Happy birthday to the one and only, Taylor Swift! The singer turns 31 on Dec. 13, and she celebrated the occasion by dropping her ninth studio album two days prior on Dec. 11. The album, Evermore, is quite a departure from her debut in 2006, and Taylor has come such a long way since then. She started her career as a curly-haired, wide-eyed country crooner, and has transformed into one of the biggest musical artists of our generation.
Between 2006-2007, Taylor was the princess of country with hit songs like “Tim McGraw,” “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and “Our Song.” A staple of Taylor’s look during her opening era was her long, naturally curly blonde hair, cowboy boots, and endearing twang. Fans adored her vulnerability, and how she was able to put lyrics to heartache, young love, and more in a totally relatable way!
The 2008 and 2009 era saw Taylor continue to capitalize on her country roots. Taylor broke through the country music scene and beyond with her album Fearless with hit songs like “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me,” and “White Horse.” She kept her signature long blonde curly locks and continued to wear dresses and boots. However, she also chose some fun-loving costumes to represent her music on tour, such as her marching band outfit that revealed a very sparkly dress underneath and her romantic renaissance style dress for the moment she crooned the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Taylor’s Speak Now era began to show off less cowboy boots and more heels. Taylor’s dresses were still sparkly but some were chiffon. Her curls were a little more loose and sometimes, like for her performance of her hit song “Mean,” she’d wear her locks in a loose side braid that was different from any of the other hair styles she had shown off up to that point.
Things started to change up for Taylor in between 2012 and 2013 when she released Red and took on a brand new persona that proved she wasn’t afraid to take risks. Her curls were replaced with pin straight blonde locks and bangs and her dresses were exchanged for button-down, oxford style shirts and pants or shorts whenever she hit the stage. She seemed to go for very simple solid-colored looks in these days with black, white, and of course, red, being the main ones, as she sang hit tunes like “I Know You Were Trouble,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and “22!”
Taylor became a full-blown pop star when the 1989 era began. Taylor’s long hair was cut into a shoulder-length bob. Her wardrobe gave her fans a real blast from the past with ’80s-inspired pieces like multi-colored sequined jackets and skirts and colorful sunglasses. After her successful tour that season, she took on a very bold hair makeover when she dyed her locks platinum blonde for the 2016 Met Gala and kept it that way for a few months.
Following a break from music and public life, Taylor came back in 2017 with her album Reputation and proved she wasn’t the sweet little country twanger-turned-pop-singer that most people thought she was. She brought back her curls but with an edge this time, featuring fierce fringe. She wore a number of bodysuit costumes on stage, including some snakeskin-patterned ones as well as glitter-clad ones, and added loose blazers and tie-up boots to her eclectic wardrobe.
Taylor’s music and look once again changed when she released seventh studio album, Lover, in 2019. Much like her music, her style went back to basics with a lot of vibrant colors. She kept her hair just past her shoulders with a slight wavy style. She also dyed the ends of her hair various pastel colors such as light blue and pink and wore a lot of pinks, purples, and yellows. It’s been such a journey watching Taylor mature into the woman that she’s become; through highs and lows, setbacks and triumphs, she’s proven to be a young woman maneuvering the world like any other, only under the spotlight.
Now, for the folklore and evermore era, Taylor has taken on a whimsical look, with her hair sporting soft curls and a longer length. Click through the gallery above to see how she’s changed over the years, from the early days of her career until now!