Dissecting the many stages of Taylor Swift’s music — and corresponding style — has become an international pastime, especially during the run of her Eras tour. And a perpetual fan favorite? Her Red era. To refresh your memory: The Red album was released on October 22, 2012, and the corresponding Red tour ran from March 2013 to June 2014. Of course, we were treated to a part two when her re-recorded Red (Taylor’s Version) came out on November 12, 2021.
Not only was Red a groundbreaking moment in Swift’s musical transition from country star to pop star, it was also a pivotal time in her style evolution. Swift was 22 when the album came out (and famously wrote a song about the formative age), and she started to leave behind some of the styles of the teenage years when she first became famous. She traded flowing curls for blunt bangs and princessy gowns for high-waisted short-shorts and edgier hats, and naturally, wore so much bright red — clothing and lipstick both.
One of her most enduring songs of the era, “All Too Well” clearly detailed a relationship that took place in the fall, and so lots of cozy sweaters, plaid patterns, and of course, scarves, also featured prominently in her everyday wardrobe during these years.
Now, as fans are recreating Red looks for the Eras tour, they’re wearing black and white blouses (an homage to the Red cover art), recreations of the notorious “Not a Lot Going on at the Moment” T-shirt from her “22” video, and crimson shorts with sparkly tops. We found all those looks and more when we took a look back at 35 of the best outfits Swift wore during that original Red Era, from casual nights out with friends to major red carpets to her official tour wardrobe.
A Plaid Scarf
A scarf was the defining accessory of Red, and Taylor wore them a lot in this phase. When she stepped out in N.Y.C. on this day, she wrapped a plaid one over a warm brown coat and knit tights.
A Cozy Coffee
We all know the infamous maple lattes that were integral to the era, so it’s not a surprise to see a Starbucks cup here, along with a cozy beanie and a velvety jacket.
Stripes and skinny jeans were style staples at this point in Taylor’s life (and fashion generally) — as was hanging out with pal Selena Gomez.
Related: Yes, Skinny Jeans Are Still in Style
Sparkly Top and Shorts
The super-sparkly top and high-waisted shorts combination was an oft-repeated performance outfit during this time period. Hat optional but highly encouraged.
See? Keep that sparkly top, swap the black shorts for red, and bam! Another perfect Red stage look.
Yet another variation of the sparkly shirt and shorts combo for an offstage moment — and note the lace-up oxfords, a signature Taylor shoe of the era, in a special glittering version.
A Basic Black Tee
More skinnies, more red lipstick — hey, if it ain’t broke! Skinny jeans might not be in their era at the moment, but you have to admit this outfit is a classic.
Another outfit formula for this phase? Red lip, matching dress, and nude heels. This lace version was particularly sweet.
A Dotty Sweater
Again, we see that classic red, white, and black color combination Taylor favored in those days. As a switch-up for stripes, she incorporated polka dots into this look.
When Taylor hit red carpets or other formal events in this era, she leaned towards ultra feminine, neutral dresses and gowns — this white coat and shimmery dress are a great example.
A Pleated Skirt
The typical red shirt gets a schoolgirl touch with a gray pleated skirt.
This yellow dress and sweater outfit stepped outside the usual red color palette, but stuck with Taylor’s favorite feminine silhouette of fitted waists and full skirts.
An Oversized White Shirt
Spotted: several over those Red staples, including a white blouse, a dark red bowler hat, and lace-up shoes.
A Sweet Lace Dress
Another neutral red carpet look, this time with a full-skirted lace dress—and a rare nude lip to match.
A Flowy Gown
This cream-colored gown she wore to the Aria awards was a much softer, flowing silhouette than some of her other red carpet dresses — and it’s also one of the prettiest.
A Cozy Coat — and Famous Date
This relationship would (allegedly) fuel much of her next album 1989, but the autumnal outfit Taylor wore in Central Park with Harry Styles was pure Red Era.
A Striped Dress
This dress could truly never go out of style — black pumps and a striped dress in a classic cut.
In performances and on tour promoting the album, Taylor often sported this circus ringleader ensemble.
A Deco Gown
Another neutral gown on the red carpet, this one with Deco-inspired diamond patterns (and a rare nude lip!).
Taylor looked sleek and chic in this all-black ensemble, but naturally, added a pop of color with her signature lip.
A Beaded Red Gown
For the 2012 CMAs, Taylor opted for a neutral gown with red beading that stayed true to her color palette, but upped the elegance factor.
Another hat, another white blouse, another pair of sparkly shoes… and you see what she did with the microphone there? Clever gal.
A Gold Mini
Taylor went full bombshell at the 2013 AMAs, with a gold minidress that was one of her more daring looks of the Red Era.
All in Red
This has to be that “red lip classic thing that you like” she would write about soon thereafter, don’t you think?
She may have immortalized the phrase “plaid shirt days” but plaid pants worked too. This cozy buckled sweater completed this warm look for an outdoor performance.
Gown and Gloves
Possibly the most literal of her Red tour costumes, this gown with full length gloves goes all in on her signature color.
Black Short Shorts
Taylor remixed her go-tos with this tour look, wearing leather shorts, a lace top, fedora, and red oxfords.
Stripes and Red
You already know what’s black, white, and red all over. (It’s Taylor for most of 2013.)
Taylor wore this shirt proclaiming her love of L.A. while performing there — a precursor to the infamous “I Heart T.S.” shirt of the brief Tom Hiddleston days?
A Bow Tie
A jaunty little twist on the tried-and-true stage shorts combo: Taylor added polka dots and a red bow tie into the equation.
A Chiffon Gown
Taylor opted for this super pretty Reem Acra gown to hang out with Prince William (remember?!).
How cozy does Taylor look in this covetable cropped camel coat and fingerless gloves?
Taylor turned up the shine to an epic level to perform at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where she performed while the models walked the runway.
A White Suit
This 2012 VMAs red carpet look was quite a departure from her typical style at the time, but it was a great one — and seemingly set the tone for some of the more fashion-forward and daring looks she’d try in later years.
A Lingerie-Inspired Gown
For the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Taylor wore one of her sultrier red carpet looks: this lingerie inspired, lacy chiffon gown in — surprise! — red.
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