Photo by Scott Legato/TAS23/Getty Images.
Drop everything and meet us in the pouring rain. We’ve entered the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) era aka the biggest moment of the year for the most annoying person in your life. (“It’s me, hi, I’m the problem.”) Released on July 7th, this marks the third of Taylor Swift’s re-recordings after Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and RED (Taylor’s Version), all made in a bid to reclaim her masters.
The announcement — made while Swift was on stage during the Eras tour — came as no surprise to Swifties who have been combing through Swift’s music videos, Instagram posts and outfits for Easter eggs for months now (yes, sis even likes to drop hints with her nails). Now that the album is out, we’ve been lucky enough to see Swift parade around onstage in a giant tiered purple dress (“wearing a gown shaped like a pasty,” if you will) and release a music video for the vault song, “I Can See You” — featuring her Speak Now era ex-boyfriend Taylor Lautner, nonetheless.
With all of the album re-release excitement, fans old and new might be wondering how to properly celebrate this enchanting era. So, from longtime Swifties who were lucky enough to live through OG Speak Now, here are 13 defining characteristics of the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) era. Consider this your fan-approved guide for enjoying Speak Now (TV) in all its magical, heart-rending, chaotic beauty.
Be Your Most Dramatic, Romantic, Honest Self
Swift has always been a heart-on-her-sleeve, deepest-secrets-in-all-the-songs, naming-names kind of person but Speak Now — her first and only fully self-written project — is arguably her most vulnerable work. Over the 14-track standard edition, she sings about the power imbalance and mind games of age-gap relationships (“Dear John”), realizing you’re the reason someone you love is hurt (“Back To December”), battling bullies (“Mean”), the loneliness of leaving home for the first time (“Never Grow Up”) and forgiving someone who has wronged you (“Innocent”). And that just scratches the surface.
To adopt some Speak Now energy into your life, take the album prologue to heart. It’s time for some open-hearted romanticism and unabashed honesty (probably best to draw the line at storming your ex’s wedding though, as Swift fantasizes about in the title track).
Given that this is one of Swift’s most diaristic albums, follow suit with your own journal — in purple, of course — to jot down your innermost thoughts, feelings, poems or lyrics.
Wear All The Shades Of Purple
The easiest and most obvious way to honor the re-record is through Speak Now era outfits. Purple is accepted by Swift and Swifties alike as the color of the era, most notably because the OG and Taylor’s Version album covers show Swift in a floaty purple dress. If you’re after a purple Speak Now look for the Eras tour, check out our comprehensive outfit guide here.
Or Don Your Most Enchanting Princess Dress
Speak Now is arguably Swift’s most magical album and not just because of “Enchanted,” a sparkly power ballad dedicated to a fairytale, love-at-first-sight moment. On “Long Live,” Swift compares the journey she and her band have been on to fighting dragons and becoming rulers of the kingdom; on “Sparks Fly,” she asks her crush to “lead her up the staircase,” comparing their smile to fireworks exploding into light. Get into the fairytale spirit with the most OTT tulle princess dress you can find and start practicing your twirling. It’ll come in useful when you hear Swift belt those high notes (or if you have a prom, wedding or formal occasion lined up).
Get Yourself Some Speak Now Merch
Swift’s official store is selling plenty of Speak Now (TV) merch but you can also hit up Etsy, which is a treasure trove of fan-made artwork, T-shirts, jewelry and more.
Write Your Favorite Lyrics On Your Arms & A 13 On Your Hand
On the original Speak Now tour, Swift started writing lyrics on her arms with a Sharpie — from her own songs and from others she loved — as a sort of mood ring to gauge how she was feeling that night. Copy her with your own favorite lyrics from the album, plus a sparkly 13 on your hand. From experience, the latter is best achieved with a Sharpie and nail polish for a long-lasting, concert-ready mark.
Spritz Wonderstruck Eau De Parfum (Or A Similar Dupe)
A red lip and Taylor Swift are now synonymous with each other, so much so that it’s made its way into several of her songs (“red lip classic thing that you like”). Swift debuted the look in the Fearless era but it really became her signature during Speak Now, especially when she modeled a makeup collection for CoverGirl in 2011, sporting glossy, cherry-red lips.
Get Your Cowboy Boots On
Plan A Taylor Swift Night
A Taylor Swift night is a very special occasion for Swifties and everyone likes to spend it in a different way. Some host listening parties or head to themed club nights; some lock their doors, turn off their phones and hole up with a box of tissues. To celebrate this era, make the evening a whole affair by blasting Speak Now (TV), lighting all the candles, rewatching old tour footage (you can find the original Speak Now tour film on YouTube), eating purple themed snacks, making purple cocktails and slipping into purple PJs. Extra? Always.
Unleash Your Inner (Sw)emo Kid
Speak Now already has strong emo energy — consider the theatrical, orchestral “Haunted,” which many fans theorize was written for the Twilight soundtrack. For Taylor’s Version, Swift took that to the next level with features from Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Fall Out Boy on vault tracks “Castles Crumbling” and “Electric Touch,” respectively. “Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album,” Swift wrote on social media. Take note and get some FOB and Paramore/Hayley Williams on your playlist. Swifties who are also emo fans are called Swemos FYI.
Make Friendship Bracelets
Inspired by a lyric from Midnights’ “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” Swifties have been making and swapping friendship bracelets at the Eras tour. In honor of Swift’s final weeks of U.S. shows, as well as the international tour dates now on sale, get started on planning your tour outfit and all the friendship bracelets you want to make — especially if they are Speak Now and Taylor’s Version vault track-related.
Prepare For 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
Yes, Speak Now (TV) literally just came out, but we have good reason to believe that her momentous 2014 album is next on the lineup for re-records. Our biggest piece of evidence yet? In the final moments of the new “I Can See You” music video, Swift’s getaway car drives across a bridge with an overhead sign that reads “1989 tv.” So stock up on your ’80s Wayfarer sunglasses, sparkly two-piece skirt sets and baby blue hues, because 1989 (TV) will be “out of the woods” soon enough.
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