people watching

What 200 Swifties Wore to an Eras Show

Photo: Boston Globe via Getty Images/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Sometimes, a place that draws a specific kind of crowd — from a sample sale to an office lunch spot — can yield a wealth of shopping intel. What are these like-minded people all into right now? What sneakers are they wearing? What is that pants brand? For the inaugural edition of People Watching, we posted up at Penn Station ahead of Taylor Swift’s first Eras tour show at MetLife Stadium.

Wherever Taylor Swift’s Eras tour goes, a flurry of sequins follows. But what color sequins? And for which era? And what about all the cowboy boots? The tour made a three-night stop in town during Memorial Day weekend, so on Friday, May 26, I headed to Penn Station, hoping to glean some insight from the crush of concertgoers commuting to MetLife Stadium via NJ Transit. The show’s official start time was 6:30 p.m., so I arrived at the atrium at 4 and lingered among Swifties excitedly checking their phones and outfits, chatting with many of them about their knee-high cowboy boots, Shein crop tops, and the Advil and hair ties stuffed into their clear stadium bags. Here’s what I learned.

The unofficial Eras tour uniform is, obviously, a fun dress + cowboy boots

The combination leaves lots of room for interpretation, depending on which era they wanted to rep. Concertgoers went Fearless glam in fringed flapper dresses; Reputation edgy in tight leather; Lover romantic in puffy organza; and Folklore cottagecore in corseted Renaissance looks. This dreamy Selkie number I saw someone wearing was definitely a nod to Lover.

Final sequins + sparkles count: 67

From sequined dresses to shimmery eye shadow, pretty much every Swiftie was sporting some sort of sparkle. I counted nearly 70 people wearing rhinestones, sequins, or glitter, and I probably missed a lot more. “My friend who went to the Atlanta concert told me she felt left out because she didn’t have sparkles on, so she told me to make sure my outfit had them,” said one fan. These emerald sequined shorts worn by another were a reference to Swift’s serpentine Reputation era.

Final rainbow count: 11

Most memorable was this rainbow-fringe jacket that can pull double duty for Pride.

Final cowboy-boot count: 34

Though fans with floor tickets were wearing sneakers

Among those planning to fight their way to the front pit, white sneakers overwhelmingly won out. “Nah, nah to the cowboy boots,” said one fan. “We’re about to go into battle. Sneakers only.” I noticed both Nike AF1s and Vejas in the crowd.

I saw two people in this Shein top

It comes in 12 colors, but both had it in hot pink.

Colorful jumpsuits abounded

Especially in shades of pink and purple. Someone wearing a lilac Big Bud Press jumpsuit immediately caught my eye, since I own the same one.

Finishing touches included hats and lots of butterflies …

I saw a lot of cowboy hats with what I’ll call a “fun flair,” like this pink one with feathers — and it comes with heart sunglasses, another staple in the crowd. There were also lots of classic black fedoras from the Red era and countless butterfly clips and accessories (a recurring motif for Swift).

… plus full sleeves of DIY friendship bracelets

Many fans bought bead kits online and crafted bracelets in the weeks before the show. A sampling of what I saw: “GAYLOR,” “WOULDA COULDA SHOULDA,” “KARMA IS A GOD,” “SCREAMING CRYING,” “SPEAK NOW (TV),” “OUR SONG,” “NYC ERA,” “I’M ON SOME NEW SHIT,” “BETTER THAN REVENGE,” “SUPERSTAR,” “BAD BLOOD,” “F JOHN MAYER,” “F’D IN THE HEAD,” “BITCH NOT A BALLER,” “CHECKMATE,” “SEXY BABY.”

Lover was the most represented album …

“I feel like the Lover era is the easiest to re-create with things you already have, because it’s just bright colors and sequins,” one person told me. Another paired rhinestone tights with this simple Lover necklace.

closely followed by Midnights

“I went for a little celestial moment,” said one fan about her blue velvet top and moon-and-star accessories.

The best clear bags had a chain strap

I saw dozens of people carrying this one, which looks more like a purse but aligns with clear-bags-only stadium guidelines. Clear backpacks and cross-bodies were also very well represented (fanny packs less so).

In their clear bags, people were bringing:

Male Swifties wore pastel button-downs

Lots of pink, lavender, and sky blue, paired with white shorts or overalls.

Dillydalliers had to settle for whatever would ship quickly from Amazon

Multiple people I talked to ended up scrambling because the products they ordered didn’t arrive in time for the concert, or they just procrastinated too long, so they had to grab something last minute, like this generic lyric shirt.

I saw a lot of “Not a Lot Going on at the Moment” shirts

It was an ironic pronouncement for one fan, who recently had a baby.

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What 200 Swifties Wore to an Eras Show