Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
A curious thing happened yesterday. Taylor Swift, who’s been making plenty of headlines recently — most of them about who she is and isn’t dating — suddenly ditched the platinum blonde dye job she’s been sporting since Coachella (#Bleachella) and went back to her natural, darker honey hue.
Her makeover (or makeunder, really) didn’t stop there; over the past few weeks, Taylor has gradually dropped the dramatic goth-glam style she’s been pushing lately in favor of looks that are straight out of her 1989 era. On June 15th, when she was first photographed on the beach in Rhode Island with Hiddleston, Taylor was dressed in a blue, several-years-old Madewell dress paired with preppy oxfords and a mustard cardigan.
For her BFF Selena Gomez’s Nashville concert this past Tuesday evening, she chose a red crop top and matching midi skirt from Reformation, which she teamed not with the Vetements boots that’ve been glued to her feet for the past few months, but rather a demure pair of black ballet flats.
For a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and a meet-and-greet with fans yesterday, she wore another Reformation look — this one a blue-and-white gingham sundress — and Seychelles sandals. And during a dinner date last night, she went with a black fitted turtleneck tucked into a pair of high-waisted shorts from Lavish Alice, along with strappy heels and a monogram bag from Louis Vuitton’s fall 2016 collection (carried in the crook of her arm, of course).
Now, did Tom Hiddleston happen to accompany Taylor on three out of these four outings? Sure. But to point to her breakup with Calvin Harris (or her budding romance with the Avengers star) as the reason behind the singer’s style and beauty shift — which Yahoo, Hollywood Life, People, and Glamour, the latter of which dubbed her new ‘do a “breakover,” chose to do — feels somewhat icky and old-fashioned.
Furthermore, it’s incorrect. A brief photo search will prove that Taylor actually didn’t alter her style in any significant way after she began dating Harris back in March 2015, and stayed true to her shoulder-length lob and love of matching sets and ladylike accessories throughout the couple’s first year together. And as I recently pointed out on this very site, the pop star’s bleached-out bob and accompanying edgy fashion transformation all stemmed from her May Vogue cover and, by extension, her role as celebrity cochair of this year’s Met Gala. Anna Wintour publicly expressed her wishes that Taylor keep up with the Saint Laurent-inspired look she modeled for her cover shoot; Taylor, ever the eager hostess, complied until after her Met Gala duties were complete. It’s simple, really, and the timeline matches up perfectly.
But because she’s Taylor Swift, cries the world, surely a man must be the motivating factor behind her every song, acceptance speech, and salon visit. I’d suggest that she write a tongue-in-cheek, “Blank Space”-type tune about this whole situation and call it “Style,” but I’m pretty sure that title’s already taken.