10 Awesome Style Lessons From Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift may be one of today's top superstars, but by looking at her, you would think she was a pouty 1950s pinup girl.
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The 24-year-old country cutie turned pop darling has a signature style that’s all her own, one that features feminine vintage staples, including figure-flattering dresses, classic cats-eye glasses, and yes, red lipstick. Equal parts sweet and retro, it’s a look any woman can easily rock and still look effortlessly chic, no matter her age. And it’s no surprise that several celebrity stylists are falling head over heels for Swift’s many glamorous looks.
“I think Taylor Swift has made looking modest, by today’s standard, girly and cool, especially amongst a generation that is bombarded with sexualized images of young artists, like Miley Cyrus,” says San Francisco-based personal stylist Christina Santelli of Share Some Style. “Taylor Swift has made the retro/vintage look appealing to a generation that barely speaks on the phone and texts instead, as well as expressing their emotions by posting status updates on Facebook.”
Fortunately, there’s no need to hunt down every thrift store in town to stock up on '50s pieces. Stylists say there a variety of ways to look like this blonde bombshell without emptying your wallet:
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Always Wear Red Lipstick
To complement any outfit from casual to chic, no look is complete without Swift’s signature red pout. And contrary to popular belief, red lipstick looks good on everyone! The secret is finding the perfect shade to enhance your natural features and skin tone. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different hues of red until you find the right one. And even if you can’t get the retro cat-eye liner, your makeup will still be on point and fresh with a swipe of a rich cherry color. “Always do a red lip, even if you’re just heading to the grocery store,” says celebrity stylist Anthony Henderson.
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Look for Modern Vintage Pieces
There’s no denying that Swift loves her ‘50s style dresses, but you don’t have to rummage through thrift stores to find a similar look. Celebrity stylist Ali Levine notes that some of Swift’s favorite designers include J. Brand, Goldsign, ModCloth, Urban Outfitters, and Charlotte Olympia, all stores that are easily accessible, especially online. “You can almost always catch Taylor in a stunning sequence dress on the red carpet or a simple black baby doll in the streets of New York or Los Angeles,” says Levine. “A major don’t when it comes to pulling off a Swift look would be to stay away from wearing anything too revealing. Most of the time her style stays simple, classy, and chic.”
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Stock Up on Affordable Retro Looks
"H&M is always a good (and affordable) option to stock up on the latest retro trends most likely inspired by the country star,” adds Santelli. “For example, a cute Peter Pan collared blouse paired with high-waisted short shorts and knee high socks will scream Taylor. Don’t forget to accessorize with a pair of Wayfarers and your grandmother’s vintage handbag.”
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Don’t Forget the Oxfords
Another must-have for capturing the signature Swift look? A pair of classic oxford shoes, which are more comfy than standard heels and can be dressed up or down. “Some of the constant staples in her wardrobe include short-shorts and Oxford shoes,” explains Henderson. “She rocks the Oxford shoe in all styles, whether flat, with a heel, or even with cutouts. You can usually find her pairing Oxfords with tights or knee-high socks.”
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Let Your Clothes Do the Talking
While accessories could easily punch up the look of any outfit, stylists insists that Swift lets her clothes alone do the talking. “Taylor likes classic, minimal accessories that help enhance her look, not distract from it,” says Lauren Vacula, Philadelphia-based personal stylist from Share Some Style. “Think simple black Ray-Ban Wayfarers or cute leather ballet flats. She also does a fabulous job with mixing prints, frequently calling upon polka dots, classic florals, and stripes. She’s a tad bit hipster, a tad bit Americana, and a tad bit pinup girl.” Vacula also adds that any woman can benefit from wearing classic floral dresses, a colorful, feminine wardrobe staple that requires minimal jewelry to make anyone stand out from a crowd. They can also be worn with chic ballet flats or heels for a throwback bombshell look.
Flaunt Your Shape
As a statuesque siren, Swift is aware of her slim physique, which she enhances with her wardrobe. And whether you’re super lean or curvy, flaunting your shape tastefully is a must for channeling the pop star. “Keep dresses form fitting and not too revealing,” warns image consultant Thea Wood. “A good rule of thumb? If it’s form-fitted, feature only one skin element, such as your back, bust, legs, or mid-riff. Shiny fabrics are on-trend, but be careful. They will highlight every bump and roll, so place shine strategically and wear shape wear.”
Play Up Your Best Assets
“A key to emulating Taylor’s signature style is to play up your best assets,” says model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “Whether it be your small waist, long legs, or skinny arms, know what looks best on you. Taylor was blessed with a long, svelte figure and by wearing high-waisted shorts, she accentuates her long legs. She also has naturally curly hair, so creating a pinup style with a red lip makes it easy to stay true to her natural beauty without changing too much.”
Mix and Match
When she’s not on the red carpet, Swift is usually spotted on the street mixing girly pieces, such as A-line dresses and the occasional pencil skirt, with masculine footwear or accessories. “Designers, such as Anthropologie, French Connection, and ModCloth all feature florals, Peter Pan collars, cardigans and flared skirts,” says Wood. “But be sure to mix these very feminine garments with masculine pieces, like a fedora, Frye boots, a canvas structured tote, or even a military jacket." Also, don’t forget to occasionally incorporate casual Keds sneakers when on the go, one of Swift’s favorite shoes.
Show Off Your Inner Glamour Girl
Swift’s retro-inspired look may seem predictable, but for red carpet events, she’s famous for amping up the glamour, going from chic vintage pinup to an old Hollywood bombshell. The secret to looking like a modern-day screen siren? Loading up on the sparkle. “On the red carpet, she’s a bona-fide glamour girl wearing shiny metallics and form-fitting gowns that also accentuate her svelte figure,” says Hilfiger. “Taylor’s glamorous award-show style has caught the attention of many fashion critics and landed on ‘Best Dressed’ lists all over.” One of Hilfiger’s favorite gowns is Swift’s silvery Gucci dress from this year’s Grammy Awards, which enhanced her flawless features and made her face glow. “This is when Taylor really caught my eye and transitioned from country cutie to a red carpet style star,” she adds.
Never Get Lazy with Your Wardrobe
We get it, there are some days when all you want to do is step out in super comfty sweatpants, right? However, if you’re really looking to channel Swift, skip the lazy look immediately. Always let your personality shine in what you wear, even if it’s for a casual day out. Not only will you have all eyes on you, but this is a great way to flaunt your personal style. “Like her music, Taylor shows her personality in everything she wears, something known as an ‘emotional dresser,’” explains Levine. “Some days you will find her in a more edgy rocker chic look with a t-shirt, skinny jeans, and Ray-Bans. Other days you will find her in something flouncy, such as a cute summer dress with heels.” Along with perfectly coiffed hair, whether up or down, you’ll look your very best and get a much-needed ego boost.