What Taylor Swift’s shifting style tells us about ‘Midnights’

From cottagecore cardigans to Studio 54-worthy sequins.

Taylor Swift is gearing up for the release of her 10th studio album, Midnights, on October 21 — and while she has yet to release any songs from the LP, fans can sift through the superstar’s ever-evolving style for clues to her new sound.

The Grammy winner has long been known for making cryptic references to upcoming projects, and she often uses her outfits to do so.

“Easter eggs can be left on clothing or jewelry,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in 2019.

“It’s one of my favorite ways because you’re wearing something that suggests something else, and people don’t usually figure that out right away. But they know you’re probably sending a message…they’ll find out in time.”

As it should be, Swift has dressed differently from the moment Swift announced that new music was on the way to the 2022 VMAs. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of every ‘Midnights’-era outfit she’s worn so far – and the clues they contain. (Spoiler alert: get ready for some big ’70s energy.)

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Always beautiful jewels

Swift surprised fans by showing up at the 2022 VMAs on August 28 in an unusually sultry (and ultra-sparkly) ensemble: an Oscar de la Renta gown dripping with crystals.

Due to the “shimmeringly beautiful” style, some Swifties speculated that she might perform her song “Mirror Ball” during the show. Others suspected that she was preparing to release a re-recorded version of her “Reputation” album; In the music video for the lead single “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift lounges in a bathtub full of diamonds.

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It turns out everyone was wrong as the superstar instead announced a ‘brand new’ album on stage but waited to share his track until – when else? – midnight.

star power

Swift went much more literal with her look for Republic Records’ VMAs afterparty, stepping out in a starry midnight blue Moschino onesie that wouldn’t look out of place at Studio 54, along with a fluffy white faux fur coat and glittery Alexander McQueen platforms.

Could the singer be stepping into her disco era?

Oh so retro

If there was any doubt about which decade inspired “Midnights,” the album’s artwork makes it clear that Swift’s new era will be steeped in ’70s style (and maybe sounds, too).

In the images, which cover the front and back of the LP’s four different editions, the musician models groovy looks ranging from a mustard-colored, sequined romper suit to a ruffled bell-cuff blouse, paired with baggy, high-waisted blues. She even trades in her signature winged liner for a sparkling blue smoky eye look for Debbie Harry.

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The stage design also comes directly from the 70s; Note the wood-panelled walls, the vinyl record on the deep green carpet, and the push-button phone. She might as well call Stevie Nicks!

Gilded shine

Swift had a Midas moment during her event at the Toronto Film Festival on September 9, when she dazzled the crowd in a gold-sequined Louis Vuitton gown that made it clear she was wearing her faded “folklore” flowers and “Evermore.” ‘ plaids had left behind in the past.

The groove goes on

In a Sept. 16 social media video, the star continued to lean heavily on a ’70s color palette, pairing a chevron knit tank top from Mother ($169, originally $225) with sun-yellow corduroy pants.

black magic

The “Blank Space” singer turned to Michael Kors — a designer known for his love of ’70s glitz and glamor — for her look for the 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards on September 20, where she will be featured as a songwriter-artist of the decade was honored.

And from the sequins throughout to the turtleneck silhouette, everything about her embellished dress was straight out of the disco decade.

Strong suit

To launch her TikTok series “Midnights’ Mayhem with Me” on September 21, Swift chose a pumpkin-colored Smythe blazer ($695) that perfectly matched the aesthetic of her new album — not to mention the crumpled velvet curtains, which she used as a backdrop.

Even the vintage bingo cage she used to reveal the album’s first of 13 track names was contemporary. “Mastermind”, indeed.

flower power

Swift looked ready for a Woodstock revival on September 23 in her braided pigtails, pea-colored floral cardigan and denim cutoffs.

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