The Definitive Evolution Of Taylor Swift’s 4th July Parties

taylor swift fourth july

by Katie Rosseinsky |

Stars-and-stripes beachwear, patriotic desserts, inflatable animals and more Angels than the Victoria's Secret show: no one does Fourth of July quite like Taylor Swift.

Last year, however, amidst the speculation surrounding the authenticity of her new relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston, the singer managed to truly surpass herself, proving once again that there ain't no party like a S(wift) Club party. How will 2017's shindig ever compete?

From (sort of) humble beginnings to last year's star-spangled (and star-studded) extravaganza in red, white and blue, grab your inflatable swan and float back down memory lane as we look back at Taylor's most Insta-genic Independence Day gatherings to date. It's what the founding fathers would have wanted...

2013

Who was there?

2013 Taylor is pre-Squad Taylor, so this year’s guest list is remarkably low key, consisting mainly of Swift’s ‘tour family’ of musicians and backing dancers. Nawwww.

Bonus appearance from...

taylor swift fourth july
Taylor Swift with her dad ©Taylor Swift

Taylor’s dad, Scott Swift

Conspicuously absent?

Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, Conor Kennedy and any other exes given a lyrical side-swipe on 2012’s Red album.

The aesthetic?

A star-spangled episode of Glee, complete with jazz hands

What happened?

taylor swift fourth july
Taylor Swift Fourth July 2013 ©Taylor Swift

Picnicking, face-painting, snooker-playing, volleyballing – a host of wholesome, all-American activities, plus the first documented instance of Taylor’s patented July 4th leap.

Most iconic Insta-moment?

taylor swift fourth july
Taylor Swift 4th July 2013 ©Taylor Swift

This was 2013, so Taylor’s Independence Day snaps wound up on her blog rather than social media. Retro. For sheer commitment to core Swift values (wearing high-waisted shorts, doing the ‘surprised pose,’ we could go on) though, this group shot deserves a special mention.

Swift rating...

3 porcelain cats out of 5. Cute, but lacks the glossy production values of future Swift soirees.

2014

Who was there?

The Squad: 2014 Edition includes key members like Lena Dunham and Jaime King, alongside the likes of Jessica Stam, singer Ingrid Michaelson, Emma Stone and then-boyfriend Andrew Garfield.

Bonus appearance from...

Vanessa from Gossip Girl (sorry, we mean Jessica Szohr)

Conspicuously absent?

The Victoria’s Secret gang, waiting in the wings.

The aesthetic?

A sorority mixer, but like, cool

What happened?

Taylor slid down a hill on the back of a large inflatable turtle. After this, the gang ran into the sea and headed out on a boat trip, before baking a star-spangled flag cake, eating some all-American apple pie and messing around with sparklers.

Most iconic Insta-moment?

The ‘family portrait’ that set the precedent for many, many squad photos to follow.

Swift rating?

3 porcelain cats out of 5. Wholesome, yes, but doesn’t it look a bit… snooze?

2015

Who was there?

Gigi Hadid, Martha Hunt, all three Haims, Empire star Serayah, long-term pal Britany Maack – plus appearances from one (then) current boyfriend, Calvin Harris, and one ex-boyfriend (Joe Jonas).

Bonus appearance from...

Ed Sheeran, wearing some sort of inappropriately British Beefeater-meets-The-Libertines get-up. Hi Ed!

Conspicuously absent?

Most of 2014’s July 4th squad #neverforget

The aesthetic?

An ‘Americana’ Pinterest board

What happened?

The girls perfected their patriotic leaping while draped in red and blue striped towels, before baking the ultimate stars and stripes cake (from the same Barefoot Contessa recipe as 2014’s party). Taylor’s attractive brother made a cameo to light the candles.

Most iconic Insta-moment?

taylor swift calvin harris instagram
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris on Instagram ©Instagram

Thanks to the Great Talvin Insta-Cull of June 2016, this year’s most iconic Insta-moment – the Taylor-Calvin piggy back demonstrating ‘friendly relations between Scotland and America – is an Insta-moment no more. Luckily, we planned ahead and screen-grabbed it for you. Sob.

Swift rating?

4 porcelain cats out of 5. A strong showing from all involved.

2016

Who was there?

Usual suspects like Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and a Haim were joined by some newer recruits to the squad, namely Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Ruby Rose and her new girlfriend. Oh, and some British bloke called Tom Hiddleston.

Bonus appearance from...

Crazy Eyes! Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba has previous with Swift, having joined her for a duet of ‘White Horse’ on the LA leg of the 1989 tour.

Conspicuously absent?

Calvin Harris (for obvious reasons). Kanye West (for obvious reasons). Selena Gomez (she was on tour, conspiracy theorists!)

The aesthetic?

Watery. Think a very civilised, A-list spring break trip.

What happened?

Hiddleston put paid to his chances of ever becoming Bond by sporting an ‘I Heart T. S.’ vest (somehow, Tom, even a t-shirt would have been better than a vest) and a temporary heart tattoo. Everyone wore patriotic swimwear and messed around on a gigantic inflatable slide.

Most iconic Insta-moment?

The fireworks! Taylor’s Statue-of-Liberty-esque pose! The stars-and-stripes nightwear!

Swift rating?

5 porcelain cats out of 5. This party couldn’t be more Taylor Swift if it welcomed you to the stage to sing a country duet.

READ MORE: 13 Times Taylor Swift's Ex-Boyfriends Inspired Her Music

READ MORE: Tom Hiddleston Reveals The Story Behind Met Gala Dance-Off With Taylor Swift

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