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Fashion psychologist reveals what outfits ‘Swifties’ should wear to Eras Tour



The UK leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is well underway, and unsurprisingly online searches for outfit inspiration have skyrocketed.

UK Pinterest searches for ‘Eras Tour Outfit Ideas have been on a sharp upward trajectory since 20 May and UK Google searches for ‘Taylor Swift Outfit Ideas’ are up 278 per cent this quarter.

A recent report from Barclays* revealed that almost one in five (18 per cent) Swifties will be buying a new outfit especially for the occasion, with the average spend on an outfit being £56.

While dressing up for the highly anticipated concert makes fans feel great, it could a more significant psychological role.

Dr Carolyn Mair, a Cognitive Psychologist and global fashion business consultant reveals the psychology behind outfits and how customised looks can actually help us remember events and occasions.

How clothing can unlock memories

When it comes to how it is clothing can help us activate memories of events experienced whilst wearing them, Dr Carolyn, who also authored The Psychology of Fashion, revealed:

“Clothing can act as a mnemonic, or memory device, anchoring memories to specific sensory experiences. Because clothing plays a significant role in how we encode, retrieve, and relive memories, it provides a tangible link to past experiences and emotions and the stronger the emotion at the time of the experience, the easier it is to recall it.

“Nostalgic clothing activates memory and triggers bittersweet emotions which can reinforce a sense of identity, meaning and continuity. Music is deeply tied to emotional experiences so clothing associated with music can trigger vivid memories of personal connections to specific times, places and social contexts, as well as aligning the wearer with the values and attitudes of the band/performer/genre.

She added: “This boosts confidence and self-esteem as well as associating the wearer with like-minded others, helping to stand out from fans of other bands/genres providing a sense of community, which can definitely be seen amongst Swifties.”

How customised clothing can enhance memories

“Creating something custom for an event can enhance memories due to the deep psychological (including sensory) and emotional connections formed in its creation. The personal significance reflects individual tastes and identity making it more meaningful, while the emotional investment in the creation strengthens memory encoding and recall, enhancing the overall nostalgic experience,” Dr Carolyn continued.

“When personal style is guided by nostalgia, every detail can hold memories that enhance the emotional depth of the item and event, evoking strong feelings of comfort, joy, continuity and a sense of connection to the past when triggered in the future.”

It is unsurprising then that TikTok is full of Swifties’ custom clothing designs, most notably the viral custom Taylor’s Version denim jacket by the artist Katia Scandale, which has resulted in fans worldwide following suit, with their own customised outfits.


Custom 1989 Taylor’s Version denim jacket hand-painted by me! 🩵✨🫶 Please tag @Taylor Swift @Taylor Nation I would die if she ever saw my work 🥹 This custom is an order (not for sale) but my commissions are FINALLY open! Email/Check my website for more info! LincolnBio 🫶 ##1989TaylorsVersion##taylorswift##taylorsversion##swifttok##fyp##1989tv##swift##theerastour##taylornation##1989vaulttracks##customdenimjacket##realism##painting##art

For UK fans wanting to create their own custom Eras Tour denim jacket, Gap’s in-house fashion experts have revealed their tips and tricks to nail a Taylor-worthy denim jacket that can double up as a memory keepsake.

Meanwhile, Gap UK’s Head of Buying, Sapna Brooks, reflected on the connection between fashion, music and self-expression:

“At Gap, we’ve always believed in individuality and self-expression, so it’s inspiring to see the creativity and customisation emerging on TikTok, including the Eras tour denim jackets. Music and fashion have always intertwined and allowed space for fans to express their unique style.”

She added: “There’s also the added sustainable benefit of giving new life to your favourite or pre-loved clothing through upcycling, and working towards prolonging the longevity of our denim is something Gap is an advocate for.”

Whilst denim is a resilient fabric, perfect for creating a memory keepsake with, being able to clean and maintain your denim’s colour, shape and fit is a huge part of prolonging its lifespan, so Gap have outlined how best to protect your denim in this Denim Care Guide.

How to customise your denim at home


Think about infusing your denim with a unique flair through embroidery.You might sew a beloved Taylor Swift lyric or an album title onto the back of your jacket. For a less conspicuous detail, hand-embroidered floral patterns could be a good choice.

If you don’t quite know where to start, the running stitch is the easiest to master and it makes light work of borders and outlines. If you pencil your lines onto your denim, you can easily follow along. Complement this with our other tips for a quick makeover.

Additionally, iron-on appliqué patches offer a simple and speedy method to inject some individuality into your denim. Choose hourglasses, paper planes or your favourite Swift easter egg.

Temporary customisation

If you just want to add a temporary statement, adorn your jeans or jacket with enamel pins, buttons, and patches, so you can easily remove them if you want a more low-key look. For placement, the lapel on a denim jacket is the easiest place to start with a blank space that’s easy to style with enamel pins.

One or two will draw the eye, but don’t let contrast or clashes stop you from adding clusters or covering the whole of your outfit. Generally, having lots of clashing pins and patches will give you an edgier look, while a few choice selections will come off as more subtle.

Throwback vibes

’89 is the year, and by adding fringes to your denim, you can easily capture the retro feel that’s perfect for the Eras tour (and perfect for reviving your old worn denim).

To fringe your jeans, first remove the hem and then mark how high you’d want the fringe to go. A couple of inches above the ankle is usually good. Use a seam ripper to carefully cut up to your mark along the seam. Next, cut 2cm wide strips up the denim from where the hem was to your mark, and repeat until you’ve done all 360 degrees or for as much as you’d like.

You should notice many small loose threads along where you’ve cut – this is the fun part. Start pulling any threads that run upwards (ignore any going down), and you’ll begin to see your threads fray and fringe.


Glow up with reflective elements like rhinestones, metallic discs, or sequins. Embrace your inner mirrorball by adorning your pockets, seams, and collars with country-style glitter. If you want a temporary fix, non-permanent spray fabric adhesives make swapping details really easy while you try things out. For those who want to make their outfits dance-proof, there are a host of really durable fabric glues available to make sure those diamonds and discs stay put.

If you want glitter, it has a habit of getting stuck in fibres, so using a brush to shake it off is useful. And always try to find an eco-friendly and biodegradable one to reduce any damage to the environment.

Check out Gap’sDenim Care Guide for keeping your favourite denim looking its best for longer.

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