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Exclusive: Inside the Instagram account making Taylor Swift's 'intentional and powerful' wardrobe available to all

Taylor Swift's style is synonymous with her musical eras

Exclusive: Inside the Instagram account making Taylor Swift's 'intentional and powerful' wardrobe available to all
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
ReporterLos Angeles
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Taylor Swift's style is synonymous with her music – the debut country era saw a focus on cowboy boots and babydoll dresses, while Red had a focus on 1950s silhouettes and playful accessories, Reputation was black on black on black, and Lover was bold and bright pastel colors. Folklore and Evermore saw her take a turn towards cottagecore, with maxi dresses and cardigans, while the Midnights era did a 180 with an eye for fun glamor and sleek lines. 

The superstar's willingness to tell stories not just in her lyrics but with her clothes ensures that there is a fashion era for any fan, and many of them turn to the Instagram account @TaylorSwiftStyle, run by marketing executive Sarah Chapelle, to not only get the almost immediate details of Taylor's looks but also to find inspiration in mixing high and low fashion, and discovering the best budget dupes. 

But finding those dupes is not as easy as Sarah makes it look.

Watch @‌TaylorSwiftStyle on Instagram pick her three favorite looks from 2023

"Similar items are sometimes harder to research than an exact item. One is looking for a needle in a haystack [but] a haystack you are also conveniently familiar with -Taylor has a rolodex of designers she loves and refers back to often," Sarah tells HELLO! 

"The other is like selecting one particular needle in a stack of needles. I do my best to choose similar options that I feel are priced reasonably for most fans but that also aren’t from those certain fastest of fast fashion retailers." 

Taylor Swift heads out for dinner on her 34th birthday © Gotham
Taylor's fashion tells a story alongside her lyrics

Sarah began documenting Taylor's fashion choices 12 years ago – on the very auspicious date of October 13, 2011; thirteen is Taylor's lucky number – but she says that although "it sounds very Swiftian," it was unintentional. 

Sarah was studying journalism at the time and says that her blog, which started on Tumblr, "represented a crossroad of many of my interests and a way to coalesce my passions for storytelling, style, and Taylor into one". 

"At the time, it felt like an opportunity to create content in a very niche subsection of my interests that was left open by social media being in its infancy and major fashion publications focusing primarily on red carpet or photoshoot fashion. But capturing all those in between moments that are far more relatable for the everyday fan was what interested me most."

The superstar's sexy wardrobe also includes a gem-encrusted Versace bodysuit© Buda Mendes/TAS23
The superstar's costuming for the record-breaking tour included a gem-encrusted Versace bodysuit

Here, Sarah details why and how her motto of kind criticism came about, why Taylor's Easter eggs aren't as deep as many fans believe, and which Taylor Swift look she'd rather forget… 

2023 has seen Taylor truly take over the world, how has that impacted the page's growth? 

Sarah: It’s been an incredible year for Taylor filled with so many truly landmark professional accomplishments - the Eras Tour costuming is a feat all on its own. I love that the power of the Eras Tour wardrobe is in demonstrating the breadth of Taylor’s visual legacy over the course of one single show. 

Taylor Swift wore a gem embroidered Roberto Cavalli miniskirt and crop top, with sparkling Louboutin booties© Buda Mendes/TAS23
Taylor Swift wore Roberto Cavalli miniskirt and crop top, with sparkling Louboutin booties for the 1989 segment on the Eras Tour

As fans, we know that Taylor’s style has evolved from era to era to create a distinct and marked style timeline of Taylor’s career, but it’s quite another to actually see that sartorial evolution happen right before your eyes in a supercut of almost two decades of self-referential looks across a three hour performance. Documenting that evolution for fans both new and old has been such a highlight for TSS this year. 

From a purely numbers perspective, one of my fondest memories in 2023 was ticking over the 200,000 follower mark as I sat in a hotel room in New York City the eve of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) being released. That felt so special and memorable. 

Was kind criticism always your motto? And why?

View post on Instagram


Sarah: Critical kindness is an ethos that evolved organically over time but that reflects how I like to approach my captions and commentary. The internet can make nuance seem hard. Pettiness, particularly in fashion, is de rigueur. Fandom discourse is often framed as black and white. 

With TSS, I wanted to take a different path that expressed my thoughts on a framework of context and facts. 

My goal is to post about her fashion in a way that is considered and honest but not in the name of being casually cruel - if you catch my drift. 

We all know Taylor loves to rewear, but is there an outfit you'd like to never see again and why? 

Sarah: I ‘famously’ can only bring myself to refer to her 2014 MTV VMAs ensemble as The Incident. 

Taylor Swift arrives at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 201© Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
Sareah calls this look 'the incident'

Do you think Taylor is intentional in her clothing choices, or does fandom need to remember not everything is 'an Easter egg'? 

Sarah: This is an instance where both of these things can be true. 

I do think there is a certain level of intention that she approaches her fashion with. Taylor herself has said in the past that her clothes, accessories, and even nail colors are some of her favorite ways to communicate with fans. 

I think her version of an ‘Easter Egg’ is far more loud and obvious than fans like to drill down into - but I also think the drilling down is part of the fun! 

Taylor Swift speaks onstage during the American Music Awards in 2019 during her Lover era© Kevin Mazur/AMA2019
Taylor Swift speaks onstage during the American Music Awards in 2019 during her Lover era

Which Taylor Swift era is your favorite when it comes to the clothes and why? 

Sarah: I have very fond memories from the original 1989 era in 2014 because that truly was one of her most concerted efforts in street fashion. Her move to New York and the level of visibility that came with it via her daily candid outfits was so fun to observe in real time. 

She really used that city, and by extension her outfits, to demarcate that time in her life. It’s an era that was packaged so well that its music is inseparable from the lore of her life: moving to New York, cutting her hair, taking on the city in cute outfits as a decidedly single woman. 

Taylor Swift is seen in TriBeCa on May 28, 2015 in New York City© Alessio Botticelli
Taylor Swift is seen in TriBeCa on May 28, 2015 during the original 1989 era

Is there a style or trend you'd like to see Taylor try? 

Sarah: I believe her style is so intertwined with her music and the story she wants to tell, so it really remains to be seen what trends she may partake in, pending the art that she’s creating and what she feels is best going to serve that narrative. 

That said, the trend of bows and balletcore, preppy looks adopting sailor and nautical whimsy, the ever-growing love of sequins and metallics, and of course cherry red all feel very within her lexicon of style. 

Taylor Swift attends "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Concert Movie World Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 on October 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.© Getty Images
Taylor Swift attends Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Concert Movie World Premiere

When Taylor partakes in trends, it’s usually in her own subtle way but those trends I think are easy ones to bring elements into her own outfits. 

This recent era has seen a return to clean preppy lines and neutral tones - do you think these styles and colors are the best for her, and why? 

Sarah: Much like the straight hair and bangs she continues to return to between every dramatic hair shift, her style has very much always been anchored by preppy, feminine staples like knits, mini skirts, and heeled loafers. 

Taylor has been rocking preppy lines this past year© MEGA
Taylor has been rocking preppy lines this past year

While there have been some tailored and glam moments in the last year that stand out, I think this style feels the most ‘baseline’ for her. One of the things I admire most about her style though is how well she pulls off unconventional color palettes. 

If you could ask Taylor Swift one question about her style, what would it be? 

Sarah: Where does she find fashion inspiration from? And, what is her creative process for establishing the visual identity of an era?

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