The Hidden Message Behind Taylor Swift's Cutoff Denim Shorts, According to Fans

In typical Taylor Swift fashion, her outfit is more than meets the eye. The 33-year-old musician is currently staying at her New York City apartment ahead of her upcoming Eras Tour shows at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Naturally, she worked with her stylist Joseph Cassell Falconer to throw it back to a getup she sported in 2018, when she was in town for her "Reputation" tour.

Stepping out on May 22, Swift wore a cropped white button-down and crossover black denim shorts — both from R13 — with nude Zahara sandals from Australian brand A.Emery. She finished the look with a Ralph Lauren Welington saddle bag in a cognac shade, plus delicate gold hoops and thin stacking rings. Swift's long bronde hair was left down in loose waves, and her bangs are currently chopped to the same length they were in 2018, making her hairstyle virtually identical. Of course, her look from five years ago played to slightly different trends — including the off-kilter pinstripe shirt, rather than the asymmetrical-buttoned shorts; completely ripped denim, instead of subtle distressing at the hem of the leg; and even decidedly edgier details like red stitching on her ankle booties and a more dramatic lip color, which spoke to her "Reputation" aesthetic at the time.

As most Swifties know, the singer's fashion phases are highly defined by her music and the messaging behind it, so it's no surprise that when she's on stage telling her fans, "I've just never been this happy in my life," she's opting for more natural-looking, effortless, and comfortable accessories that feel very "throw on and go." However, some fans are taking the connection even further, suggesting her throwback outfit is also a message that she feels overwhelmed by the paparazzi, as she's recorded in the exact look escaping from crowds during a scene in her 2020 documentary "Miss Americana." But it's also possible that Swift is just recalling another New York moment from her past — perhaps it's just a nod to the feeling she gets when she's in the tri-state area, preparing to perform.

Ahead, see the casual summer outfit that's being assigned not-so-casual meaning, then review all of Swift's Eras Tour costumes so far. Plus, see the NYU sweatshirt and miniskirt combo she wore to spend time with rumored boyfriend Matty Healy on May 15.

Taylor Swift in NYC on May 22, 2023
Getty | Gotham

Taylor Swift in NYC on May 22, 2023