Sunday Style: Janelle Monae

Black and white has never looked so appealing and surprisingly versatile until Janelle Monae came on the stage. I remember a few years ago I came across the picture above in the center and immediately tore it out and pasted it on my wall. The simple monotone color palette, structured suit and funky female pompadour are what make Janelle Janelle and what make me want to be Janelle. A little Sunday style inspiration for you all and myself of course. I wish that this damn heat wasn't, otherwise I would be investing in many more tuxedo pants and matching blazers. 

I recently read from Anne Hollander about how the classic suit is still essentially a man's garment, "celebrated for its classic modernity, its ability to clothe the male figure in exquisitely subdued authority: 'it suggests diplomacy, compromise, civility and physical self-control....and its projection of male eroticism.'" Though these are all very good points I have to say that Janelle Monae is someone that is breaking down all of those barriers. Her performances are energetic, anything but civil and self-controlled. Upon first glance her black and white clad ensembles appear classically modern but when you take a closer look you can see all of the unexpected references she brings into the suit and thus redefining what the suit was, is and can be for not only men but women too. 

The suit for women is still rather new in the history of dress (not truly accepted until the 1970s pantsuits) and is still not fully accepted in certain social circles or cultural groups for women. For Janelle to be a woman that wears a version of the classic suit 95% of the time (based on press clippings) that says a lot about her and what it can represent for all women. People misconstrue feminism to mean hating all men but dressing just like them but really all it is is just the freedom to do whatever the hell we'd like whether that be dressing as frilly and "girly" as possible or to dress in a suit every day. I will definitely be incorporating some three piece suits into my life once this heat dies down, what are your thoughts on suits for women?

All photos from various sources