Taylor Swift Covers Vogue, Talks Heartbreak and Being Uncool

Taylor Swift covers Vogue February
Photo courtesy of Vogue/Mario Testino
Taylor Swift on Vogue's February cover

Her go-to red carpet style may veer toward the sweet 'n' sparkly, but Taylor Swift is growing up—and Vogue has taken notice.

The country crooner is the glossy’s February cover star and gets an edgy new look courtesy of Rodarte pieces—Swift sat front row at the label’s runway show in September—and Miu Miu cowboy boots.

Of course, she insists that she’s far from an It girl.

“I don’t ever feel like the cool kid at the party, ever,” Swift admits in the accompanying interview, penned by Jonathan Van Meter. “It’s like, Smile and be nice to everybody, because you were not invited to be here.”

The 22-year-old, whose school days continue to influence her songwriting, actually prefers to be uncool.

“All of my favorite people—people I really trust—none of them were cool in their younger years,” she reveals. “Because if you know how to be cool in middle school, maybe you have skills you shouldn’t. Maybe you know how to be conniving, like, naturally.”

She even struggled with her curly hair—something she can now laugh about when she sees fans at concerts who’ve copied her signature strands.

“I remember straightening my hair because I wanted to be like everybody else, and now the fact that anybody would emulate what I do? It’s just funny,” she says. “And wonderful.”

Taylor Swift covers Vogue February

Photo courtesy of Vogue/Mario Testino

A little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll: Swift hits a high note in a Rodarte dress and Jil Sander boots.

There’s also that other not-so-fabulous aspect of adolescence that the CoverGirl spokesmodel has used to her advantage: heartbreak. She’s famously dated the likes of Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal—turning the pain of more than one of her past relationships into hit songs. (For the record, the three other men cited in the cover story—Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra—seem positively enamored with her.)

“There’s just been this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak,” she admits, “and that will turn out to be what the next album is about. The only way that I can feel better about myself—pull myself out of that awful pain of losing someone—is writing songs about it to get some sort of clarity.”

Swift may be honest to a fault (from Jonas’s point of view, anyway), but her level-headedness is remarkable.

“The stakes are really high if you mess up … if you make mistakes based on the idea that you are larger than life and you can just coast,” she says. “If you start thinking you’ve got it down, that’s when you run into trouble—either by getting complacent or becoming mouthy. And nobody likes that.”

For more Taylor Swift, visit Vogue online and pick up the February issue, on newsstands January 24.

In related news, check out Taylor Swift's commercial for her fragrance, Wonderstruck.