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

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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 hasn’t yet shared any songs from the LP, fans can look to the superstar’s ever-evolving style for clues about her new sound.

The Grammy winner’s long been famous for dropping cryptic clues about upcoming projects, and often uses her outfits to do so.

“Easter eggs can be left on clothing or jewelry,” Swift 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.”

True to form, from the moment Swift announced new music was on the way at the 2022 VMAs, she’s been dressing differently. Below, a comprehensive breakdown of every “Midnights”-era outfit she’s sported so far — and the hints they hold. (Spoiler alert: Get ready for some big ’70s energy.)

Ever-lovely jewels

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

Based on the “shimmering beautiful” style, some Swifties speculated she might perform her song “Mirror Ball” during the show. Others suspected she was be gearing up to release a re-recorded version of her “Reputation” album; in the music video for lead single “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift lounges in a bathtub brimming with diamonds.

Turns out everyone was wrong, with the superstar announcing a “brand-new” album onstage instead, but waiting to share its title 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 romper that wouldn’t look out of place at Studio 54, along with a fluffy white faux fur coat and glittering Alexander McQueen platforms.

Could the singer be entering her disco era?

Oh-so retro

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

In the images that cover the front and back of the LP’s four different editions, the musician models groovy looks ranging from a mustard sequined romper to a ruffled, bell-cuffed blouse teamed with baggy high-rise blues. She even swaps her signature winged liner for a sparkling blue smoky eye fit for Debbie Harry.

The set design is straight out of the ’70s, too; note the wood-paneled walls, the vinyl record resting on the deep green carpeting and the touch-tone phone. She might as well be dialing up Stevie Nicks!

Gilded glamour

Swift had a Midas moment during her Toronto Film Festival event on September 9, dazzling the crowd in a gold sequined Louis Vuitton gown that made it clear she’d left her faded “Folklore” florals and “Evermore” plaids in the past.

The groove goes on

In a September 16 social media video, the star continued to lean hard into a ’70s color palette, teaming a chevron knit Mother tank top ($169, originally $225) with sunny yellow corduroy pants.

Black magic

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

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

Strong suit

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

Even the vintage bingo cage she used to reveal the reveal the first of 13 track names from the album was era-appropriate. “Mastermind,” indeed.

Flower power

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


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