13 Ways To Get Into Your Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) Era For Taylor Swift’s New Re-Record

Photo by Scott Legato/TAS23/Getty Images.
Drop everything and meet us in the pouring rain. We’re entering Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) era aka a public holiday for the most annoying person in your life. ("It’s me, hi, I’m the problem.") Released on 7th July, this marks the third of Taylor Swift’s re-recordings after Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and RED (TV), all made in a bid to reclaim her masters.
The announcement — made while Taylor was on stage during the Eras tour — came as no surprise to Swifties who have been combing through Taylor’s music videos, Instagram posts and outfits for Easter eggs for months now (yes, sis even likes to drop hints with her nails). What may be baffling fans old and new is how on earth to prepare. So, from one longtime Swiftie who was lucky enough to live through OG Speak Now, here are 13 defining characteristics of the Speak Now 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

Taylor 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 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"), realising 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 Taylor fantasises about in the title track).

Get yourself a journal

Given that this is one of Taylor’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 purple

This is the easiest and most obvious way to honour Speak Now. Purple is accepted by Taylor and Swifties alike as the colour of the era, most notably because the OG and Taylor’s Version album covers show Taylor in a floaty purple dress. If you're after a purple Speak Now look for the Eras tour, check out our comprehensive 'what to wear' guide here.

Or don your most enchanting princess dress

Speak Now is arguably Taylor’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", Taylor 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 practising your twirling. It’ll come in useful when you hear Taylor belt those high notes (or if you have a prom, wedding or formal occasion lined up).

Get yourself some Speak Now merch

Taylor’s own store is selling plenty of Speak Now (TV) merch but I’ll also be hitting Etsy, which is a treasure trove of fan-made artwork, T-shirts, jewellery and more.

Write your favourite lyrics on your arms and a 13 on your hand

On the original Speak Now tour, Taylor 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 favourite lyrics from the album, plus a sparkly 13 on your hand. From experience, the latter is best achieved with a Sharpie and nail varnish for a long-lasting, concert-ready mark.

Spritz Wonderstruck eau de parfum (or a similar dupe)

I’m hoping, praying and manifesting that Speak Now (TV) also gives us the rerelease of Wonderstruck eau de parfum, Taylor’s first fragrance created to capture the magic and awe she describes in "Enchanted". You can still find a few bottles for resale on eBay but there’s also an array of fan-approved dupes. After testing many of them over the last few years for the closest dupe, I argue Bath & Body Work's discontinued scent Gingham Vibrant is the closest — you can also find this being resold on eBay. A close second is Bath & Body Work's Dark Kiss which you can buy at Next in the UK; some fans also argue for Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Victoria's Secret Tease which are, in my opinion, less similar, but of the same sweet, fruity-floral family.

Opt for a red lip

A red lip is now synonymous with Taylor Swift, so much so that it’s made its way into her songs ("red lip classic thing that you like"). Taylor debuted the look in the Fearless era but it really became her signature during Speak Now, especially when she modelled a makeup collection for CoverGirl in 2011, sporting glossy, cherry-red lips.

Get your cowboy boots on 

Although RED was technically the last of Taylor’s country-pop albums, Speak Now was the last time we really heard her country twang ("all you are is mean! And a liar! And pathetic!"). The best way to pay homage is a pair of cowboy boots, naturally.

Plan your release celebration or listening party

A Taylor Swift release 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; in my case, I’ll be locking my door, turning off my phone and holing up with a box of tissues. Of course, this all depends on when the release falls in your time zone. Taylor’s releases tend to drop at 12 a.m. ET, which is 5 a.m. in the UK, so I like to make the evening before a whole affair with a themed bath (purple bath bombs), lighting all the candles, rewatching old tour footage (you can find the original Speak Now tour film on YouTube), eating purple themed snacks, making myself a purple cocktail and slipping into purple pyjamas. Extra, me? Never.

Get ready for 9th July

In her tweet announcing Speak Now (TV), Taylor made reference to 9th July. What, you may be wondering, is the significance of 9th July in the TSCU (Taylor Swift Cinematic Universe)? Well, 9th July is one of the few distinct dates that Taylor references in a song, namely the wistful breakup anthem "Last Kiss": "That July ninth, the beat of your heart / It jumps through your shirt / I can still feel your arms." It’s significant that Taylor is releasing Speak Now (TV) two days before, on 7th July — I imagine so we’re all primed and ready to stream on repeat and cry together. Keep an eye on Twitter and TikTok for fan listening parties.

And get ready to unleash your inner (Sw)emo kid

Speak Now already has strong emo energy — consider the theatrical, orchestral "Haunted", which many fans think was written for the Twilight soundtrack. For Taylor’s Version, Taylor is taking 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," she explained 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.

Get making your 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 honour of Taylor's announcement of her international tour dates, 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.
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