Taylor Swift is the ultimate quiet luxury style icon, but experts say it’s probably a PR move

Taylor Swift is the ultimate quiet luxury style icon, but experts say it's probably a PR move


No stranger to being scrutinized, Taylor Swift has long been accused of downplaying her wealth, particularly after a Forbes report published in October said she’s now worth an estimated 1.1 billion.


Taylor Swift is the ultimate quiet luxury style icon, but experts say it's probably a PR move

It can be easy to forget that Swift is no ordinary person, but a billionaire who has made more money from music published in the past four years than David Bowie’s estate made from selling his whole songwriting catalog for $250 million in 2022, according to Bloomberg.

Why is it so easy to forget that Swift is a billionaire? The answer is simple.

She doesn’t look like one.

Money talks but wealth whispers
Swift is often seen in simple, understated outfits when not on stage or at red-carpet appearances. There are no Birkin handbags or Rolex timepieces in sight.


Though her outfits are unassuming, her clothing is often from minimal, quiet luxury brands – like The Row, where a pair of white pants costs over $2,000.

Quiet luxury is a popular trend that considers wearing low-key, minimal, good-quality outfits the true way to look sophisticated and wealthy.

It’s not uncommon to see Swift wearing a miniskirt and turtleneck sweater, or a boxy blazer and dress. Both outfits don’t scream superstar or billionaire, though that’s not to say they aren’t stylish outfits.

On the other hand, it’s rare to see Swift wearing extremely casual outfits like a pair of old jeans and a baggy tee, which hints that her style aims to achieve a more elevated look.

Erin Eagle, a stylist and the founder of styling platform A Style Set, told Business Insider that Swift’s aesthetic is more girl next door than trendsetter. While celebrities like theHadids and Jenners are oftenseen in loud logos and micro-trends, Swift’s simple style means her fans can emulate it on any budget.



Kat Orchard, the founder of PR agency JAG Communications, told BI: “She looks like someone who her fans could be friends with because she is a direct reflection of them.”

This relatability has manifested in the close bond Swift has with her fanbase.

Style as a strategic tool for publicity

Eagle told BI that stylists have a lot of control when it comes to how celebrities are perceived by the public.

Orchard agreed, and said in the case of Swift, the use of simple styling is strategic to a certain degree.

“You’ve got to think this person has all of the money in the world, has access to the very best stylists and brands, yet chooses this,” she added.

Orchard told BI that how celebrities appear, who they are seen with, and even where they go for dinner all form part of their public image.

She gave Kate Middleton as an example. Before becoming a royal, Kate was often pictured wearing jeans and casual clothes, and going to the pub with friends.

“Public perception of her at the time was ‘she’s too common,'” Orchard told BI.

She added that now, partly by utilizing styling, Kate’s public perception has shifted to being accepted by the public as a future queen.

Celebrities downplaying their wealth
We’ve all likely seen the headlines about Swift’s private jettrips during her Eras tour, but that’s where our knowledge of Swift’s wealth ends. We don’t see her driving sports cars or singing about her money or expensive possessions.

Orchard said while some celebrities do downplay their wealth, it depends on who the celebrity is and what their audience cares about.

She said Kim Kardashian is an example of a celebrity who makes no attempt to hide their lavish lifestyle, be that with her purse collection or her private jet trips. Orchard said this works for Kardashian’s fan base as they like watching something aspirational and near impossible to attain.

Some fans say Swift’s style leaves much to be desired
In a time when image is everything, there’s a hunger for Swift to experiment with her style and fans have been vocal on social media about what they’d like to see her wearing.

According to The New York Times, Swift’s stylist is Joseph Cassell Falconer, whose Instagram posts suggest he’s the man behind almost every tour look and campaign outfit we see from Swift.

Her bold, bedazzled stage persona is a vast contrast to the minimal street-style looks she’s seen wearing.

The parody Instagram account @youbelonginthis is filled with haute couture outfits pasted onto pictures of Swift, showing the alternate world where she’s a fashion girlie. Run by Cookie Cohen, a creator with a background in design, it currently has more than 11,000 followers.

Cohen told BI that as Swifties themselves, she and her friends are a little disappointed with Swift’s style. “It’s frustrating that for someone who works so hard on her image, she isn’t using her arsenal to create her own unique sense of style,” she said.

Some of the looks Cohen creates for her account are outlandish, like Swift in a huge white fur coat. But others leave the fashion community wondering why she doesn’t want to make a statement with her outfits.

Eagle said though the quiet luxury trend looks great on Swift, she thinks she should experiment more with color, as she has with her signature red lip.

Ultimately, Eagle said Swift’s fan following is stronger than the buzz of the best-dressed list.

“She can wear anything, and she’ll still be just as big as she is now. So I guess it doesn’t matter,” she added.