Home » ‘A celebration of girlhood’: Why the act of dressing up for Taylor Swift is so layered

‘A celebration of girlhood’: Why the act of dressing up for Taylor Swift is so layered

For some Taylor Swift fans, securing a coveted ticket to the Australia leg of the superstar’s Eras Tour was just the start of their stress — it was time to start curating the perfect concert outfit.

Swifties who knew their way around a sewing machine and a hot glue gun got to work.

For others, fast fashion retailers were quick to offer up enough cowboy boots and sequin mini-skirts for every era.

Dressing up for concerts has been happening for decades, and Taylor Swift isn’t the only performer who inspires fans to follow a dress code.

Feather boas were the must-have accessory for Harry Styles’s world tour last year, though concert goers from London to Sydney were criticised for leaving a massacre of feathers in their wake post-show.

Cowgirl hats are a staple in the Eras Tour dress code, with other fans incorporating song references into their looks.(ABC News: Kate Ashton)

Beyonce went a step further and for her birthday asked fans attending her Renaissance tour during Virgo season to don their “most fabulous silver fashions.”

And who is going to say no to Beyonce? And on her birthday?

But what separates Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour from her peers is how it spotlights just how elaborate concert outfit culture has become.

For some fans, the desire to get involved can quickly tip into pressure to look the part, or risk feeling left out among hundreds of thousands of fans.

‘I have to be part of this club’

Writer, editor and podcaster Jasmine Wallis has been a Swiftie for years but had never seen the singer live until she touched down for three shows in Melbourne earlier this month.

“I’d seen all the Eras Tour outfits from the US so I knew it was a big occasion and people dress up and it’s very much a celebration of girlhood,” she told ABC News.

“I suddenly felt all this pressure to dress up sparkly and sequined.”

Two women in their twenties in sparkly silver skirts smile inside a stadium.

Jasmine Wallis, left, values sustainability but even she got swept up in buying something new for the Eras Tour.(Supplied: Jasmine Wallis)

While her friends started making their own outfits months ahead of the February tour, Wallis knew she’d buy something closer to the date, then suddenly found herself cutting it close.

“I probably spent about two hours on my computer on Sunday night going through all these websites that I’ve never even looked at before,” she said.

“From a value perspective, I try not to not buy fast fashion in general but especially not ultra-fast fashion.”

After realising nothing would be delivered in time, Wallis went in-store and found herself considering a $70 sequin mini-skirt “that was falling apart in the dressing room.”

“I was still like ‘no, I should buy this because I don’t want to be left out’. It was really weird, the FOMO culture of it all.

“Even as a 27-year-old with critical thinking skills, who talks about fast fashion all the the time, I was still just like ‘I have to be part of this club.'”

Wallis ended up wearing a silver sequin skirt borrowed from a friend, who bought it specially for the Eras Tour but had decided on wearing something else.

“I probably saw 100 girls in the same skirt, but it was really fun to wear something I wouldn’t normally wear and feel sparkly and glittery and paired with things I already own.”

Friends dressed up for Taylor Swift concert Melbourne

Fans both overseas and in Australia dressed up for the Eras Tour.

According to the Australian Fashion Council (AFC), Australians buy on average 56 items of clothing annually, with 200,000 tonnes of clothing going into landfill every year.

“While fashion can bring people such joy, uplift experiences and allow us to creatively express ourselves, we know that it also has a large impact on the planet,” an AFC spokesperson said.