ‘mob wife’ aesthetic

Abigail Gruskin, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Fashion Daily News

BALTIMORE -- Walking into A Day In June, a small vintage clothing, home decor and furniture store in Fells Point, at least a few customers have come searching to emulate something specific this winter: the “mob wife” aesthetic.

Crafted with all-black base layers, fur coats, boots, gaudy accessories and high-volume hair, the look gained traction on TikTok and Instagram— where characters from “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas” serve as inspiration for those looking to emulate the garb of mobsters’ female companions.

“Clean girl is out, mob wife era is in,” declared Kayla Trivieri, whose TikTok video has been viewed 1.8 million times since she made the statement at the start of the year. It’s just the latest in a slew of micro-trends, but marks a palpable departure from the “clean girl” aesthetic and others that came before.

“Anything that requires an oversized, dramatic fur coat resonates with me,” said Lindsey Brown, who started selling her wares online and bringing A Day In June to local markets in 2013 before opening her store last April. “This is the hot thing for winter, but come spring, it’ll be something else.”

In Mobtown (a name Baltimore earned after violent riots in the 19th century), vintage sellers had the staples on their racks even before TikTokers latched onto the “mob wife” trend. Here’s what they say you need to make it your own.1. The confidence to pull it off

The trend (or at least its name) could be critiqued for seeming to glamorize a dangerous — and less-than-legal — lifestyle, but not everyone buys that it’s that deep.


“It’s not about the crime, it’s about the times,” said Sara Autrey, the owner of Get Shredded Vintage, a shop that sells vintage home goods along with men’s and women’s clothing in Remington. “It can be hard to step out looking, like, as boss as that. It kind of does attract a lot of attention, but I think it’s like a power move.”

In all of its over-the-top flashiness, she said the “mob wife” aesthetic represents a shift in fashion away from minimalism and toward maximalism — and it takes serious confidence to pull off a bold look.

“Because it’s this opulence and this excess, sometimes that feels powerful,” said Angie Gavin, who co-owns Milk & Ice Vintage and puts on the annual Baltimore Vintage Expo with Kate Schultz. “Anything that makes a woman feel powerful I think is cool.”2. A big, luxurious fur coat

Vintage shopping offers a way to buy a hefty fur coat — arguably the most important part of the look — more sustainably.


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