Ahead of the MTV VMAs on Sunday in Newark, New Jersey, Taylor Swift returned to nearby New York City. The singer was photographed out with her boyfriend of five years Joe Alwyn and her longtime friend Lena Dunham, grabbing dinner at private members club Casa Cipriani. Swift was outfitted in a chic floral v-neck dress and, as Daily Mail pointed out, had no engagement ring on her left ring finger despite months of tabloid rumors. She wore her blonde hair down, long and straight with blunt bangs. You can see photos of Swift, Dunham, and Alwyn here on Daily Mail.
Alwyn made it clear in multiple interviews this spring that he would not tell anyone if they were actually betrothed. He told WSJ in April, “If I had a pound for every time I think I’ve been told I’ve been engaged, then I’d have a lot of pound coins,” he said. “I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say.”
The Sun most recently claimed that Swift and Alwyn were secretly engaged at the end of June. A source “close to Joe” told the outlet, “Taylor and Joe are incredibly happy and very, very in love. They’ve actually been engaged for a few months but have only told their inner-inner circle—basically immediate family, and trusted, very old friends. Everyone has been sworn to secrecy, too. Taylor has a beautiful ring but she only wears it when she’s at home—i.e. behind closed doors. Again, only a handful of people know details about the wedding and Taylor hasn’t even told some of her team about the engagement. They want their love to stay away from the cameras as much as possible. This is just for them. And if and when they do exchange vows, there most definitely won’t be any Vogue, Rolling Stone or Hello! magazines there. It will be simple and elegant—like them.”
Swift was later photographed out in London with Alwyn in July, visibly wearing no ring on her finger. Call it their very subtle response to the rumor mill.
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.