Are you caught up on your microtrends? These days, it feels like they come and go faster than ever, especially in the world of style and fashion. Luckily, technology like natural language processing and large language models make understanding trend origins and trajectories a less daunting, and more precise, task.
For example, look no further than two of the most highly discussed fashion microtrends of the moment: grandpacore and the mob wife aesthetic. While one was poised to be the first big trend of 2024, it was soon eclipsed by the other. We used our social listening and media intelligence suite to better understand these two social media fashion phenomena and how they compare. First, let’s clarify our terms.
What Is Grandpacore?
This word cloud based on grandpacore mentions from throughout the month of January highlights some of the most popular elements of this style trend.
Grandpacore must-haves include comfy casual pieces, long-sleeved button-ups, sweater vests and sweaters, blazers, loafers, scarves, classic lines, and layering.
Initially, this cozy trend started gaining steam in fall 2023, with a spike on November 20, when the Associated Press published a Black Friday gift guide that mentioned “grandpa chic.” Since then, the conversation has continued to grow, with its largest spike occurring on January 26. That day BestReviews.com published a blog titled "‘Coastal Grandma’ is out and ‘Eclectic Grandpa’ is in,” which had a potential reach of 7.4 million people.
What Is Mob Wife Aesthetic?
As with grandpacore, the January word cloud for conversations about the mob wife aesthetic reveals this fashion microtrend’s key elements.
Essential elements of the mob wife aesthetic include gold hoops, vintage and faux fur, leopard print, and big hair.
And while people generally have a range of cultural references for grandpacore (from Tyler, the Creator to, well, their grandpas) those for the mob wife aesthetic are much more focused, as shown by our platform’s top entities analysis.
The biggest name in the conversation shouldn’t come as any surprise: Carmela Soprano, played by Edie Falco on HBO’s The Sopranos, is the star of this microtrend. Elvira Hancock from Scarface and Carmela’s fellow Sopranos heroine Adriana La Cerva are other inspirations. Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner and Dua Lipa are the modern celebrities driving conversations about the trend.
The trend was essentially non-existent before blowing up in early January. Mentions of the mob wife aesthetic spiked most on January 25, and as uncovered, that 5% increase in mentions was thanks to “the Kardashian family’s appearance at Paris Fashion Week.”
Grandpacore vs. Mob Wife Aesthetic
At the end of 2023, media outlets — including far-reaching ones like New York Post, Yahoo! News, and BuzzFeed — reported that grandpacore was predicted to be the big microtrend of 2024. For a moment there, it looked like they were right, but that all changed on January 7, when chatter about the mob wife aesthetic began to rise. By January 12, it had outpaced grandpacore to enter a whole other trend league. As of early February, mob wife aesthetic is generating even more conversation than quiet luxury, one of the bigger social media fashion trends to come out of 2023.
As we enter February, it’s fair to say that the mob wife aesthetic trend has officially taken off, beating out grandpacore to be the first big fashion microtrend of 2024.
If there’s anything marketers can learn from this battle of the trends, it's that new cultural phenomena can catch fire at any time, becoming the internet’s new obsession overnight. The key to staying ahead of them is keeping an ear to the digital streets with social listening solutions. See how Meltwater can do the heavy lifting for you by scheduling a demo today: