Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Outfits By Alberta Ferretti Are Fan-Favorites—and Loaded With Meaning

The designer behind the hybrid "Folkmore" setlist's seven dresses gives us an exclusive look inside the making of each one before Swift's sold-out shows in London.

Taylor Swift performs at the Eras Tour in Cardiff, Wales, wearing a red alberta ferretti dress with a semi sheer cape and stomach cut-outs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

More than 100 dates into the marathon event, Swifties have live-streamed, live-tweeted, and breathlessly dissected every second of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour since its kickoff last March. That doesn’t mean they’ll know what they’ll hear—or even which outfits they’ll see the pop star wearing—and the same goes when Swift takes the stage in London tonight for another sold-out show.

Swift sets aside at least two surprise songs for each show and chooses between several remixes of Eras Tour costumes by Alberta Ferretti, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace, among others, to perform the night's setlist.

So far, there have been seven versions of the ethereal, Stevie Nicks-esque Alberta Ferretti dresses for the “Folkmore” set (a combination of the Folklore and Evermore albums), and at this point in the tour, guessing which one she’ll wear at any given show is a fandom-betting event generating as much passion online as a major-league sport. Just check the live alerts for accounts like @tswifterastour on X for proof.

Taylor Swift wears a green alberta ferretti dress with a stomach cut out and a sheer cape while performing on the eras tour

Taylor Swift performs the "Folkmore" (that is, combined Folklore and Evermore) set each show in one of seven Alberta Ferretti dresses.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

All the options involve qualities like light chiffon that flows with every movement Swift makes, all similar silhouettes—"wide sleeves, ruffles, tiered skirts, and significant, always flowing, and romantic volumes"—and colors plucked from nature, in a parallel to the albums’ folk-pop, woodland fairy sound, Alberta Ferretti, the designer, tells me in an email from her Milan headquarters. Several were inspired by archival Ferretti designs; four dresses, in ivory, pink, blue, and mauve, are dusted in tiny crystals color-coordinating with their fabric. Still, fans have picked their favorites.

As accounts online feverishly document which dress arrives in which show, replies go wild for a mossy green dress with cut-outs and a lace motif Ferretti says she made especially for Swift. Ditto for a deep red recreation, she debuted for the European leg of the tour alongside several new pairs of custom Louboutins. When dresses take a few shows off, fans mourn them like they’re long-lost friends: “Where is yellow? I miss her,” someone wrote about a canary-colored, tiered Ferretti gown that hasn’t been seen for several shows.

Taylor Swift wears a yellow layered dress by alberta ferretti with short ruffled sleeves while performing at the eras tour 2024

An Alberta Ferretti Eras Tour outfit some fans worry is "missing," crafted from sunshine yellow chiffon with a tiered skirt.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Feretti says she loves all her creations equally. (A not-unexpected answer for a designer who’s worked closely with Swift and her stylist, Joseph Cassell Falconer, on and off since the 2014 Grammys.) Designing all seven Eras Tour outfits in the time since Swift’s team contacted her at the end of 2022 has been both an "honor" and a four-way balancing act, “between my personal style, Taylor's aesthetic vision, the lightness of the materials to accompany the performance, and the musical era of Folklore."

This four-pronged approach lets Swift “move and express herself at best,” explicitly and implicitly. In London and on every other stop, Swift will spend part of her set performing the folk-pop song “Willow” with a chocolate brown cape thrown over whichever dress she chooses. It’s not just an opportunity for some impressive skirtography or a nod to the cloak she wears in the music video. It's stitched with special meaning.

Taylor Swift wears an Alberta Ferretti cape over her Eras Tour Alberta Ferretti dress while performing in Europe

Swift's newest Alberta Ferretti accessory, a chocolate brown cape added over the top of her dress, is laden with hidden meanings.

(Image credit: Courtesy Alberta Ferretti)

a sketch of Taylor Swift wearing an Alberta Ferretti floor length cape with floral detailing for the Eras Tour

A sketch of Alberta Ferretti's new cape for Swift's "Folkmore" set.

(Image credit: Courtesy Alberta Ferretti)

Ferretti analyzes the connection between her creations and the setlist like a studied fan. “The lyrics of ‘Willow’ are a metaphor for unconditional love and the commitment to follow a loved one, abandoning oneself completely and overcoming any fear,” she explains. “The cape, crafted from chocolate-colored velvet with lace details on satin, serves as an almost protective element, enhanced by the hood. However, as the song progresses, it unveils a stunning dress and a woman ready to shine.”

Taylor swift wears a cream alberta ferretti dress with lace detailing while performing onstage at the eras tour

Swift's blush pink "Folkmore" dress is constructed with lace and colorful crystals, along with yards of lightweight chiffon.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Taylor Swift wears a sky blue alberta ferretti dress with sheer sleeves at the eras tour

Swift will sometimes save certain variations for special events. She chose to reveal her icy blue Alberta Ferretti dress for the Eras Tour unveiling of 1989 (Taylor's Version) in Los Angeles last August.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Taylor Swift fashion universe’s attention to meaning and symbolism—especially in a setting like the Eras Tour—were as appealing to Ferretti as Swift’s musical achievements and her capacity for "renewing herself over the years." At her concerts in every era, “there is always great attention to the costumes which, especially in this specific case, are an integral part of the storytelling.”

These considerations are a special break from the complex world of runway collections for Ferretti, where the designer is as equally concerned with her brand’s industrial and commercial needs as her creative side. “When working with celebrities for special projects, such as in this case, you have the freedom to ‘create’ in response to the scenic requirements,” she explains.

Taylor Swift wears a red alberta ferretti dress on the eras tour with stomach cut outs and a semi sheer cape

Swift debuted an "intense red" version of her fan-favorite green dress for the European leg of the Eras Tour.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

a sketch of the front and back of Taylor Swift's red Alberta Ferretti Eras Tour outfit featuring a ruffled skirt and a stomach cut out

A sketch of Taylor Swift's red Alberta Ferretti dress for the European leg of the Eras Tour.

(Image credit: Courtesy Alberta Ferretti)

The cascading ruffles and cape-like sheer fabric flowing from each dress’s shoulders are all signs of Ferretti’s delicately sensual, semi-bohemian brand DNA. For Swift to perform in them on a tour spanning five continents for nearly two years, there needed to be options. “This was a truly monumental production," Ferretti says.

Taylor Swift wearing a purple alberta ferretti dress with long ruffled sleeves while performing at the eras tour

"Starting from some archive dresses, I worked on the volumes, fluid and soft, the silhouettes and constructions, especially considering Taylor's performance," Ferretti says.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Taylor Swift wears a layered alberta ferretti dress in cream with long sleeves while performing on the eras tour

"Romanticism, nature, delicate sensuality, lightness, are all characteristics that these two albums share with my brand’s DNA," Ferretti says. "Thus, the creative process flowed naturally."

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The fashion fan police need not worry. The versions missed and reported MIA by them haven't been permanently benched from a twirl-induced rip or a stain in a torrential downpour and could surface again. “We provided Taylor's team with extra fabrics and everything needed to address any damage caused by the wear and tear of the outfits,” Ferretti says. “It is a monumental production, and they are very well organized and capable of handling any eventuality.”

Fans monitoring this weekend’s shows like a State of the Swiftie Union will just have to be ready for whatever she wears. Like every other element of the tour and her day-to-day street style, Swift always has her reasons for wearing what she wears and when.

Taylor Swift dancing onstage at the eras tour wearing a red alberta ferretti dress with a semi sheer cape

"Personally, I loved each of these dresses. All were created with love, trying to find a balance between my personal style, Taylor's aesthetic vision, the lightness of the materials to accompany the performance, and the musical era of Folklore," Ferretti says.

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.