Taylor Swift’s three Tampa shows in April will be more than just another batch of concerts at Raymond James Stadium. For many Swifties, each event is also a fashion show.
Armed with glue guns, sequins and Amazon Prime memberships, fans around Florida and beyond have been preparing elaborate tour outfits. But keep in mind that light-up accessories are a no-no. The stadium has issued guidelines that ban any costumes or signs with battery packs.
Some of the costumes being created are replicas of iconic Swift outfits from red-carpet appearances and music videos. Others are more conceptual nods to her lyrics, from lavender haze to midnight rain.
Any meme, memory or anecdote can also become a look, like the graduation gown Swift donned to receive the honorary doctorate of fine arts from New York University or the goggles she wore after receiving Lasik eye surgery.
“I am making an outfit based on the song lyrics ‘She stole his dog and dyed it key lime green,’ and will wear a green tassel dress and green dog ear headband,” said Laura Anderson, who will be at the Friday and Saturday shows.
Anderson plans to pepper her look with little nods to Swift’s other albums: rhinestone cowboy boots, a “Red” ring, “Mirrorball” disco ball earrings, a “1989″-inspired seagull necklace and heart makeup that matches the “Lover” album cover. Each one of her fingernails will be decorated to represent a different album.
“Oh, and I plan to attach Easter eggs, as she is famous for putting Easter eggs in songs, posts, videos, etc.,” Anderson said.
Keisha McNair, 34, spent a week adding 6-inch rhinestone ribbons to a denim jacket to create a dreamy technicolor fringe, inspired by the “Lover” album. Song lyrics dance down the arms and front. She used her Cricut to make a custom shirt that says “Swiftie.”
“It also has an arrow pointing to my stomach with text that says ‘Future Swiftie,’ as I’ll be 15 weeks pregnant when we go to the concert,” she said.
Stephanie Smith, 32, focused her energy on making 44 friendship bracelets to trade — one for each song on Swift’s set list.
“Honestly I did it in two weekends,” said the Orlando resident, whose tweet was liked by over 6,000 fellow Swifties. “I used my lazy Sundays and made them while bingeing TV.”
Since January, Ashley Devenport has been working to hand-stitch over 1,000 rhinestones onto a black Express onesie.
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“I saw the ‘Bejeweled’ music video and my inner child was like, ‘Oooh, so many sparkles,’” said the Town ’N Country resident.
Each weeknight, Devenport, 34, sews for a minimum of one hour. She works for two hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I’ve loved making this outfit, and I know I’ll be around a bunch of people who will appreciate it,” she said.
Diego Colon, an 18-year-old music business student who plans to travel from Orlando, will be rocking a glitzy ringmaster costume from Swift’s “Red” era. He added black gems to the lapel and feathers to the sleeves.
Underneath are black sequined pants, a nod to Swift’s sultry Reputation tour bodysuit, and a crop top that Colon spent hours embellishing with rhinestones. Even his comfy Air Force Ones will be crusted with shimmering pendants, which reference Swift’s 2022 VMAs dress.
@diegoacolon04 day nine of designing my outfit for the eras tour 🏻 tour being two days away doesn’t feel real and much less me seeing taylor live in concert for the first time in 29 days this jacket/vest has taken up most of my time, but I promise I’ll be finishing it up by tomorrow so follow me if you want to see how it turns out! #tampa #taylorswift #theerastour #raymondjamesstadium #taylornation #theerastourtaylorswift #swiftok #swiftie #FYP #countdowntotstheerastour #tampatstheerastour ♬ Better Than Revenge - Taylor Swift
Colon is still waiting for more gems to arrive before he can finish. In the meantime, he’s been documenting his progress with daily TikToks. He estimates that he spent between $200 and $300 on supplies.
It’ll be worth it come showtime.
“I feel like a mastermind,” he said. “Like Taylor.”
Times staff writer Sharon Kennedy Wynne contributed to this report.