Breaking Down Taylor Swift's 'Eras' Tour Wardrobe
The analysis for Swifties, by a Swiftie.
It has been just a little over four months since the great Taylor Swift/Ticketmaster debacle, but fans have been eagerly anticipating the start of the "Eras" tour, which the artist promised would celebrate all of her musical chapters thus far.
With the tour officially kicking off over the weekend, Swifties begin the time-honored tradition of analyzing every little detail of the tour for Easter Eggs — much like we have Instagram posts, song lyrics and, perhaps most intensely, Swift's clothing for years. Below, we're breaking down each costume of her on-stage wardrobe by era, in order of appearance, to find hidden meanings, callbacks and other references to her work and life. Read on.
The "Lover" Era
After seasoning the stadium with dashes of each album in the overture, the superstar finally appears amid a crowd of flowing, feather-like pink flags, indicating that the show's in its "Lover" era.
Swift stays true to her affinity for performance bodysuits — and layers upon layers of pantyhose (for perfectly shiny legs, of course) — first in a Donatella Versace-designed rainbow rhinestoned number, paired with fully bedazzled knee-high boots by Christian Louboutin (a recurring theme in Swift's footwear throughout the night) and a glimmering microphone to match.
"Lover" came out in the summer of 2019, so Swift only had a few months to cement its aesthetic, which relied heavily on rainbows and pastels, but mainly a lot of sequins. The singer's bodysuit seems to have been directly inspired by her 2019 performances at the American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards, with stylist Joseph Cassell posting the previous looks alongside the new one to his Instagram stories.
Although the era was cut short by Covid-19, this iridescent look transported fans back into the world of "Lover" for the duration of 6 sweet songs.
The "Fearless" Era
"Fearless" is perhaps one of Taylor Swift's most recognizable eras: The loose blonde curls and shimmering, tassel-heavy dresses paired with classic cowboy boots — it's all very nostalgic to the album that won the singer her first Album of The Year award at the 2009 Grammys.
Swift takes the assignment of this era seriously and literally, having Roberto Cavalli create a custom, near-identical replica of the dress she wore for the album's accompanying tour in 2009, only this time in gold (to match the color of the album cover).
On the second night of the "Eras" tour, Swift opted for a longer version of the same silhouette.
The "Evermore" Era
For her performance of "Evermore," Swift calls on several references from the 2020 album: As she opens with "'Tis The Damn Season," she sits at a moss-covered piano in a relatively simple maxi dress, in a burnt orange-like color directly referencing the coat Swift wears on the album cover. (A subtle gold-leaf pattern seemingly pulls from the cover's focal point: her blonde braid.)
The shape and casual nature of the dress can be connected to the bohemian aesthetics embraced by Swift throughout the album's promotional visuals.
View the original article to see embedded media.
To transition into a witchy performance of "Willow," the songstress drapes a hooded green velvet cloak around her neck — another direct reference, this time, to her music video for "Willow," which features a look with the same garment.
The "Reputation" Era
"Reputation" is the era that started the "era" terminology — and changed the trajectory of Swift's career for good. To this day, Swifties and non-Swifties alike use the term to describe a typically rebellious, vengeful phase of their life.
After being referred to as a snake for the better part of 2016 thanks to the notorious falling out between herself, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Swift reclaimed the label and made it the center motif around the "Reputation" album. On the accompanying tour, she wore a number of snake-related costumes, but one in particular seems to have inspired this new design for "Eras": an asymmetrical bodysuit covered in faux snake scales.
Swift takes the same idea a few steps further on the "Eras" stage, donning another asymmetrical bodysuit by Roberto Cavalli, this time going down the full side of her leg. Embroidered sequined snakes slither up the side, as an homage to the album's inspiration.
The "Speak Now" Era
Though this era only lasts one song, the singer makes it all worthwhile in a full-fledged ballgown by Nicole + Felicia. The gold sequins completely cover the top of the dress and seem to melt away as they reached the hem of the skirt. On night two, she picked a different ballgown, this time a fully-crystalized pink tulle one by Zuhair Murad.
Throughout the "Speak Now" promotional period (late 2010 to mid-2011), Swift was known to favor a classic princess dress. For essentially every red carpet, the singer was truly the belle of the ball, showing up in glittering, ultra-formal gowns that emulated the wonderstruck elements of her third album.
As she sang "Enchanted" nearly thirteen years after its release, Swift fully embraced the regal spirit once again.
The "Red" Era
In the most literal case of referencing an era, Swift opts to fully recreate the outfit she wore in her music video for "22," the fourth single from "Red". The outfit relies heavily on 2013 hipster aesthetics, pairing a graphic tee with a fedora, black sequined short shorts and classic penny loafers.
The star's new shirt reads, "A lot going on at the moment" — perhaps the ultimate understatement for Swift's career today. The original fully sequined shirt read "Not a lot going on at the moment," and was designed by Ashish Gupta, though it's unclear if he made the updated version as well. On the second night, Swift's shirt read lyrics from "22": "Who's Taylor Swift anyway? Ew."
For the remainder of the "Red" section, Swift takes off the shirt to reveal a black and red bodysuit, and throws on a floor-length red coat covered in — you guessed it — sequins.
With a fully red and embellished mic stand and guitar to match, the songwriter performs "All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault)" to a crowd of nearly 80,000 screaming fans.
The "Folklore" Era
"Folkmore" gets the most performances of the night. (Nine out of 44 songs were from the 2020 album.) To fully embody the cottage-core and beachy "salt air" energy of the album, Swift wears a custom Alberta Ferretti purple maxi that moves like water as she frolics along the stage. The flowing fabric is reminiscent of the ethereal Etro gown she wore for her 2021 performance at the Grammys, where "Folklore" won Swift her third Album of the Year award.
For night two, however, the singer wore a cream, micro-beaded maxi dress reminiscent of bridalwear (another custom Alberta Ferretti). This, in addition to Swift opening the "Folklore" set with "Invisible String" — a song about a love so strong that it's bonding for life — might add fuel to the theory that the artist married longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn at the time of the album's inception.
The "1989" Era
Though Swift is undoubtedly at her peak right now, it wasn't too long ago that she had a career-high with the release of her critically-acclaimed 2014 pop-introductory album, "1989". For this section, Swift again calls on Roberto Cavalli, wearing a two-piece set that mimics the look she wore to perform the first single from "1989" at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, which ushered in the era.
The look features a top and bottom completely covered in dangling beads and Swarovski crystals, just mobile enough to perfectly accompany the swinging dance moves of "Shake It Off."
The Acoustic Set
Though this part of the setlist isn't directly affiliated with a specific era, it still receives its own style moment. Swift informed fans on the first night of the tour that she will play two different songs from her catalog each night, intending to never repeat one throughout the tour's entirety.
Since the songs are played acoustically, Swift goes for a more relaxed outfit to match the music's stripped-down elements: The star wore an effortless burgundy wrap dress to cover her "1989" outfit on night one, then opted for a key-lime green version on night two.
The "Midnights" Era
To come back into the current era, that of her tenth studio album, "Midnights" — and, in many ways, formally introduce the aesthetic of the record — Swift rejoins the stage in an "aurora borealis" sequined T-shirt dress by Oscar de la Renta, with a pastel purple faux fur coat allowing the performer to emulate the "Lavender Haze" she sings about.
To close the show, Swift wears a midnight blue Oscar de la Renta bodysuit that's hand-embroidered with over 5,300 beads and crystals throughout, with additional necklaces draped over the bodice to catch the light at every angle, similar to how the stars glimmer in a midnight sky.
With such careful attention to detail, an endless rotation of looks and a clearly extravagant budget for this tour's costumes, Swift continues to build on her Fashion Era.
Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.