The detective work never stops for swifties, and the next case fans are on is why 1989 is blue after Taylor Swift wore five new blue dresses on the night she announced her next album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

Swift announced 1989 (Taylor’s Version) at her sixth and final Eras Tour show of her at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on August 9. “The last time that I was so pleasantly surprised by some stuff that you guys did was when I announced that I was going to be re-recording. That was something that I expected to be just a me thing, just a personal thing. Since I was a teenager, I wanted to own my music,” she said onstage. “The way to do it was to re-record my albums, and the way that you have embraced … that you have celebrated, that you really decided that it was your fight too, and that you were 100 percent behind me … I will never stop thanking you for that.”

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 03: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at SoFi Stadium on August 03, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

She continued, “And so now, here we are on the last night of the U.S. leg of the Eras tour in the eighth month of the year on the ninth day. You might have noticed there are some new outfits in the show. There’s something that I’ve been planning for a really, really, really ridiculously, embarrassingly long time, and instead of telling you about it, I think I’ll just sort of show you.” Swift then unveiled the cover art and release date for 1989 (Taylor’s Version)—October 27, 2023, mark your calendars—before launching into “New Romantics,” a fan-favorite song from the deluxe version of the album. Swift’s former best friend, Karlie Kloss, who was one of her most prominent squad members during the original 1989 era, also attended the concert.

1989, which was originally released in 2014. is Swift’s fifth album after 2006’s Taylor Swift, 2008’s Fearless, 2010’s Speak Now, and 2012’s Red. The record was also followed by five more albums: 2017’s Reputation, 2019’s Lover, 2020’s Folklore and Evermore, and 2022’s Midnights. “Swift also announced the news of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on her Instagram. “Surprise!! 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is on its way to you The 1989 album changed my life in countless ways, and it fills me with such excitement to announce that my version of it will be out October 27th. To be perfectly honest, this is my most FAVORITE re-record I’ve ever done because the 5 From The Vault tracks are so insane. I can’t believe they were ever left behind. But not for long!”

Swift concluded her caption with none other than two light blue heart emojis. During the Eras Tour show where she announced 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift also wore several new blue dresses, including at the exact moment she unveiled the album. “I want to add this goes back to my tweet about five dresses that are blue hence fifth album aka 1989 and yep this all happened I can sleep happy,” one user tweeted after the concert. Another user wrote, “i literally 100% didn’t believe in any of your theories and then the taylor swift comes out in blue dresses on 8/9.” One more user tweeted, “NO WAY WE ARE CLOWNING RIGHT??? SWIFTIES THE NEW BLUE DRESSES ON ERAS TOUR SURELY TAYLOR SWIFT IS NOT THIS EVIL.”

It’s clear that if 1989 had a color, it would be be blue. But why is 1989 blue? Well, as all things Taylor Swift-related, the answer is complicated.

Taylor Swift - The Eras Tour
Photo: Kevin Winter/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management.

Why is 1989 blue?

Why is 1989 blue? Well, according to a 2022 Reddit thread, each of Taylor Swift’s albums has a color associated with its era—essentially, the imagery of that album’s art, as well as the outfits Swift wore while promoting that album. Her second album, Fearless is yellow; her third album, Speak Now, is purple; her fourth album, Red, is red (obviously); her sixth album, Reputation, is black; her seventh album, Lover, is pink; her eighth album, Folklore, is white; and her ninth album, Evermore, is brown.

What’s undecided in the thread are Swift’s debut album, Taylor Swift, and her fifth album, 1989. Her 10th album, Midnights, was also missing because it hadn’t been released yet at the time the thread was posted, though one can argue that Midnights‘ color is dark blue. The thread also argues that Taylor Swift is green, though it didn’t have a distinct era because it was Swift’s first album.

That leaves us with 1989, for which the consensus is blue. But why is 1989 blue? Well, aside from the fact that Swift wears a blue sweater on the original 1989 cover, as well as wore a several blue dresses on the night she announced 1989 (Taylor’s Version) at her last Eras Tour concert in Los Angeles in August, blue is also representative of the theme of the album. 1989 was Swift’s first album after Red, and in many ways, the albums are polar opposites, just like the colors blue and red. While Red was about heartbreak (“All Too Well”), sadness (“Sad Beautiful Tragic”), and angst (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”), 1989 was about fun (“Shake It Off”), friendship (“New Romantics”), and a fresh start (“Welcome to New York.”) Whereas Red is about looking back at a past relationship, 1989 is about looking forward, which is also exemplified in the last song on Red, “Begin Again,” which serves as a bridge between the two themes. Along with representing a fresh start in love, 1989 was also a fresh start for Swift musically.

“The inspiration behind this record, I was listening to a lot of late 80’s pop … I really loved the chances they were taking, how bold it was,” Swift said of the inspiration behind 1989 in an interview with ABC News in 2014. “It was apparently a time of limitless potential, the idea you could do what you want be what you want … the idea of endless possibility was kind of a theme in the last two years of my life.” She added later in the interview, “For the record this is my very first documented pop album.”

The word blue is also a recurring lyric throughout Swift’s discography. While she’s used blue in its traditional sense to describe the feeling of sadness (“Red” and “All Too Well (10 Minute Version”), she’s also often used it to describe the feeling of crushes and early love, with references to blue eyes and blue jeans. In “Cruel Summer” from Swift’s seventh album Lover, she sings, “It’s blue, the feeling I’ve got,” which suggests that blue isn’t just a color to describe sadness, but also a color to describe the rush of emotions that come with new love. Funnily enough, the only song on 1989 to reference blue is “This Love,” in which Swift sings “clear blue water, high tide came and brought you in,” which is another example of how blue is used as an emblem of hope.

All in all, there are so many reasons one could say 1989 is blue. The discussion only begs the question, what color will Swift’s next album be? Orange? Green? Gray? The theories are endless.

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