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Taylor Swift’s Song “Dress” Is One of Her Most Sensual


Oct 31, 2023

Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” released in 2017, is kind of two albums put together. On one half of the album, she takes swipes at people who betrayed her and proves, as she sings on “Look What You Made Me Do,” that the “old Taylor” is “dead.” On the other half, Swift sings about her early days of love with then-boyfriend Joe Alwyn (the pair split earlier in 2023). One of the songs in the second, romantic half is titled “Dress,” and it’s one of Swift’s most sensual tracks. She sings on the chorus, “Say my name and everything just stops. / I don’t want you like a best friend. / Only bought this dress so you could take it off.”

Back when the song was released, and in part because of the “best friend” reference, some fans originally thought the song was about Swift’s friend Ed Sheeran, but he clarified that it definitely wasn’t during a 2017 live stream for Augustman. “I think if you read into it, it’s not,” he said at the time, per Just Jared. “You know, because she mentions someone with a buzzcut haircut, and I’ve never had a buzzcut haircut.”

This brings us back to Alwyn. Swift attended the 2016 Met Gala solo (though at the time she was in a relationship with Calvin Harris). That night, she met Tom Hiddleston, whom she would end up dating briefly after splitting with Harris that summer (that Met Gala meeting is referenced in “Getaway Car” on the same album). Swift’s look for the Met Gala was very different from her typical look, and she had bleached her hair to a stark platinum at the time.

Also at the event? Alwyn (pictured above that night with Garrett Hedlund), who had a buzzcut thanks to his role in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” So when Swift sings, “Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached,” it definitely seems like she’s alluding to a secret meeting at the Met Gala. She also sings about “Our secret moments in your crowded room / They got no idea about me and you,” which might also hint at their connection on their first night or, in general, how they kept their relationship very private. Keeping things under the radar — which she and Alwyn were excellent at — was clearly hard for Swift, as she sings, “My hands are shaking from holding back from you.”

When Swift releases “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” (perhaps in the coming months), fans will have to see if she gives more insight into the track and its inspiration.


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