Taylor Swift Had a 'Tortured Poets Department' Era Uniform All Along

She wore it again on a night out in Australia.

Taylor Swift in Australia wearing a black top and gold necklace
(Image credit: Backgrid, Getty)

A Taylor Swift album cycle is never merely a musical era; it's a 24/7 commitment to a mood and an aesthetic. As the Grammy winner traveled between stops on the Australian leg of the Eras Tour last night, she dressed precisely for what fans now recognize as the Tortured Poets Department look.

After playing for crowds of 288,000 people over three nights in Melbourne, Australia, Swift went out to dinner in Sydney with tour opener Sabrina Carpenter in an outfit with all the emblems of her new style era. Swift's look revolved around variations of two pieces she's worn multiple times over the past year while teasing her forthcoming eleventh studio album: a close-fitting black corset top and a pleated mini skirt. (No subtle nods to boyfriend Travis Kelce were spotted this time around.)

Taylor Swift spotted in Sydney, Australia, wearing a black corset top and pleated skirt

Taylor Swift made a rare appearance in Sydney, Australia, wearing an all-too-familiar outfit formula: a black corset top and a pleated mini skirt.

(Image credit: Backgrid)

This time around, tiny cutouts split Swift's House of CB top down the middle, and it was completed by a ruched neckline tied with a bow. She cinched her pleated Miu Miu micro miniskirt with a thick leather belt, and accessorized with a gold T-bar chain necklace by Tilly Sveaas and an Evil Eye bracelet by Jacquie Aiche.

Taylor Swift leaves a restaurant in Sydney, Australia, wearing a black corset top and mini skirt

Exiting the restaurant, Swift gave fans a glimpse at her entire look, including her pleated mini skirt and cutout corset top.

(Image credit: Backgrid)

The look is consistent with Swift's months-long run of preppy pleated skirts and close-fitting black tops. Between cheering on boyfriend Travis Kelce at football games and going out to dinners with her friends in New York City, Swift has dressed in variations of the corset top-plus-mini skirt formula, featuring her usual high-low mix of designers from Free People to Versace to The Row. Miu Miu, the designer behind the skirt she wore in Sydney, has also shown up several times in Swift's wardrobe over the past eight months (often in the form of another pleated mini).

Taylor Swift walks down the street in New York wearing a mini skirt, tall boots, and a black top

This Taylor Swift outfit from a night in November captures the 'Tortured Poets Department' era look she wore again in Australia, with a neutral-toned top and academic pleated mini skirt by Miu Miu.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift walk in New York City on a date where Taylor wears a corset top and pants

Swift wore one of the hallmarks of her current style era, a black corset top, on a date with Travis Kelce last October.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every time Taylor Swift releases an album, she chooses a color palette, set of silhouettes, and roster of designers to convey the music's mood—sometimes months before its release. The original 1989 era was characterized by bright colorblocking and her clipped bob haircut; Reputation (Not Taylor's Version) took a turn toward a moody downtown nightscape with labels like Balenciaga and Gucci in heavy rotation. Swift has also told fans (and journalists) that her fashion and beauty choices are often laden with Easter eggs for fans to decode.

Swift officially acknowledged her eleventh era onstage at the Grammys, in a custom Schiaparelli gown with black opera gloves. On the album cover released shortly after, she poses in a knit lingerie set by The Row—the same brand behind many of the jackets, bags, and blazers she's worn in the months leading up to her outfit reveal. It didn't take fans long to connect the dots, noticing that Swift wasn't simply wearing the mini skirt and corset trend while out and about. She was laying the groundwork for her upcoming album with a slew of collegiate-coded clothing. (Almost like what a well-dressed poetry professor would wear.)

Taylor Swift walks in New York City wearing a leather jacket, mini skirt, ankle boots, and a black top

On another occasion, Swift leaned into the black top and mini skirt combination with the addition of a Madewell leather blazer.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl in a black corset top and necklaces

At the 2024 Super Bowl, Swift wore yet another corset top—this time by Dion Lee, an Australian label.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Tortured Poets Department will be released in just less than two months, on April 19, and bring a host of message-coded looks with it. This is Taylor Swift, after all—with her, a mini skirt is never just a mini skirt.

Editors' note: This post will be updated with additional photos and outfit credits when they are available.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes fashion and beauty stories. Her reporting has ranged from in-depth designer profiles to fashion week reviews and research-backed shopping guides. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held fashion writer and editor roles at Harper’s BazaarMorning Brew, and Glamour. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. You can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.