It seems Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour merch is the real anti-hero of this year. Sure, the Ticketmaster debacle might still be a villain for Swifties who couldn’t purchase tickets, but this new conversation surrounding her exclusive tees is also frustrating fans. Ever since the tour began earlier this month, fans have flocked to TikTok to show off their experience at the shows. Some of these moments includes fans waiting hours in line to buy merch, because tour apparel is normally better than what’s sold online. However, this case is a little different.
Over the last few weeks, Swifties have shared their disappointment with one specific design, which features photos of Swift from different phases of her career on items like tees, hoodies, crewnecks, and quarter-zip pullovers. On TikTok, fans who purchased merch with this art claimed the images, which came in multi-colored and solid black print, would fade after one wash. In certain cases, the fading was so significant that it distorted Swift’s face.
So far, this issue appears to have largely affected the $45 tees and $75 hoodies. While that price point is normal for exclusive tour merch, many fans were shocked that the quality was subpar, especially when compared to the merch that’s currently on Swift’s website.
TikTok user @raighsunshine (who uses they/them pronouns) noted this after showing their faded Eras Tour tee, stating they didn’t have this problem with the original merch they purchased last November. “I got the anti-hero shirt from the Midnights drop right when she dropped it. I’ve washed that shirt several times now and there’s no issues with it whatsoever,” they said.
After flipping the tee inside out and washing with cold water, the Taylors on @raighsunshine’s tan shirt were faded as though it was vintage. The black dye from the lettering was also washed out; however, it seemed to only happen with the text on the front. They also washed their tapestry of the same design and noticed the fading was just as significant.
A similar thing happened to @daphneorta, who bought the white Eras Tour hoodie. In her TikTok, she showed that after one wash, the front stayed in good condition while some of the art on back faded. Specifically, the first three Taylors on the top row were very washed out. However, even with the fading, she stated she’s “still gonna wear it endlessly.”
Other Swifties such as @claire.chat2, @mynamesren, @swiftienyc, @gayfortay13, @kyliemeagan, and @through_tylis_eyes also experienced their merch fading after one wash. Some of these users mentioned they also washed their tees in cold water and the art was still affected. However, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for Tyli. In her TikTok, she revealed she contacted Swift’s merch support team for a “possible refund” or a “new shirt,” and a member named Sheila is currently working with her to replace her original tee.
Elsewhere, fans have also noticed random staining and holes in their Eras Tour merch. TikTok user @marbar2 claimed she didn’t check her shirt upon buying it, and didn’t see the large stains on either side of the cloth until later. Fan @florencebarbieri40 found a straight line of holes at the bottom of her tee. In these cases, both of these defects happened before they washed their merch, so it’s unknown whether or not they dealt with the fading issue, too.
Fortunately, not all fans are dealing with fading on their Eras Tour merch. Swiftie @momandadley documented her tan tee came out unscathed after one wash. Meanwhile, fan @shylarl showed her method she believed helped her merch not experience any fading.
“I personally washed on cold, delicate, and then I’m air drying it,” she said in her TikTok, showing her air drying her Eras Tour shirt, crewneck, and pullover. She mentioned she noticed a “little” fading in her white tee, but not as noticeable as the fading other Swifties experienced.
It’s not yet clear why the merch quality is hit or miss. However, some fans have came to their own conclusions. User @rumerhenry believes the design might’ve been flashed on the shirt with quick heat and didn’t thoroughly dry, resulting in the ink not fully setting into the fabric. Swift hasn’t publicly addressed the issue, but it’s apparent her support team is slowly handling the concerns.
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