13 Times Taylor Swift Dropped A Big Hint With Her Outfits

Taylor Swift is undoubtedly a maestro of musical storytelling, and anyone who's a fan of the pop star knows that there's so much more to the Swiftieverse than just the music. In Swift's world, fashion is more than aesthetics — it's a part of her story. From red carpets to music videos, Swift's style choices are a cryptic code for dedicated Swifties to decipher. This Easter egg hunt is a well-known fact among fans who know that nothing the singer does is accidental; each choice is potentially a piece of a puzzle planned well ahead. "Easter eggs can be left on clothing or jewelry," the star told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. "This is one of my favorite ways to do this because you wear something that foreshadows something else, and people don't really usually find out this one immediately. But they know you're probably sending a message — they'll figure it out in time."


By planting hints in her fashion, Swift invited fans into her world — a world in which each color, accessory, and hairstyle potentially tell a story. As we explore some of the hints she's dropped over the years, it becomes clear that Swift's fashion is a dynamic part of her artistic expression — and yet another reason why the star has so many fans across the globe.

Taylor Swift foreshadowed 1989 with blue nail polish

In Taylor Swift's world, every detail counts, even down to the shade of her nail polish. During her "Red" era, Swift was already dropping subtle hints about her future projects. More specifically, the singer used a unique canvas for her clues: her nails. The blue nail polish she sported at the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival stands out as a prime example. At the time, her overall aesthetic revolved around the color red, so her choice here seemed curious. However, Swift's strategic planning became evident when, about two years later, she dropped the "1989" album. In hindsight, her seemingly odd nail polish choice was a well-calculated move, showcasing just how much of a mastermind the musician is — and how much she loves having fun with her fans.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2019, Swift revealed that leaving hints on her nails is one of her favorite ways to foreshadow things. "A specific way you can leave Easter eggs is on nails," the singer revealed. "There was a specific occasion where I did a Spotify vertical video for 'Delicate,' and I painted my nails the exact color tones that I wanted the next album to be. Some people picked up on it immediately." The star added that seeing fans pick up on it brings her joy. "It made me feel nice to know that when you plan something that far in advance — it's kind of, you're actually kind of just flexing on planning. That's what an Easter egg really does. You're really just like: 'I planned this two years in advance!'"


Taylor Swift's outfit at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards literally said 'Haters Gonna Hate'

At the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Taylor Swift cleverly foreshadowed her future hit "Shake It Off" with her blue top (another hint at the blue color palette of "1989"). During her performance of "22" — a major hit from her 2012 album "Red" — the singer rocked a top with a fun unicorn and a speech bubble that literally spelled out the phrase "Haters Gonna Hate." And any true Swiftie knows that that is perhaps one of the singer's most recognizable song lyrics.


Of course, at the time, the audience had no idea that this catchy phrase would later become a central theme in 2014's chart-topping "Shake It Off." The song, released as the lead single from her "1989" album, became an anthem of self-confidence and resilience. And if you think that dropping a hint almost two years ahead of time is improbable, then you clearly underestimate just how much fun Swift is having playing this game.

2016 was all about Taylor Swift giving us dark, edgy, and moody looks hinting at Reputation

In 2016, Taylor Swift underwent a style metamorphosis, subtly hinting at the arrival of her dark and edgy "Reputation" era — something we, of course, didn't know at the time. While many attributed the change to natural evolution, in hindsight, it's clear that Swift was strategically paving the way for a new chapter in her career. Swift boldly embraced a more sultry and daring aesthetic, saying goodbye to the lighter, colorful tones that defined her previous looks.


Two great examples from this phase were evident at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February and the 2016 CMA Awards in November. Swift's fashion choices during these events showcased a departure from her usual looks, as the star leaned into darker colors and edgier cuts. The fashion-forward choices were subtle indicators that the "old Taylor" was no longer with us, which was later confirmed in 2017's "Look What You Made Me Do." 

Now, we know that this style evolution was serving as an Easter egg for the release of "Reputation," Swift's edgiest and darkest album to date. Released a year later, the album marked a significant departure from her earlier sound and image. 

Taylor Swift was channeling Katy Perry in the Look What You Made Me Do music video

While plenty of Taylor Swift's style choices serve as Easter eggs for future projects, the star sometimes uses her look to confirm an already existing narrative. This was the case with many visuals from her "Look What You Made Me Do" music video. One of the most striking style choices in it was Swift with her hair styled in a pixie with bangs — a look that was recognizably Katy Perry's at the time. The choice was deliberate and served as a confirmation of the widely speculated feud between the two pop icons.


The roots of the Taylor Swift-Katy Perry feud trace back to 2012 when Swift reportedly booked some of Perry's dancers for her tour. The tension between them escalated over the years, with Swift's 2014 hit "Bad Blood" fueling speculation that it was a direct message for Perry. In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, Swift admitted, "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," adding, "She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'"

However, in a surprising turn of events in 2018, the feud ended. During her "Reputation" tour, Swift shared a video on her Instagram story, expressing gratitude for an unexpected gesture from Perry, a note with an actual olive branch that waited for Swift in her dressing room. This symbolic act marked a new beginning, and it even encouraged the two to work together, as Perry appeared in Swift's 2019 music video for "You Need to Calm Down."


The 'I'm sorry, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now' look was from the Met Gala

Another stand-out fashion moment from Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" was the symbolic burial of her 2014 Met Gala look. Swift used her stunning Oscar de la Renta dress from the fashion event of the year for a cinematic moment, which was meant to symbolize her parting with the persona she was in her "1989" era. Needless to say, the deliberate burial of her past self in the music video sent a clear message of the evolution and growth of the star has gone through.


This visual metaphor clearly highlighted Swift's ability to incorporate personal narratives and experiences into her music videos, but it also emphasized her talent for using fashion as a powerful storytelling tool. And if there's one thing we know about Swift, it's that she's an incredible storyteller. 

Taylor Swift made sure everyone knows her first six albums are her art at the 2019 American Music Awards

At the 2019 American Music Awards, Taylor Swift received the award for artist of the decade — and her performance was surely a memorable one. As soon as she walked out on stage, the star took a bold stand for artistic ownership and control over her musical catalog. Swift chose to use her wardrobe as a statement by wearing a shirt that had the names of her first six albums on it. With this, Swift sent a clear and moving message about her commitment to reclaiming her art.


The significance of the moment was heightened by the fact that she had announced her intentions to re-record those original albums in August 2019, just a few months prior. During an appearance on Good Morning America, Swift said, "It's something that I'm very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020 — so, next year — I can record albums one through five all over again ... I think artists deserve to own their work. I just feel very passionately about that." Her performance at the American Music Awards underscored the pop star's determination to reshape the narrative around ownership and control in the music industry. And as we all know, she has done a magnificent job so far!


Taylor Swift's 2021 Brit Awards outfit was giving us Red (Taylor's Version)

Taylor Swift's outfit at the 2021 Brit Awards served as a subtle yet significant nod to her next re-recorded album, "Red (Taylor's Version)." The pop sensation, who received the prestigious global icon award at the event in May 2021, strategically incorporated details into her look that made fans believe that the release of the re-recorded version of her fourth studio album would be coming soon.


From the striking red lipstick to the revival of the signature "Red" era bangs, every element of Swift's look paid homage to the iconic period that marked a pivotal phase in her career, allowing her to slowly transition from country to pop music. To encourage the Easter egg hunt even more, Swift shared images on Instagram that featured a faded, blue-toned filter reminiscent of the original "Red" album cover. In June 2021, the star officially announced the release of the re-recorded "Red," scheduled for November of the same year.

Taylor Swift's 2022 VMA look was certainly a hint at her song Bejeweled

During a really fun fashion moment at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift walked the red carpet in a shimmering Oscar de la Renta chandelier minidress, a choice that certainly turned heads. The bejeweled ensemble, although a slight departure from her usual style, proved to be a strategic choice for the Grammy-winning singer. In fact, Swift was dropping a subtle hint about the name of one of the songs from her upcoming album, "Midnights." 


At the time of the VMAs, the connection between the bejeweled aesthetic and the song title "Bejeweled" couldn't have been known; however, when "Midnights" was released two months later, everything made perfect sense. The 2022 VMA look served as another prime example of her talent for not only ensuring that every appearance was a fashion statement but also a carefully orchestrated nod to her music.

The pop star hinted at Speak Now (Taylor's Version) with her look at the 2022 American Music Awards

At the 2022 American Music Awards, Taylor Swift's look dropped yet another subtle hint at what her next re-recorded album would be. As soon as she hit the red carpet, one couldn't help but notice that the star's hair, a cascade of carefully styled curls, bore a striking resemblance to the hair during her "Speak Now" era. 


True Swifties immediately realized that the choice of this nostalgic style was no accident and that the curly hair moment could only mean one thing — the pop star was about to release "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" next. While Taylor Swift underwent a noticeable hair transformation over the years, her signature curls will always be known as a major part of her earlier eras. In May 2023, the star announced the re-recorded album, and in July of the same year, "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" was released.

Taylor Swift at the 2023 iHeart Radio Awards is surely foreshadowing Reputation (Taylor's Version)

Making a dazzling appearance at the 2023 iHeart Radio Awards in March, Taylor Swift left fans speculating about what might be on the horizon in her re-recorded discography. The bedazzled Alexandre Vauthier look she rocked for the event had a striking resemblance to the iconic hooded bodysuit the pop star wore during her 2018 "Reputation" tour.


While Swift has yet to officially announce the release of "Reputation (Taylor's Version)," this outfit choice certainly hinted that the era that marked a major change in her musical style is surely ahead of us. The hooded Taylor Swift became synonymous with the bold and edgy aesthetic of the "Reputation" album, and her 2023 look certainly isn't a coincidence. Of course, only time will reveal the full scope of Swift's artistic vision and the magic she has in store for all of her Easter egg-loving fans.

The brown 1989 boots made an appearance a day before the singer dropped the re-recording in 2023

In the complex world of Taylor Swift's fashion Easter eggs, her street style is just as crucial as the fashion she wears in her music videos and at award shows. The star's devoted fans, known for their eagle-eyed attention to detail, often discover a subtle clue or two hidden in the star's everyday looks. One such instance occurred just a day before the drop of the highly anticipated "1989 (Taylor's Version)" on October 27, 2023.


While walking in New York City, the singer was spotted wearing a pair of brown heeled boots that had previously graced the streets of the same city back in 2015, during the original "1989" era. The reappearance of the exact same boots on the eve of the album's re-release was certainly a conscious wink to her fanbase — and Swifties absolutely loved it!

The Eras Tour Movie premiere dress was giving us 1989 (Taylor's Version)

In October 2023, Taylor Swift showed up in a stunning look at the world premiere of her much-anticipated "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" concert movie at The Grove in Los Angeles. Swift wore a striking blue Oscar de la Renta gown with intricate floral cutouts. The ensemble not only showcased her fierce fashion sense but also gave us major "1989" vibes.


The homage was unmistakable. With her signature red lip and a faux bob that echoed the shorter locks she sported during the original "1989" era, Swift transported fans back in time. In fact, many fans were fooled as they believed the star had actually parted ways with her long locks. Later that same month, Swift released "1989 (Taylor's Version)," inviting fans to embark on a nostalgic journey through the melodies of an era that marked her transition from county star to pop diva.

Is Taylor Swift's 2024 Golden Globes look hinting at Reputation (Taylor's Version)?

At the 2024 Golden Globes, Swift seems to have once again used her wardrobe to give us hints at what's coming up. The star appeared on the red carpet in a stunning metallic, floor-length green Gucci gown to which she added a significant accessory — an eye-catching snake ring.


For Swifties, this wasn't just a stylish embellishment; it was a symbolic nod to the "Reputation" era. Snakes became synonymous with this phase in Swift's career as the star — who had faced public scrutiny and feuds with fellow celebrities — notably reclaimed the serpent imagery back in 2017. The original release of "Reputation" marked a defiant response to the negative narrative that was following her, and Swift's choice to wear a snake ring to the Golden Globes in 2024 certainly has to mean that "Reputation (Taylor's Version)" is the next re-recording. In the meantime, "The Tortured Poets Department" will allow her fans to look forward to a new era — and, of course, more Easter eggs.