Its music video — which was written and directed by Taylor and shot during the COVID-19 pandemic — finds Taylor shifting through different places by the magic of playing the piano. She revealed in a Tweet that everyone who was on-set took extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus:
The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, makeup, and styling.
“cardigan” is believed to be the first part of folklore’s “Teenage Love Triangle,” told from the point of view of Betty. The storyline is followed by “august” and “betty.” Swift explained in a livechat the night of folklore’s release:
There’s a collection of three songs I refer to as The Teenage Love Triangle. These three songs explore a love triangle from all three people’s perspectives at different times in their lives.