The genius of Taylor Swift's fashion choices.

Taylor Swift has churned through many (very undeserved) labels in her career. 

'Bad feminist', 'serial dater' and 'liar' are just a few of the long list of negative adjectives that have followed her throughout different moments of her career. 

The latest? Bad dresser. 

There's no doubt Taylor is at the top of her game right now. She's currently on a record-breaking world tour, was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2023 and has just announced the release of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department. 

But when she turned up at the 66th Grammy Awards last week – and broke another record by winning Album Of The Year for Midnights – many people were focused on her outfit instead of her achievements. 

Swift was wearing a Schiaparelli haute couture strapless white gown with black heels and matching long black gloves. She also wore layered silver jewellery with a black choker clock necklace. 

According to fashion experts and enthusiasts, her look was deemed... average. 

Host of Not Skinny but Not Fat podcast, Amanda Hirsch posted a 15-second TikTok saying "I'm not saying that I'm the fashionista of the century, but I feel like this is a fact that isn't said enough... Taylor Swift doesn't have good style." 

It was a sentiment echoed across many corners of the internet. 

The image in the background of Hirsch's video is a paparazzi shot of Taylor Swift and Blake Lively walking holding hands. Swift is wearing a simple black strappy mini-dress with a large black belt on her waist. 

@notskinnybutnotfat Her 2007 american eagle style is part of what makes her relatable ! #TaylorSwift ♬ original sound - Amanda Hirsch

The TikTok went viral shortly after posting and has now gained over 2.1 million views. Fans of Taylor Swift (Swifties) came out in full force rebuffing the video. However, there were a few comments that completely agreed with Hirsch's fashion take. 

"Wait I think this all the time and then I feel like some sort of guilty traitor for thinking this all the time." And "Someone had to say it 😅thank you for your service," are a few of the many comments that have amassed over five thousand likes. 

Watch: Taylor Swift announces her new album at the 2024 Grammy Awards. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

This is a woman with the power and wealth to work with any stylist or fashion house she chooses. 

However real fans of Swift know that everything she does is for a reason. 

And it appears that there's a very specific strategy as to why the 34-year-old could be totally fine with you thinking she's a bad dresser. 

Taylor Swift is a big fan of easter eggs and no, I don't mean Cadbury kind. Easter eggs is a media term used to allude to hidden messages. She loves leaving her fans little clues of upcoming announcements in everything she does. From her wardrobe to her social media, whatever she does you can bet her name will trend on Twitter with theories on the hidden meaning behind her decisions. 


With her Grammy's outfit, most of her fans speculated she was going to announce the re-release of her Reputation album. 

(You can read why Taylor Swift is re-releasing her old music here.)

Swifties were shocked in the best way possible when Swift, while accepting her Grammy for best pop-vocal album announced she was releasing instead a brand new album on April 19th. 

The album cover art? Black and white – the same look that Taylor was showcasing at the awards show. 

The question about her fashion choices still stands. Black and white isn't a difficult ensemble to put together. Swift was the first person in history to win the Album of the Year award for the fourth time so why don't her fashion choices represent her brand as one of the most powerful artists in the music industry?

Famous women, whether actors, politicians or musicians have always been closely tied to fashion. The way they choose to dress is used as a tool for how they want the public to perceive them- and it works. 

Anne Hathaway once encapsulated the typical "good-girl" look. Stemming from her Princess Diaries days, she would constantly dress like she was still in that era. She then did a 180 and began wearing higher-end designer wear, completely transforming her look and how the public perceives her. 


Anne Hathaway 2013 & 2023. Source: Getty

Most celebrities like the Kardashians use their fashion choices to gain a large following.

On the cusp of fame, Kim Kardashian would wear clothes that were highly accessible to the public. Along with her sisters, Kim started her own fashion label Dash, opening a few boutiques in the US. The Kardashians allowed their fans to buy the exact same clothes they were wearing. 


Closing down the Dash stores in 2018 gave the Kardashians flexibility to reshape their brand. They now almost exclusively wear designer clothes, whether that be at an event or going to grab lunch. Every outfit decision is calculated. The message that they’re putting out into the world is to remind us that they are extremely wealthy trendsetters who are unattainable. 

Kim Kardashian 2008 & 2023. Source: Getty


Just because Taylor Swift isn't "fashionable" doesn't mean that it isn't for a reason. She's also using fashion as a tool to direct her brand. 

Unlike most other famous women who work their way up in the industry to aim to wear high-end exclusive pieces to represent their power and wealth, Swift has historically gone in the opposite direction.

It's easy to forget that Taylor Swift is a billionaire and one of the most powerful figures in the music industry. Why? Because she doesn't dress like it. 

Swift has created a brand out of her relatable every-day-girl and it looks like she’s sticking to it. 

The connection and loyalty she's developed with her fan base have stemmed from the accessibility of her image. 

Whatever she wears – you can wear it too. 

Swift is now in the middle of her Eras tour, travelling around the world and performing the best songs from all of her albums. Her accessible fashion choices have allowed her fans to dress the same way she does from each album, strengthening that connection with them and perpetuating her "I'm just like all of you" brand. 

The fashion (sins) of Taylor Swift across the years. Source: Getty


When paparazzi catch her leaving a restaurant or going for a walk in a park, those photos are available in every women's magazine with a "Shop Taylor's Look" title, because we actually can shop her looks. 

Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner made headlines in September 2023 when she was spotted arm-in-arm with Swift in New York City right after the announcement of her split with singer Joe Jonas. 

While the headlines focused on Turner and her impending divorce, fashion enthusiasts were focusing on what Swift was wearing. Sporting an EB Denim Webster trench coat that retails for $762, shows that Swift dabbles in higher-end fashion but also makes sure that the items she wears are attainable and easily duped so fans can match her style on a lower budget like this River Island denim trench coat.


Under the trench coat, she wore an oxide-coloured knit dress that you can buy from Reformation for $180.

Listen: Laura Brodnik discusses the theory behind Taylor Swift's fashion. Post continues below.

Another example is when Swift attended her co-writer and producer, Jack Antonoff's wedding rehearsal dinner. She wore a long black lace skirt from Hill House home that can be bought online for $150 and the matching crop top for $105. 

More recently, The AREA black jeans with diamante cutouts that Swift wore to watch her partner and NFL star Travis Kelce play at this year's Superbowl match have completely sold out. 

Whether or not you think that Taylor Swift dresses badly, you have to agree that she is extremely smart and calculated. 

The clothes she wears have some level of attainability so that her fans can shop for all the looks that she sports. Every choice Taylor Swift makes, including what she wears, is done to benefit her overall brand. 

If you want more pop culture opinions from Emily Vernem, you can listen to her every Monday-Wednesday on The Spill podcast or follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

Feature Image: Getty. 

As one of our readers we want to hear from you! Complete this survey now to go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher.