Janelle Monae wore tuxedos for years as means of “rebelling” against those who suggested she needed to dress more feminine to succeed.
The Tightrope singer nearly always sported a suit when she first started out in the music business, and quickly became known for her androgynous style and penchant for a black-and-white colour palette.
However, in recent years, Janelle has been branching out from her signature aesthetic, and in a new interview for U.S. InStyle, she explained that she only wore tuxedos for so long to prove a point.
“When I began touring, stylists would tell me to dress more feminine. And that’s the reason I stayed in my tuxedo so long – out of rebellion,” she shared. “I wanted to prove that I could make it by being my authentic self. It was about proving that, as women, we can wear tuxedos, we can wear dresses, we can show skin, or not show skin. But we need to be in control of that.
“I look back to when I was wearing black-and-white tuxedos every day and people were saying that I dressed like a man and that I should look more feminine if I want to get ahead. But ultimately, I chose to express myself in what made me most comfortable.”
The Moonlight actress is also known for her love of hats, and she admitted that she didn’t know how many she possessed, but her favourite was a vintage black fedora which she usually wears tilted back on her head because it makes her “feel like Peter Pan”.
The 33-year-old took her hat game to a new level at the Met Gala earlier this year, when she wore a stack of fedoras on her head, and Janelle noted she wanted the “surreal” look to represent her multi-faceted career, adding, “I’m a woman who wears many hats.”
© Cover Media