You guys remember Taylor Swift, right? She plays the guitar, she sings songs about her ex-boyfriends and she makes those heart shapes with her hands.
Or at least she used to. We used to know Taylor Swift like this: All kinky hair and goofy smiles and looking like she just got done eating cookie dough at a sleepover and practicing make-outs on posters of Jordan Catalano.
And then somewhere along the way America woke up and Taylor Swift had changed. Maybe it's because she wasn't, like, 22 anymore, maybe it's because life on the road hardened her (probably not) or maybe it was because she was no longer associating romantically with Disney stars but with men. Men who play music not with their toy drum sets or to hordes of screaming tweens, but with giant computers and to hordes of screaming women in Vegas.
Yes, for the past year or so the world has known Taylor as Rocker Taylor Swift, she of the dark lipstick and leather and high-heeled boots and platinum blonde hair. There wasn't a Mary Jane loafer or an adorably teeny tiny purse that was useless save for its adorable teeny tiny appearance to be found. What were we all to do living life without Taylor Swift's tiny forearm purse?
We'll tell you what we did: We manned up and we fell in love with rocker Taylor Swift. Because that's how Americans cope. We are helpless in the throws of TayTay, no matter if she's dolled up like she's doing a late night act at Caesar's Palace or wrapped to high heaven in cable knit like she's going for a clam bake with the Kennedy's. She's put a spell on us and with each iteration of Taylor we are forced, sometimes against our will, to fall more in love. But do you hear us complaining?
No, you hear us listening to "Bad Blood."
But now summer is upon us, and the winds of change are more like hurricane-force gales. Swift has moved on from what's-his-name and into the arms of one Tom Hiddleston. One strapping, British, highly-educated, classy, expensive-slacks-wearing man. And what lucky arms they are, right?
But being with Tom Hiddleston requires a certain je ne sais quoi. A quoi that doesn't involve any leather skirts or dark lipstick or platinum blonde hair. Which means that as of approximately one week ago, the world is back with...say it with us now...VINTAGE TAYLOR SWIFT. (Imagine it being yelled like Oprah: You get a Vintage Taylor! You get a Vintage Taylor! Everybody gets a Vintage Taylor!)
We first sensed that a change was nigh when the original Tom-and-Taylor beach photos surfaced. What was that we spotted? A sensible sweater? Flat, brown shoes? With laces purely for decoration? It couldn't be...could it?
But then we saw the purse. Yes, The Purse. It surfaced on June 23, 2016, stuck to Taylor's adorable little forearm like the toy handbag it probably is.
The purse—Louis Vuitton, of course—headed out for a night on the town alongside Taylor and Tom in Nashville. It carried (probably) nothing, perhaps a lipstick (red now, naturally) but it looked regal as all get out. It was also around this time that Taylor's hair mysteriously changed from rocker platinum back to a sensible dirty ash.
Then we noticed that Taylor and Tom took not one, but two strolls on a rocky beach, wearing not one, but two outfits that wouldn't be out of place on a Cambridge undergrad or taking a sail on the Cape. Here we see a (gasp!) striped (gasp!) cashmere sweater and barely-ripped-at-all jeans.
theimagedirect.com / FameFlynet
And next, perhaps even more shocking, is this outfit. We have here a kicky headband, a cream cable knit sweater, oxblood jeans and...what's this...Hunter boots? We dare not speak their name.
Or actually, we do dare, because this all seems really, really right. We think that's even a quilted barn jacket in her other hand in case there's a chilly ocean breeze. We see this version of Taylor Swift and we feel at peace. We feel comforted. We feel like we probably want to go back to listening to "22" or "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" or maybe even "Back to December." It feels like home.
So welcome back, Vintage Preppy Taylor Swift, but really, it's like you never left.