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From Coquette Core to Mob Wife: 5 Trending Core Aesthetics & What They Mean for Brands

By: Nina Cuturilo | 10 mins read |
From-Coquette-Core-to-Mob-Wife_-5-Trending-Core-Aesthetics-What-They-Mean-for-Brands

Do you remember the Indie Sleaze, Gorpcore, and Clean Girl aesthetics that were all the rage in 2023?

Only one of them (the Clean Girl aesthetic) is still relevant in 2024. Now, it’s all about the Mob Wife Aesthetic, Coquette Core, Office Siren, and Grandpa Core.

For beauty, fashion, or lifestyle brands that are targeting Gen Z and Millenials – get ahead of your competitors with a social-first, always-on approach that will portray your brand as cool and on-trend. This strategy is essential if you want to stay relevant and ahead of the curve in 2024.

These trends have helped countless brands go viral overnight (and become household names in the process), and here’s how you can get in on them, too.

5 aesthetic trends you should have on your radar in 2024

In 2023, we saw a “less is more” approach. It was the year of monochromatic fashion, slicked-back buns, light natural makeup, and minimalism. But consumers are seemingly tired of these clean and polished looks and are starting to experiment more with their style. Hence why these aesthetics that are the complete opposite of “clean girl” are trending.

Trend cycles move at the speed of light, and it may feel daunting for brands to participate in these trends. Some trends are such a flash-in-the-pan they can be over before your campaign is even finished! But there are still fun and creative ways for brands to participate without changing their whole product line and vibe, especially with social-first content.

So, let’s dive into the hottest “aesthetics” and trends right now, and explore how brands can participate in 2024.

1. Mob Wife Aesthetic

The Mob Wife Aesthetic is the latest trend circulating on TikTok and Instagram. Think big hair, french tips, fur coats, cheetah print, and loud luxury – a complete contrast to the clean girl look. Consumers are racing to their grandma’s house to borrow vintage fur coats, or purchasing faux fur from leading retail brands.

This trend emerged at the perfect time considering HBO’s “The Sopranos” just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Adriana La Cerva and Carmela Soprano are the blueprint for the “Mob Wife Aesthetic” with their iconic outfits that many are trying to recreate on TikTok. A lot of inspiration can also be taken from Sharon Stone in “Casino”, Karen in “Goodfellas”, and Connie Corleone from “The Godfather Part II”.

It is important to note that this style has been around for decades, and there has been backlash on social media from people saying this lifestyle shouldn’t be glamorized and that it’s even cultural appropriation. So this trend should be taken with a grain of salt and any brand planning to participate in it should be aware of these sentiments.

Here’s the video that started it from TikTok Creator Kayla Trivieri:

@ktrivz

manifesting a 24 carat diamond tennis necklace to match my mob wife energy #greenscreen

♬ original sound – kayla trivieri

2. Eclectic Grandpa/Grandpa Core

In Pinterest’s 2024 Trend Report, one of the top trends they identified was “Eclectic Grandpa”‘. The report showed a 65% increase in searches for “grandpa core” and a 135% increase in searches for “eclectic clothing style”.

TikTokers are creating outfits inspired by this nostalgic style which consists of baggy clothing, vintage hats, socks and loafers/sneakers, cardigans, and anything you would probably find your grandpa wearing. The dad sneaker has been cool for a while now, and this trend takes it to a whole other level.

These days, it seems like everyone is echoing Macklemore when he said, “No, for real, ask your grandpa. Can I have his hand-me-downs?”. TikTok creator StyleGF breaks down this trend and how you can achieve the Eclectic Grandpa look for yourself:

@stylegf

Call it a hipster comeback but don’t underestimate the power of a big vintage sweater. Eclectic Grandpa is @pinterest’s trend prediction for 2024 and we’re loving it! #eclecticgrandpa #pinterestpredicts #pinterestpredicts2024 #menstyle #menfashion #menspersonalstylist #confidence

♬ Bossa Nova / cafe / food comfortable with a guitar – MATSU

3. Coquette Core

On TikTok, December was the month of bows, pink everything, Lana Del Rey, and all things girly. People were decorating their Christmas trees with bows, putting bows on random items and calling them “coquette”, and even their pets weren’t safe!

Several adorable videos went viral featuring dogs & cats wearing bows with Lana Del Rey playing in the background. Brands hopped on this trend by wrapping bows around their products and using trending audio like Lana Del Rey’s “Let the Light In” as well.

@katejimxnxz

the absolute cutest bb #coquette #coquetteaesthetic #coquettecore #coquettegirl #coquettecat #cats #orangecat

♬ Henna Timar – ⭐️

Coquette Core vs. Barbiecore: What’s the difference?

Coquette Core’s emphasis on pink and all things girly might remind you of Barbiecore (aka ‘Barbie Mania’) but they are not the same thing. While the word ‘coquette’ is defined as “a woman who flirts”, in the sense of this aesthetic, the goal isn’t appealing to the male gaze. It is a romantic girly style that leans into the hyper-feminine with a vintage edge thanks to its emphasis on lace, flowers, frills, and bows.

Meanwhile, Barbiecore (which dominated 2023 thanks to the release of the Barbie movie) focuses on loud colors (think hot pink from head to toe) paired with a sense of confidence, fun, and playfulness that draws inspiration from the ‘more is more’ vibe of the 80s.

One of the easiest ways to tell these two aesthetics apart is that Coquette Core has more of a focus on soft pastels and lighter accents of pink.

4. The ‘Clean Girl’ Aesthetic

The “Clean Girl Aesthetic” was a dominant trend in 2023, and it’s still going strong in 2024. This trend is all about simplicity, with an emphasis on natural makeup, neutral tones, and classic styles. But this trend goes beyond beauty and fashion – it is a lifestyle.

Fans of the Clean girl aesthetic also love pilates, having a clean and minimal home, and focusing on self-improvement through healthy eating, exercise, and routine.

At the height of this trend, everyone’s “For You Page” was filled with clean girl makeup tutorials, minimal fashion/capsule wardrobe videos, aesthetic daily vlogs, and slicked-back bun tutorials. Many Beauty, Fashion, and Wellness brands hopped on this trend by emphasizing natural beauty, health, and minimalist styles while also partnering with influencers in their marketing efforts.

@honey.archives

clean girl 🫧 #fyp #cleangirlaesthetic #cleangirl #moodboard #lifestyle #pinterest #beigeasthetic

♬ flashing lights – =͟͟͞͞ ✧

The Stanley cup craze

Another notable trend pushed by the “Clean girls” is trendy water bottles, with the recent “Stanley cup” phenomenon being the biggest example. Consumers were running to Target to purchase the latest Stanley Cup colorway as Stanley strategically created their products in pastel colorways which directly appeals to the clean girl demographic.

A smart way for brands to appeal to new audiences is by offering their products in trending colors and limited editions. For example: right now red is all the rage, and brands are hopping on this bandwagon by releasing products in this color.

5. Office Siren

Another hot trend that has hit the TikTok landscape is “Office Siren”. This trend is a revival of 90s and 00s fashion, but made corporate. This sleek style consists of wearing things like thin-framed glasses, dress pants, turtle necks, bold lips, bold nails, high socks, and more.

Most of these aesthetic trends stem from iconic fashion eras, and they are nothing new. The Office Siren Aesthetic also consists of archive fashion pieces from the 90s and 00s, which shows that Gen Z is still very much into sustainability, upcycling, and vintage clothing.

A cool way for brands to hop on this trend is leveraging influencers who post trend reports or fashion commentary, and have them recreate makeup or outfit looks utilizing your brand’s offerings. Social-first GRWM content is particularly effective for raising awareness and brand lift.

The TikTok post below is not only a great makeup tutorial for the Office Siren trend, but it’s also a shining example of how beauty and wellness brands can jump on these trends by partnering with influencers to create social-first content that feels authentic and organic. While this particular creator featured 4 different cosmetics brands in her makeup tutorial, a brand could easily collaborate with an influencer to only showcase their own range of products in a similar type of video.

@lanaviish

office siren makeup 💋📂💻📈👠🖨🏙 products: • eyeshadow palette from @Catrice Cosmetics • lipgloss / lip pencil / brow pencil / brow gel from @essence cosmetics • concealer from @KIKO Milano • mascara from @Maybelline New York #officesiren #officesirenmakeup #officesirenmakeup #90smakeup #makeup #makeuptutorial #officecore #librariancore #beautytok

♬ miro – berlioz

Bonus trend: Vintage, upcycling, and sustainability

You may have noticed that “vintage” is mentioned in every trend we talked about except the Clean Girl aesthetic. This focus on vintage clothing illustrates a shift towards greater social responsibility, particularly amongst Gen Z, and it has led younger generations to favor eco-friendly fashion brands as they explore more sustainable practices such as thrifting and upcycling.

In fact, 62% of Gen Z prefer sustainable brands – they are even willing to pay more for it – and millennials and Gen Z both see climate change as one of the most pressing issues of our time, to the point where it’s affecting their shopping habits and purchase decisions.

And while sustainability is directly opposed to many brands’ default mode of always trying to boost sales by getting customers to buy, buy, buy, it’s also a chance for brands to show the steps they’re taking to be better stewards of the environment while at the same time showing eco-conscious shoppers that they are aligned with their values.

Fur: Get me not

Even with the Mob Wife Aesthetic, Gen Z and millennials are refusing to buy new fur. Instead, the younger generations are sourcing vintage furs and faux furs to participate in this trend, which is another showcase of how much they care about the environment and the animals in it.

These evolving consumer preferences are largely why the fashion industry has been moving away from fur since at least 2021, and luxury winter coat-maker Canada Goose is a particularly strong case study of the benefits of embracing the values of Gen Z and millennials and their potential to become loyal, life-long customers.

How brands can jump on trends with a social-first, community-based approach

We work in the social media world so we know that getting posts approved can take a lot of time and require multiple revisions and feedback for different stakeholders. This can prevent social teams from being proactive and quickly responding to these trending moments, which is the opposite of what you want on social media because the first one to post, comment, or otherwise respond usually receives the lion’s share of engagement.

But there are several low-lift ways Social Media and Community Managers can hop on trends through a community-based, social-first approach – so let’s get into it.

Proactive engagement

Focus on proactive engagement opportunities to insert your brand into relevant conversations. This can be done via commenting on a trending video discussing or showcasing the trend and interacting. The goal here is to have your brand find a unique connection to the social trend being highlighted and engage accordingly, but it is important to be tactical here as not every brand needs or should hop on every trend.

Social captions

An easy way to bring social trends to life via community is through social captions that cheekily mention or play on the trends without having to create net new videos or static content.

For instance, if a retail brand has a collection of photos featuring its key commodities, a social team could easily look to leverage images that fit a specific trend and tailor the captions to reflect the trend. It can be as easy as writing something like “Our latest skincare launch is so coquette core 🎀” in your post caption and including some relevant hashtags.

Text-based social platforms

A great way to take action on agile social trends is to execute on text-based social platforms like Twitter or Threads that have a lower barrier to entry compared to a platform that prioritizes video. The power of text and writing is often underestimated or under-utilized since so many platforms prioritize images and video, but text can be the backbone of your social media post and its versatility makes it easily shareable across all platforms.

A text-only Twitter post can easily be turned into a LinkedIn or Instagram post simply by taking a screenshot, or you could copy/paste the text in your social caption – there are so many possibilities.

Example: A jewelry brand could post something like “Our chunky gold hoops 🤝 Mob Wife Aesthetic” on their Twitter feed. Then on Instagram, the brand could post an image of those gold hoops and have the text as the caption.

Memes

Memes are another fun way to participate in trends because it allows brands to put a lighthearted spin on things while also showcasing the brand personality. Your social team could create videos showcasing your brand using trending audio, or static meme posts that relate to the trend but also align with your brand.

For example: some beauty brands hopped on the Coquette Aesthetic by putting a bow on one of their products and using the trending songs that were used during this period. The post below from the hair brand Gisou is a great example of how to lean into the Coquette Core aesthetic, as they displayed all their products in a bathroom cupboard and cleverly called it a 2024 vision board.

@gisou

What are you manifesting this year 🤭💛✨ #gisou #honeyinfused #haircare #bathroom #2024 #2024manifestation

♬ queen of disaster with sparkles – ˚ ˚。° ⋆♡˚🎀 ꒰ ྀི ◞ ˕ ก ꒱ ⭐️

Shopping guides & how-to’s

Another simple, low-lift way retailers can hop on these trends is by creating shopping guides that align with the trend. An example is using the Mob Wife Aesthetic: brands can create a guide on how to dress like a Mob Wife using products they already sell through Instagram Carousels, TikTok Style Guide Videos, Email blasts, and more. These guides are a fun and easy way to curate the shopping experience for consumers while participating in a trending social moment.

“Get Ready With Me” videos are all the rage on TikTok, and utilizing influencers famous for GRWM content can take your shopping guides & how-to’s to the next level. Brands can collaborate with influencers to create GWRMs, tutorials, style guides and more.  Influencers are experts in going viral and giving their audiences what they want – and they know what’s trending in the social world and they can provide ideas & insights that you may not have even thought of!

Staying ahead of the fashion curve

Fashion and beauty are at the forefront of some of the biggest social media trends. Creators and influencers are integral parts of the social-first ecosystem because they drive awareness, engagement, and conversions. In many ways, influencers and creators have become the new tastemakers and by partnering with them, brands can effectively trend-jack these aesthetics in authentic and engaging ways.

Influencers already have their pulse on the culture, and brands taking a community-based, social-first approach are well-positioned to collaborate with them and become thought-leaders and trendmakers of their own in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle spaces.

The trends we discussed are what’s currently in right now but as 2024 rolls along, there will definitely be more viral moments and trends popping up, but we’ll be there to report when that happens and keep you in-the-know.

Nina-Cuturilo-headshot
_About the author
Nina Cuturilo

As the Social Media & Branding Lead at Viral Nation, Nina is the go-to expert for all things social as she manages and runs the corporate social channels. Nina is a skilled micro-influencer and TikTok creator in her own right, and she has leveraged her wealth of experience to create engaging social content not only for Viral Nation but also for major brands around the world. Nina specializes in bringing a creative and relatable touch to her work, shaping brand narratives and building meaningful connections while staying ahead in the ever-evolving social media landscape.