Most times, when you see Janelle Monáe out in the world, she’s adorned in some of the most interesting and ornate fashions. You’ve seen the suits, you love the pompadour, you’ve inquired about the vagina pants, and how about this chap jumpsuit?
You can always count on her outfits to bring the theatricality.
And when it comes to her days of signature black and white, the look she embraced for so many years as an artist early on in her career, she did it to pay homage to the uniforms worn by her mom and grandmother growing up.
“It’s a dedication to uniformity and I’m a minimalist by heart, but a lot of it had to do with me wanting to have a uniform like the working class, like my mom and my grandmother,” she said in 2013. “My grandmother had 16 sisters and brothers and they all had to share one pair of shoes. And so that’s the family that I come from — I don’t ever want to be detached from that. I use it as motivation for my music and to just keep me centered, grounded and to stay on message.”
But every now and then, the 33-year-old will decide to take things down a few notches and strip down in ways you can probably relate to. Like the workout ensemble she put on to enjoy a ride at SoulCycle recently:
Interesting enough, it’s the photos of Monáe, natural hair out and flourishing, chilling out with no makeup, not being her alter ego Cindi Mayweather or going all the way with her unique ensembles, that tend to get the most love from fans who tell her she’s “naturally beautiful.” But it’s not the first time she has stripped down, let her hair hang down and leave the signature red lip behind for a day. Hit the flip to see a few of her best and most interesting dressed-down moments.