On Monday night, Taylor Swift was seen leaving the hotspot restaurant Via Carota in New York City, just a few days after Entertainment Tonight and People reported she and Joe Alwyn broke up. (She was just blocks away from her old home on Cornelia Street, where some fans have flocked to pay their respects amid the reports.)
Because the singer has not been regularly seen for the past couple of months in public outside of her ongoing mega-tour, some fans believed the New York sighting was Swift trying to let her fans know how she was doing.
According to TMZ, Swift dined with her longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff and actor Margaret Qualley. Antonoff and Qually are engaged. However, Swift's dinner companions are not what caught her fans' attention. It was her outfit.
In the photos, Swift wore an off-the-shoulder black top, heeled Mary Janes, and jeans with a crystal butterfly cutout. Fans soon theorized that the crystal butterfly cutout on her jeans might not just be a crystal butterfly cutout. It might be her latest Easter egg.
Swift is known for leaving Easter eggs in her music, lyrics, music videos, and even clothing. As one Swiftie on Twitter noted, the singer told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 while promoting her Lover album that she sometimes uses butterflies as a symbol because they represent leaving darkness.
“A lot of the time I’ll pick something that I think symbolizes something else like … a butterfly which is kind of just breaking free from that darkness and, you know, fluttering into the light," she told the publication.
The admin of Taylor Swift Style, a fashion blog that identifies the clothes Swift wears, wrote in a post on Monday that the jeans felt symbolic.
"There's something to me that feels highly symbolic of the butterfly here, not just in its nod to Lover, but of its original concept of rebirth and renewal," an Instagram caption for the blog read. "If there's one thing Taylor has done over her career, it's perfected coming back. Whether that's from the dead or stronger than a 90s trend." (The phrase "stronger than a '90s trend" is a lyric in Swift's 2020 song "Willow.")
Theories about the butterfly's possible meaning were abound on TikTok too. One user posted a video saying that the butterfly could represent that Swift was free from her relationship with Alwyn, while another TikToker theorized that the off-the-shoulder black top Swift wore might be her version of Princess Diana's black revenge dress. One theory posited that the jeans were a hint that Swift's "Taylor's Version" release of her debut album may be coming soon as butterflies were a major motif on the record.
Both Swift and Alwyn have not publicly confirmed reports of their breakup, making all these jeans theories (however genius they might be) hypothetical.
What is confirmed though is that the jeans are now hard to come by. The $673 jeans sold by the brand Mytheresa have sold out.
While Swift has kept quiet, fans also think she might have alluded to the reported breakup during a recent concert. During her first night in Arlington, Texas, on March 31, Swift switched up the setlist, swapping the romantic song theorized to be about Alwyn "Invisible String" for breakup song "The 1."
Reports are still emerging on what may have led to the possible breakup. On Tuesday, Entertainment Tonight reported it was Swift's decision to break up due to the couple's differing personalities. Alwyn is "shy" and "introverted," while Swift is focused on her career, ET said in its report.