Taylor Swift's Best Revenge-Dress Moments

Taylor Swift doesn't just write songs about dressing for revenge — she's an expert at doing it in real life, too. And as any Swiftie will know, the pop star loves to drop hints about upcoming albums through her outfits. In a 2019 Entertainment Weekly video, Swift talked about the strategies she takes with her fashion choices saying, "So, I love to communicate via Easter eggs. I think the best messages are cryptic ones." Later she continues, "Easter eggs can be left on clothing or jewelry. This is one of my favorite ways to do this because you wear something that foreshadows something else." Wearing a revenge dress might not be exactly the same as dropping an Easter egg for an upcoming album, but both things are all about communicating through your wardrobe.


Despite taking revenge fashion to a whole new level, Swift has by no means invented the revenge dress, or is the only one who knows how to rock one. The term was originally coined in relation to Princess Diana's iconic black dress that she wore not long after Prince Charles' cheating scandal broke. Similarly, other celebs like Julia Fox, Zoë Kravitz, and Ariana Madix have all donned their own revenge dresses, and put their spin on them, too. While a revenge dress is most typically worn after a breakup, Swift has proved that you don't need to wait for heartbreak to bust out that bold dress. Nearly any occasion can be a perfect one to dress for revenge.

Glittering bright in silver

While Taylor Swift may not have been out for revenge against an ex or any one person in particular when wearing the stunning silver gown to Beyoncé's London premiere of "Renaissance," her ensemble has all the elements of a killer revenge dress. With a low neckline and an ultra-high thigh slit, this gown shows some serious skin while still remaining classy. Not only that, but the silver sequins and the large sequin flower at the neckline make this dress hard to ignore.


Often pitted against each other are global sensations, it's worth noting that Swift's silver ensemble coordinated incredibly well with Beyoncé's plunging black sequin dress. In an interview with Time, Swift touched on the way that she and Beyoncé were endlessly compared to each other in the media: "Clearly it's very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion," she said. If anything, it seems that Beyoncé and Swift were showing solidarity by attending the premieres of each other's documentaries — and getting their revenge by looking great while doing it.

Attention-grabbing blue

Taylor Swift may not have written the book on revenge dresses, but she did write the song. Her song "Vigilante Sh*t" goes into detail with lyrics like "I don't dress for women/I don't dress for men/lately, I've been dressing for revenge," so it's clear that dressing for the emotion carries a pretty serious influence on her wardrobe choices.


In fact, the dress that she frequently wears to perform the song on stage is a great example of a classic Taylor Swift revenge dress. Eye-catching and glitzy, the navy blue mini dress with glittering beaded fringe accentuates her shape and creates a lot of movement. While the dark shade of blue is a little softer than black, it's equally mysterious and pairs well with her signature red lip. Sometimes accessorized with nude fishnets and a blue garter, or tall dark blue boots, it's the perfect ensemble to wear while singing the iconic song about the iconic look.

Bold black and red

Whether or not Taylor Swift had revenge in mind when she picked the black and red gown she wore to the "Cats" movie premiere in 2019 is hard to say, but it totally screams revenge dress. Not only that but her Instagram caption, "Claws out kitties," definitely feels a little catty, to say the least. The fact that the dress was two-toned also added some intrigue. Bold shades of black and red looked amazing on Swift, as did the gold floral pattern that covered the entire strapless dress. 


Something else worth noting about this dress — it has pockets! And she definitely showed them off while walking the red carpet. The dress had a floral leaf detail that crept up over the neckline and introduced a new level of interest to the otherwise tidy silhouette, and Swift's accessories were also kept pared-down and simple. She paired the gown with some delicate, dangling gold earrings, gold rings, a simple updo, and one of the best style secrets that Taylor Swift can teach us – a red lip.

Stunning sequins and shoulder pads

Who says a revenge dress always has to be a dress? The reality is any outfit can be worn for revenge if you know how to do it. In an Instagram pic from 2019, Taylor Swift gives her mom a shoutout for taking some pictures of her outfit in the hotel hallway. Of course, we can't blame her for wanting to stop for a mini photoshoot, because who wouldn't want to document this ultra-cute jumpsuit? 


The sequins and shoulder pads communicate glamour and power, making it completely revenge-outfit worthy, and expanding the notion of what it means to dress for revenge. With a deep, plunging V-neckline, subtle glittery diamond pattern, and waist-defining belt detail, this jumpsuit is both scintillating and low-key all at once. She accessorized the outfit, which she wore to host a "Lover" event for fans in Tokyo, with some black boots and multiple rings.

Retro disco ball minidress

In true Taylor Swift fashion, the retro minidress that she wore to the 2018 AMAs was incredibly sparkly and even had the same kind of reflective texture as a disco ball. Form-fitting and leg-baring, this dress is clearly designed to grab attention, and it has revenge reflecting right off of it. Her makeup here is notable, too — the '60s mod eyeshadow she wears is truly one of Taylor Swift's most iconic eye makeup looks.


However, it wasn't just the dress itself that gave off a clear revenge feel. The queen of Easter eggs, Swift's choice of accessories dropped some big hints too — mainly the large snake ring that she wore on her middle finger. Something else that added intrigue to the outfit was the caption she added to her Instagram post. In it, she refers to her pregnant friend as a "proud expectant mother of a human child," and to herself as a "proud mother of snakes." To pull it all together, she wore some oversized, dark square-shaped hoops, dark nail polish, and her hair pulled back into a shaggy updo.

Breezy lavender Versace

Not only did Taylor Swift look lovely and ethereal in a lavender Versace dress at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, but her look was giving some low-key revenge dress vibes. While some might think of a revenge dress as having dark, bright, or otherwise bold colors, Swift is proving that that doesn't always have to be the case. 


With a sky-high slit and flowing fabric draped over her shoulder, this dress is full of drama that contrasts with its delicate floral, feather detailing, and overall softness. The asymmetry in the sleeves adds some interest, and she paired the gown with some funky but elegant T-strap silver platform heels and minimal jewelry that really let the dress shine. A wispy, side-parted updo, a red lip, and simple eye makeup completed the look. Ultimately, this makes it the perfect kind of dress to wear when you're dressing for revenge, but don't want it to be too obvious.

Strings of jewels at VMAs

At the 2022 VMAs, Taylor Swift wore one of her most obvious revenge dresses ever. The VMAs were so significant because of her infamous 2009 experience with Kanye West, who hopped on stage and interrupted her acceptance speech for best female video, claiming that Beyonce should have won instead. Of the scene, Swift later said, "I was really excited, because I'd just won the award, and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on stage ... and then I wasn't excited anymore after that" (via Today).


During the incident, Swift wore a drapey silver asymmetrical gown. Her 2022 VMA dress, which was a key moment in the stunning style transformation of Taylor Swift, was also silver, but this time the look had a clear hint of revenge. The Oscar de la Renta dress featured strings of jewels crisscrossing and draping in the front and a halter neckline. Some fans were quick to note that the dress looked a lot like the one she wore in her "Look What You Made Me Do" video, which in turn led to speculation about what Swift's next project would be. She paired the dress with silver, strappy, charm-laden heels, some rings, drop earrings, and silver nail polish. Her hair and makeup with this outfit are a departure from her usual styles, with her bangs parted in the middle and gems drawing attention to her eyes. One thing that didn't change though — her ever-present red lip.


The Late Night LBD

Of all of Taylor Swift's looks, the little black dress that she wore in 2021 on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" gives the most obvious revenge dress energy, mostly because it looks so much like the most famous revenge dress of all time — Princess Diana's in 1994, which went on to become one of the most iconic looks in fashion history. While it may not be an exact replica of Princess Di's, the neckline in particular bears a strong resemblance that's hard to ignore.


Where the dresses really differ, though, is in the details. While they have the same off-the-shoulder neckline, Swift's dress features a notch in the front, as well as long sleeves that go past the wrist. Crystal detailing at the waist, some pocket flaps at the hip, and a small slit give the dress a sleek but trendy edge. Her accessories also help pull this outfit together in a big way: Her hoop earrings and black pumps with crystals on the back of the strap are super glam — but still subtle enough not to overpower her dress. Classic red nails and lips work well with the outfit, as does her long, straight hair, which is a newer style when it comes to the stunning hair transformations that Swift has had over the years.


Seductive black Versace

It seems that over the years, the VMAs have become one of Taylor Swift's favorite places to don a revenge dress. And with its high slit and gold-studded Medusa detailing, the black Versace gown that she wore to the event in 2023 had revenge written all over it.


Although a long black dress may seem like a basic option, there was nothing basic about this look. Along with the gold detailing that went up along the high slit and across the dress, Swift also added plenty of interesting accessories. With this dress, she really layered on the jewelry, wearing several gold chain necklaces of different lengths. She also wore plenty of rings, including an oval-shaped black and white statement ring on her pointer finger. Along with that, Swift tossed on some glitzy earrings and a bracelet, which looked great with her gold nail polish and strappy black heels. She kept her hair shaggy and loose, and made sure that her cat's eye eyeliner was definitely sharp.

Scintillating black sequin cut-outs

Taylor Swift strikes again with sequins in the bold, black revenge dress that she wore to the Nashville Songwriter Awards in 2022, where she won an award for songwriter of the decade. Designed by Michael Kors, this dress is effortlessly glamorous, while still having a fun (and possibly vengeful) edge. There's some undeniable drama in the way that the large waist cutout takes up space on the dress. Not only that, but the high slit coupled with a mock neck gives this dress a sense of intrigue, as do its asymmetrical sleeves.


Her accessories were simple, but of course still plenty glam. Long, delicate earrings were paired with minimal rings and shoes that featured metal chains around the toe and ankle. When it came to hair and makeup, Swift relied on some of her standbys — a bold red lip, some shiny metallic nail polish, and hair pulled back for a low and simple 'do.

Hot pink and coral at the 2016 Grammys

Despite its bright, happy colors, the crop top and skirt outfit that Taylor Swift wore to the 2016 Grammys could completely pass for a revenge style. More skin-bearing than one of her typical looks, it definitely grabbed attention. She matched her lipstick to her coral crop top perfectly, and the super-high slit in her full, long hot pink skirt added a lot of oomph to the look, too. A multi-colored gemstone choker and a coral statement ring on her pinky made interesting but low-key accessories.


If there were any doubt about her outfit being a revenge dress, the acceptance speech she gave when she won album of the year provides some perspective. Swift had some pointed words about others claiming your success: "As the first woman to win album of the year twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame," she said. "But if you just focus on the work, and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world." With those words in mind, it's totally likely that this bold summery look was all about revenge.


Bold teal at the 2015 Grammys

It seems that at the 2015 Grammys, Taylor Swift may still have had revenge on her mind. While it appeared that she and Kanye West had made up and put their differences aside long enough to take some photos together during a commercial break, Swift's teal gown with the tall slit was plenty vengeful. The gown had a subtle ombré effect that really popped with some glitzy green earrings and bold fuchsia high heels. 


In a 2014 interview with ASOS magazine, Swift got candid about what's most important to her when choosing outfits. "I think that as much as you should be creative and experiment, there are certain things I know are fads, and so I try to steer clear of most of the obvious ones," she said (via Glamour). "I play the tape of my life forward and don't wear the things that my kids or grandkids will make fun of me for wearing, [like] 'Wow, cool, Mom, cool cowboy boots that you were wearing constantly in 2006!'" So, while this look may feel different in style and color than some of her later looks, it's clear that no matter what she wears, Swift is focused on maintaining a truly classic style.