One of the most fun perks of being a Swiftie is getting to experience the magic of a Taylor Swift Era.
Every time Taylor Swift releases a new album, she also reveals a new look where she freshens up her hair and her style to match the overall aesthetic and mood of the album.
Since we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of a brand new era with “folklore,” I thought this would be a great excuse to take a trip down Taylor memory lane and break down the fashion eras of previous albums.
“Taylor Swift” Era (2006-2008)
This era almost doesn’t even seem like an era because it was such a blip on the radar. That’s because Taylor was 16 and just starting out on the music scene. She was going to every single radio station possible to make connections and hopefully in return get some spins on her first single, “Tim McGraw.” She didn’t even headline her own tour yet at this point. She packed on glittery eyeshadow and wore her hair in those big soft curls that I miss SO MUCH. Everything was very girl-next-door/country chic, and she wore cowgirl boots to everything.
“Fearless” Era (2008-2010)
This was the era where Taylor transformed into a full-blown phenomenon and began to ditch the girl-next-door persona. Taylor dropped the tight curls for a more barrel curl look and started incorporating a glossy lip into her makeup routine. She took advantage of the Shakespearean vibes of this album to wear a lot of flowy dresses and long necklaces. I feel like in the “Fearless” era Taylor would’ve loved a store like Altar’d State. Romantic, bohemian, and sweet at the same time.
“Speak Now” Era (2010-2012)
When I think “Speak Now,” I think PURPLE! Her curls started to look more brushed out and wavy, and she had a 13 on her hand for every show. Everything seemed very “fairy” and ethereal to me. She also loved doing one of those stretchy headbands on top of her hair. There was also a LOT of layering happening.
“RED” Era (2012-2014)
Everything was high-waisted. Everything screamed ‘40s. This was when she was just barely dipping her toes into pop music. She had singles on country radio and the Top 40 at the same time, and she was constantly pictured in those oxford shoes with high waisted shorts. The red lip officially became her staple. She also wore that little black hat all the time, which was the epitome of 2010s fashion, was it not?
“1989” Era (2014-2016)
Taylor moved to New York City and completed her transition into a full-blooded pop star, shedding her country persona. She cut her hair into a bob just below her chin with side-swept bangs and was frequently photographed in Ray Bans. Hence the ‘80s theme. The “1989” era was ALL ABOUT THE SKATER SKIRTS AND CROP TOPS. It’s honestly hard to find a picture of Taylor in this period NOT wearing something that shows her midriff. I need to give a special shout out to her 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show look too because it’s one of my all-time favorites.
Then after one of the biggest tours of all time, in fall of 2016, she disappeared.
“reputation” Era (2017-2019)
All the black. All the snakes. All the anger. We hadn’t seen Taylor for a year, and when she came back and said the old Taylor was dead, she wasn’t kidding! Taylor looked more confident in her body, with gained muscle and a little weight. Her hair was shoulder-length with bangs and natural waves.
Oversized sweatshirts and boots were the vibe, which was so perfect for being a November album. She traded her signature red lipstick for a dark cranberry. We got a lot of sequins and a totally new attitude. Taylor was pissed, and she didn’t care what anyone thought about her anymore.
The old Taylor wasn’t actually dead though — she was just taking a break.
“Lover” Era (2019-2020)
Out of all the eras, this one was not long enough! Finally, we had princess pink Taylor! Pastels, rainbows, butterflies, and DID I MENTION PINK?! There was pink even in her hair!
One thing I didn’t particularly like about this era, however, were all the slacks and suit jackets. She really embraced the menswear trend this era. It was supposed to be some kind of feminist thing, but it just felt more constumey than Taylor to me. My biggest problem with feminism is this idea that as women we need to be more like men to be equal, when in reality, embracing our femininity and what makes us different is what makes us stronger and our most beautiful.
“folklore” Era (2020-present)
This was an era no one saw coming because it was a complete and total surprise. Smack dab in the middle of a pandemic, Taylor released what, in my opinion, is one of her best albums ever: “folklore.”
Since everyone’s locked down, we haven’t gotten to see a lot of her for a full feel of the era, but from the album art and Instagram pictures, it seems very minimal, neutral, and cozy. Oversized cream sweaters and comfy sundresses make for a very chill, calm era. Which makes sense since we’re all pretty much lounging around at home this year. She seems...at peace. Which is ironic since the state of the world is anything but. Maybe that’s why this album has been such a hit. We always want what we can’t have.