We've had our suspicions for a while now. When Taylor Swift was first snapped at Coachella, we did a double take. A slouchy gray tee, a black mini, and sneaker slip-ons? Who was this person?! After years of documenting her every move and memorizing her fashion constants (crop tops, matching coordinates, loafer heels), it seemed like her preppy retro-chic uniform was set in stone.
But then this new look she debuted at Coachella happened, followed by a slew of similar grunge-y looks. It all points to a seismic style shift, which she unofficially made official at the 2016 Met Gala when she assumed a glam-goth character clad in a metallic python Louis Vuitton number, bondage-like sandals laced all the way up to her knees, only one visible earring (and an ear cuff!), and a vampy lip for the finishing touch.
Look, this is not to say that Swift can't reinvent herself. Tons of stars have done it (Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes for starters), and as ordinary humans, we do it all the time. But we have to wonder what sparked this swift (pun intended) transformation. Could it be Calvin Harris's influence? Perhaps it's a matter of getting older and realizing she doesn't have to look perfect every time she leaves the gym, or the fact that stepping into four-inch pumps to run errands is insanely impractical. Or maybe this grunge-punk look is actually a true reflection of who she is.
In under a year (or more accurately, in just a few months), Swift has done a complete 180 (though just a month ago, her old self shone through when she selected a sequined crop top for her beau's Las Vegas concert), so before we completely forget her retro, preppy ways, we present to you a before-and-after look at her style switch-up, from various occasions to specific pieces.
1. Occasion: Daytime Errands
Before: Believe it or not, Swift never failed to look impeccably polished every time she stepped out, ran an errand, or left the gym. Her style identifiers: Fitted pieces, ladylike extras, and pumps. Always pumps.
After: A casual, devil-may-care outfit, featuring a flannel shirt (with the sleeves haphazardly scrunched up) opened to reveal a basic white tee, destroyed skinnies, and white sneaks.
2. Occasion: Date Night
Before: Crop top (and/or coordinated separates) + top-handle purse + Mary Jane heels = Swift's date-night uniform.
After: A super chic, grown-up date-night look. She styled her caped LBD with a Louis Vuitton trunk clutch and patent black pumps.
3. Occasion: Going Out
Before: Never one to miss an opportunity to bare her midriff, Swift styled a black-and-white crop top with a sweet pleated skirt, a heart Roger Vivier purse, and peep-toe pumps.
After: Nothing sweet about this. For Gigi Hadid's birthday, Swift glittered in an edgy one-shoulder asymmetric number embroidered with rainbow-y sequins. The finishing touches? A vampy lip and chunky midi boots for an extra dose of edge.
4. Occasion: Red Carpet
Before: At the 2016 Grammy Awards, Swift did girly-glam with a Versace design that boasted a bright orange bandeau and a fuchsia ball gown skirt.
After: Granted, the 2016 Met Gala had a theme—"Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology"—but that didn't lessen the shock. Swift wore a silver python Louis Vuitton number with bondage-like lace-up sandals and only one visible earring (and ear cuff). Style transformation, complete.
5. Item: Short Shorts
Before: A crop top and high-waist hot shorts were among Swift's summertime go-tos. And check out that heel.
After: No high-waist retro styles here. Swift tucked in a simple black tee into a teeny pair of gray denim cut-offs, with white sneakers. Sneakers!
6. Item: Jumpsuit
Before: A simple, chic navy jumpsuit that Swift elevated with her usual ladylike extras.
After: Swift tapped her inner badass in a racy sheer black lace jumpsuit with combat-like boots (that's right, no Mary Janes or top-handle purses in sight).
7. Item: Black Denim
Before: Crop top. Need we say more?
After: Swift switched things up when she styled her black skinnies with a white tee, a gold choker, and sandals with edgy buckled straps.
8. Item: Asymmetric Skirt
Before: Swift channeled a preppy schoolgirl with a cropped navy knit, a plaid asymmetric skirt, and tasseled brogues.
After: The star brought her love of the asymmetric silhouette to the other side, but styled it with her new go-tos: a simple black tee and chunky midi boots.
9. Item: Checked Print
Before: A graphic, checked print got the retro-glam treatment as a pair of high-waist shorts styled with a black tank, cat-eye frames, and aqua pumps.
After: Cool-girl grunge, through and through. She toughened up a checked dress with a coated leather jacket, a box Mark Cross clutch, and combat boots.
10. Item: Mini Skirt
Before: We spy transitional style pieces—the bomber tied around the waist and her chunky cut-out platforms—but the star styled her black mini with a darling letter-scattered tee and a black croc ladylike bag.
After: An oversize tee, anklets (on both ankles!), and Chuck Taylor slip-ons had us doing a double-take.