Taylor Swift is back, and the woman who has performed in everything from sequined dresses and cowboy boots to Reputation-era black bodysuits showed up to the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards in a brand new look: khakis. Yup, Taylor Swift’s khakis—OK fine, tan trousers—had Jake from State Farm and all ACM viewers shook, as did her flawless performance of “Betty.”
Swifties pay close attention to how the songstress’s style changes with each new album, and for Folklore, they noticed her return to a softer, more bucolic aesthetic, similar to that of her country girl past, but with fewer sequins and more sweaters (Cardigans, to be exact. See what I did there?). Still, fans most definitely expected her to dress to the nines for her return to the stage, which was also her return to the ACM Awards, as she hadn’t attended the event since 2015 given that she’d more or less stopped creating country music to experiment with pop.
While I was expecting some kind of dress, Swift showed up to the ACMs in what is likely the most unexpected combo in red carpet history: a fully-sequined turtleneck and khakis. Business on bottom, party on top! The look was head-to-toe Stella McCartney, with whom Swift is incredibly close (McCartney is even referenced in a lyric from Swift’s song “London Boy”), and according to PEOPLE, Swift did her own hair, makeup and styling. We stan a queen who does it all.
The glitzy turtleneck (which I’m betting is a bodysuit) definitely looks formal and festive, but it’s the bottom half of Swift’s ensemble that leaves me with questions. Don’t get me wrong—her tan trousers are actually quite chic, not to mention similar to the kind of pants on pretty much every influencer’s Fall Fashion Pinterest board at the moment. That said, they seem an odd choice for such a major performance, and combined with the sequined top, they certainly don’t fit her new Folklore aesthetic.
TBH, I thought it was all kind of badass; the world was making her return to the stage a huge deal, and Taylor showed up in some casual pants, ready to perform an acoustic song with no backtrack, no fancy add-ons, just herself. She has no time for your Best Dressed lists! It’s all about the music. She’s too cool to care, and I kind of love her for it.
That said, her ‘fit has also inspired me to give similar pants a go in my own autumn wardrobe. Her Stella McCartney look isn’t available online just yet, but in the meantime, there are tons of trouser alternatives. If you’re looking for the perfect bottoms for that sequined turtleneck you’ve had for ages (lol), khakis might be the answer! The tan trousers below would look just as good with a cropped sweater, a padded-shoulder muscle tee, or maybe even a cardigan as a nod to Swift herself. Shop five pairs below and style as you see fit.
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1. A.L.C. Diego Pants
Swift’s trousers have a unique tab detailing at the waist, and the D-Ring belt on the A.L.C. Diego Pants is different, but equally stylish.
2. IRO Chiqui Pants
These IRO Chiqui Pants are the most beautiful splurge, and while they’re a shade or two lighter than Swift’s pants, they have a somewhat similar tab detailing at the waist.
3. Eloquii High Waisted Cargo Pants
For a chic plus-size option, these Eloquii High Waisted Cargo Pants with Ankle Ties are especially good. I love the ankle detail as well as the side pockets—a true homage to the classic khaki!
4. Vero Moda Becca Wide Leg Pants
For a more relaxed look, the Vero Moda Becca Wide Leg Pants are the beachy, laid-back version of Swift’s more formal trousers. I’d wear these with a cream sweater in a heartbeat.
5. Habitual Payton Trousers
Last but not least, the Habitual Payton Belted High Waist Ankle Trousers round out this list with an especially high-waisted fit and a large belt to cinch the waist.