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After releasing Red (Taylor’s Version) — her second rerecorded album, an effort to gain rightful control of her masters, Taylor Swift surprised fans with a music video for one of her nine vault tracks, I Bet You Think About Me, that features country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. The video marks the directorial debut of Swift’s close friend Blake Lively, and it stars both Swift and actor Miles Teller. Contributing to the album’s namesake, Swift deemed the visuals to be “the reddest video EVER” with eight vibrant red outfits changes, dressed by her long-time stylist and the video’s costume designer Joseph Cassell.
The I Bet You Think About Me video begins with Miles Teller, playing Swift’s former lover, dressed in a simple black-and-white tuxedo as he prepares for his wedding vows — to another woman — in the bathroom mirror. As the camera pans to Teller’s surroundings, Swift shows up in the mirror in a crimson bustier dress and matching opera gloves with her hair in soft curls, jabbing at her lack of a “fine pedigree” according to her former partner and his friends.
Teller, momentarily confused by this vision, is transported to the wedding reception, where he is given a drink by Swift in a ruby-red server uniform, a two-piece pantsuit with a high-neck double-breasted top and a sleek high ponytail adorned with a red hat. As a server — another allusion to the socio-economic class differences between her and former love, Swift walks around turning plain white decorations into red ones, such as substituting a white rose for a red one and adding red droplets into the drinks bowl.
The next shot shows Swift as a wedding guest in a red gown with a ruffled hemline and rose-shaped puff sleeves. This outfit is likely a nod to the U.S. Southern tradition of the groom’s past lovers wearing red to a wedding to silently (and scandalously) signify that the past lover had been with the groom first.
After wedding guest Taylor smashes the white wedding cake to reveal its red interior, Swift appears as a groomsman, wearing a completely head-to-toe red suit, during the toast and makes all the wedding attendants laugh except Teller, referring to the lyric “rolled your eyes at my jokes.”
The following scene highlights Swift’s ex’s perception of her as immature because she wears a rose-covered baby doll dress, half-up hair with red ribbons and a flower crown, and flower girl gloves.
As Teller finally spots Swift and tries to stop her, Teller is briefly blinded by a camera flash that transports him to an alternative reality where he stays with Swift and marries her instead. In the scenes of their wedding, Teller and Swift are sitting and laughing on the floor, paralleling the lyric of “last time you felt free was when none of that shit mattered 'cause you were with me”, and Teller notably has shoes with red-soles. While she shares an intimate dance with Teller, Swift wears a strapless Nicole + Felicia couture wedding gown that features a detailed train with 2,500 handmade flower appliqués of various sizes, shades, and fabrics. Swift then abruptly drops Teller’s hand while dancing and pulls up her train, revealing her red converse shoes. The wedding gown transforms into a red replica dress as Swift sings to her former lover while the previously-white surroundings turn red. Nearing the end of the video, Teller is transported back to his original place in the bathroom mirror and looks down to see that his originally white pocket has turned red, signifying that he still is haunted by their past relationship.
The color red symbolizes Swift and Teller’s former passionate relationship in contrast to the seemingly mundane, uppity lifestyle that Teller has chosen over it, represented by the all-white wedding and its surroundings. Thus, the incorporation of red emphasizes the power of memories and how they can haunt a person long after the moment occurred. Swift not only cleverly utilizes red as a symbol for their burning “red” love and the memories that accompany it, but also uses her fashion in “I Bet You Think About Me'' to make references to the different personas that her ex-lover perceived her as.