The style blogger who knows what Taylor Swift is wearing before anyone else

Even Swift herself is a fan

Rachel Hosie
Wednesday 23 November 2016 11:26 GMT
Blogger Sarah Laine, pictured with Taylor Swift
Blogger Sarah Laine, pictured with Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s army of fans - or Swifties, as they are collectively known - are as dedicated as Directioners and as enthusiastic as Beliebers.

But the predominantly young female fanbase that is common with Justin Bieber, One Direction (RIP) and Taylor Swift goes one step further when it comes to Swift: as a woman, Swifties are obsessed with what she wears.

And as anyone who has seen screaming fans kit-out head-to-toe in band merchandise at concerts will know, there’s big money to be made if you can tap into the market of teenage girls.

As a society, we’re obsessed with what our favourite stars wear - the Kate Middleton effect being a prime example - and Taylor Swift is no exception.

And perhaps the most devoted fan of all when it comes to style is Sarah Laine, a 24-year-old from Vancouver, who started her blog Taylor Swift Style back in 2011 and has been documenting Swift’s stylish looks ever since.

Laine now prides herself on being able to identify Swift’s clothing choices quicker than anyone else, but just how does she do it?

First, she’ll get a notification from one of the many Swift fan accounts, alerting her that the singer’s been spotted in public again. This means Laine stops whatever she’s doing to start the search for outfit credits, which often means leaving her friends to go home.

Thanks to her encyclopaedic knowledge of Swift’s previous outfits, Laine recognises repeat accessories and shoes easily. She also knows which brands Taylor likes to wear most, so often contacts them directly to ask.

Whenever Swift appears in public, Laine's phone starts buzzing
Whenever Swift appears in public, Laine's phone starts buzzing (Getty Images)

Challengingly for Laine, fans often most want to know what lipstick Swift is wearing, which along with jeans are some of the hardest to identify.

A dedicated Swiftie from the start, Laine launched her blog after realising just how strong the community of fans was, and how much they were interested in her fashion choices.

“Today, there are lots of sites and social accounts that exist solely to ID what certain celebrities are wearing, but nobody was really doing it back in 2011. I figured there must be other people out there who were as interested in her clothes as I was, so maybe I could fill that gap,” Laine told Racked.

It was a simple concept - see a picture of Swift in a new outfit, find out what she was wearing, and share it on her blog. Gradually, she amassed her own dedicated fanbase and now boasts a quarter of a million followers across her social media channels.

In 2014, Laine discovered that Swift herself was a follower. After arriving at a fan event, Swift told Laine she'd personally chosen to invite the blogger after “creeping on [her] blog for months.” It was an experience Laine describes as “very surreal”.

Laine has monetised her blog with affiliate links and has seen a high click-through rate: “I’ve definitely had people say that Taylor’s clothes sell out because of my links,” she reveals.

Whilst she believes the attraction of Swift’s style is its accessibility, Laine rarely buys the items herself: “I have so much fun seeing everything she wears, but my style is different from hers,” she explains.

Unlike the vast majority of bloggers, Laine reveals very little about her own life, explaining that for her what’s most important is “being fast, being accurate, and growing the community.” But with a community as large as it is already, Laine has become a celebrity in her own right.

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