Janelle Monáe Is The Dapper Queen

With her androgynous beauty and menswear-inspired dapper duds, Monáe is queering the way we look at music and fashion.

1. Like Davie Bowie before her, Janelle Monáe is queering music and fashion.

Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

2. And she’s doing it while reminding us that you don’t have to be gay to be queer.

“The lesbian community has tried to claim me, but I only date androids.” - Janelle responding to assumptions she is gay.

Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

3. She isn’t one to slap on a label:

Eric Thayer / Reuters

In an interview with The New Gay.

4. So basically…

5. What makes her a queer icon is the fact she represents all the “others” out there.

Jim Dyson / Getty Images

Full interview here.

6. As for her dapper duds, you won’t see her in vibrant spring shades anytime soon.

She takes her androgynous style to the next level with black and white slacks, saddle-shoes, and suspenders.

Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

7. Her uniform tuxedo is inspired by Marlene Dietrich and pays homage to her working class family.

“My mother, who was a janitor, and my father, who drove trash trucks. It pays homage to how they put on a uniform every day and turned nothing into something.”

8. Her hair? The result of experimentation.

“Some people call it a pompadour or a wompadour, but it’s a Monae, ” she told New York Mag.

9. Don’t even get us started on her dance moves.

10. She strives to redefine what it means to be sexy:

From her cover spread in Essence.

11. Preach Monáe.

Stacy Revere / Getty Images

12. Just look at her out “dappering” John Legend.

Todd Williamson / AP

13. She tops Nat Ruess of FUN. like it’s no big deal.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

14. Even among the MOST dapper, she out dappers.

Cindy Ord / Getty Images

15. Diddy and Big Boi look nervous just being in her dapper presence!

Chris Pizzello / AP

16. We could all learn a thing or two from her dapper lifestyle.

Erika Goldring / Getty Images

17. The dapper queen has spoken.

Ragnar Singsaas / Getty Images

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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