By Samantha Simon
Updated Jul 26, 2019 @ 9:00 am
Credit: Monáe in a Nina Ricci bodysuit, trousers, and hat. Photographed by Pamela Hanson .

Janelle Monáe is known for wearing many hats as a musician, an actress, and a producer, and when she arrived at the Los Feliz Car Wash in L.A. for our August cover shoot, she was ready to try on a whole bunch more. After going over the looks with our team, she settled on vibrant power outfits from designers including Chanel, Nina Ricci, and Versace. The clothes were paired with a mix of accessories so colorful, they almost made her cobalt eyeliner look tame. But, really, nothing about Monáe could ever be described that way.

She fearlessly climbed onto the building's tin roof for one of our shots before posing alongside a classic 1977 Datsun 280Z as it made its way through the wash. And in true Monáe fashion, she did it all in sky-high stilettos. "Badass women have style," she said, proving her point as she twirled around in a neon blue Carolina Herrera shirt.

VIDEO: How to Be a Badass Woman Featuring Janelle Monáe

We couldn’t agree more. That's why we asked our August cover star — and ultimate badass woman — to spill all of her style secrets. Here, she plays favorites across the board, from her fashion and beauty essentials to her top food and pop culture picks.

Chic Shades

Credit: Courtesy

"Chanel sunglasses."

Shop it: $780,

Mane Essentials

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"Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner."

Shop it: $23;

Ideal Meal

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“Shrimp curry, plantains, and rice and peas from Miss Lily’s.”

Wardrobe Must-Have

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"An oversize white button-down dress shirt is my style staple."

Shop it: $990;

Signature Cocktail

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"Belvedere and cranberry."

Best Red-Carpet Moment

Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images

“My custom Christian Siriano look with a Sarah Sokol hat at the 2019 Met Gala.”

Top Travel Spot

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Inspiring Artists

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"Lizzo (pictured), St. Beauty, and Tierra Whack."

Ear Candy

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"Melody Ehsani's 'Monáe' statement earrings."

Shop it: $32; for similar styles

Binge-Worthy Show

Credit: Amazon/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock


For more stories like this, pick up the August issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download July 19.