From Cowboy Boots To Bejeweled Dresses: How Taylor Swift’s Fashion Mirrors Her Musical Eras

NEWS - Album eras didn't exist before Taylor Swift.

She revolutionized the music industry with this concept, allowing fans to fully immerse themselves in the journey and evolution of her music like never before.

If you've been in your tween or teen years (like me) at the beginning of her career, you've basically grown up with her.

@cornelyastreet taylor swift eras aesthetic @taylorswift @Taylor Nation #taylorswift #taylorsversion #taylornation #taylor #midnights #ifiwas #aesthetic #taylorswiftedit #taylorswifteras #swifttok #fearless #speaknow #red #1989 #reputation #lover #folklore #evermore #viral #trending #taylorswiftaesthetic #runboyrun ♬ som original - yasmin (taylor’s version)

Back then, people would comment under her music videos that she's been "reading their diaries" because she sings about everything our tiny little teenage hearts can't seem to articulate, and we've all clung to her music since.

She was the patron saint of the good girls with hearts on their sleeves, and we wanted to be just like her.

Even if you didn't grow up with her, you watched her grow up in the spotlight.

You've seen her mature through her music, her personality, and of course, her style.

She grew up with us, and we grew up with her.

We saw how her style and music evolved throughout the years, and how it reflected the different phases of her life--which, even though she's a successful mega-celebrity, still found a way to connect to us.

Her different tones, sounds, and the ever-changing character of Taylor's music mirrored her fashion expression and made the imagery all the more tangible.

This is a reflection of her artistry, as well as how personal each album she puts out really is. That is how Taylor Swift created her musical "Eras."

The Country Girl In Cowboy Boots: Fearless Era

Taylor Swift on stage for Taylor Swift Fearless Tour Concert,

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Although her career kicked off with her debut album Taylor Swift, it wasn't until Fearless that she cemented a certain aesthetic.

During the Fearless Era, she wore her wild curls free, and she was often seen wearing beige sundresses paired with boots.

At the time, she was marketing herself to be a country-pop singer who's still relatable since, back then, most country music wasn't relatable to teens and tweens.

She wanted to sing about young love, crushes, and teenage heartbreak-- and she did with her guitar, country twang, and cowboy boots.

Dreaming Of A Fairytale: Speak Now Era

 Taylor Swift arriving at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena

@maraffairs13 my fav old album #taylorswift #taylorsversion #taylorswiftedit #theerastour #speaknow #speaknowtaylorsversion #speaknowworldtour #speaknowtaylorswift #speaknowtv #speaknowisnext #latam #swifttok #capitalone #theerastour #taylorplscometocolombia #viral #fyp ♬ Bejeweled - Taylor Swift

The Speak Now Era was the period of time when she often wore billowing purple dresses to her concerts.

This season was famous for its fairytale-esque aesthetic.

Most of the songs in this album were about experiencing the spark of young love ("Sparks Fly") and falling in love being like a fairytale ("Enchanted").

Taylor Swift at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center, Los Angeles.

However, this era also had a touch of darkness when Taylor Swift sang about love gone wrong.

In her song, "Back to December" (From the album Speak Now), she cut her bangs blunt for the first time and shifted from her bold curls to sleek straight hair.

Within this era, she transitioned from fairytale dresses to straight, A-Line dresses with sleek silhouettes.

The Boldness After Heartbreak: Red Era

Taylor Swift before she turns on the Christmas Lights at Westfield Shepherd's Bush, London.

Red Era was the start of her transition from country to pop, although the album still has a lot of country elements. During this era, she sheds the typical country girl persona and starts to don retro fashion.

We also rarely see Taylor's curls during this era; only slight waves are present which are styled with her blunt but face-framing fringes.

The Red Era has a more hipster style: with red dresses, sunglasses, blouses on tucked-in shirts, and short black boots.

Sparkles, Sleek Skirts, and the 80s: 1989 Era

Taylor Swift at he 58th GRAMMY Awards held at the Staples Center

@8rbio she was born in 1989 ✨#taylorsversion #fypシ #fyp #explore #swifttok #taylorswift #swifties #swiftie #1989era #1989worldtour #1989taylorsversion #1989 ♬ الصوت الأصلي - Julie(Taylor's version)

This was a time when Taylor Swift was completely in her own element. She was simply hanging out with friends, enjoying her life, and exploring her music--hence, the complete transition to pop music.

Taylor Swift at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards Press Room at the Shrine Auditorium

The 1989 era is depicted by tubed tops, cropped shirts, and high-waisted shorts or skirts. It reflects how Taylor felt free and young, so there are sparkles basically everywhere!

Taylor Swift at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Garden Arena

This is also the beginning of her calling out the media for their hypocrisy when it comes to criticizing her for doing normal things, like dating and expressing herself through her music.

The Return Of The Queen: Reputation Era

Taylor Swift attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

@replouie rep taylor is just- #taylorswift #taylorswiftedit #taylorswifttok #reputation #reputationtour #reputationstadiumtour #reputationera #reputationtaylorswift #swifttok #swiftok #swiftie #swifties #fy #fyp #foryou ib: @gfmunson ♬ Need to Know - Doja Cat

The period between 1989 and Reputation was tumultuous.

Her Reputation Era was her comeback after taking a longer than the normal time between album releases.

She expressed her angst through her fashion, as this was the period when she often wore black or silver and when she bleached her hair and made it into a pixie cut.

She also wore a lot of snake-themed dresses (as seen in the photo) as an "homage" to everyone who called her a snake during the 2016 fiasco.

Seeing That Love Is Golden: Lover Era

Taylor Swift at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena

@tatycake fave era aesthetic? 💗🦋✨#taylorswift #swifttok #lovertaylorswift #taylorsversion #aesthetic ♬ Cruel Summer - Taylor Swift

Her 2019 comeback was a complete 180 degrees from her Reputation era. If Reputation was full of angst, black clothes, thick eyeliner, and bleached hair, the Lover era was all about frilly pink gowns, flowers, hearts, and sunshine.

Taylor Swift at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater

Her song "I Forgot That You Existed" expressed her freedom from past issues, feeling indifference towards the people that hurt and tarnished her career during the 2016 fiasco.

The album had also been a love letter to her current partner, Joe Alwyn, whom she had been with for six years now.

Introspection, Growth, And Retreating Into Quietness: Folklore & Evermore Era

Her Folklore and Evermore albums were produced mid-pandemic and were full of stories that may have been derived from either real or fictional people. Both these albums have an indie-folk sound and have been critically acclaimed for their lyricism.

@taylorswiftfolklore folklore streaming now. #taylorswift #folklore #ts8 ♬ exile - Taylor Swift

This era was Taylor at her simplest--wearing long coats over long skirts or dresses or knee-length walking dresses paired with boots. She also wore knee-length, long-sleeved plaid dresses. Most people would call this aesthetic "cottage-core."

Her fashion choice could have been due to leaning toward her poetic side, her desire to be more than a singer but an artist and to be more in touch with her inner self.

Dealing With nightmares And Dancing In Spite Of It: The Midnights Era

Her most recent album, Midnights, has taken the music industry by storm as all her songs occupy the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

Taylor had made the era to be all about her midnight introspections, nightmares, and fears. However, the aesthetic she presented has been a combination of being in sleep clothes and attending a party in a bejeweled gown and bold make-up.

In the video, she's wearing a sparkly sequined dress, which is on theme with the late-night partying aesthetic of "Midnights."

@avengevfx TAYLOR BETTER DO THE BEJEWELED STRUT ⚠️FAKE BODY⚠️ it looks like she says shimmer? / creds in cmmts / #bejeweled #taylorswift #midnights #edit ♬ A DIAMONDS GOTTA SHIIINE - r 🎸

In Conclusion

Although Taylor invented eras, she has been slowly veering out of the aesthetic and more into the sound and production of her music.

After more than a decade in the industry, she sends an unspoken message to all of us who have grown up with her: The best clothes you can wear are whatever feels most comfortable to you at whatever phase in life you may be in now.

Love this and want more like it? Check out Selena Gomez and her body positivity message here.

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