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What Are We Wearing to the Janelle Monaé Concert, Bestie?

The idea for this Janelle Monáe Age of Pleasure tour style guide came from a selfish place, if I can be honest for a second. But baby, I’ve been stressssssssing over what I was going to wear! I made myself a promise this year to commit to doing things that make me happy in the vibe of this photo of Halle Berry drinking wine while outside on her patio while being butt booty ass naked.

The results thus far? Mixed. But I’m out here trying!! And while the fashion guidelines for Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour felt much more straight forward (silver and chrome obviously), if not also high stakes — dressing for Janelle Monáe has been a puzzle! Age of Pleasure has the aesthetics of summer heat and sweaty queer bodies losing themselves in everything that feels sexy and good, but their tour covers September and October! And “fall queer beach party” aesthetic is just so fucking hard!

But let’s turn my pain into a purpose. If you’ve also been wondering what to wear to Janelle Monáe’s Age of Pleasure tour, listen, I got you.


Ok so I have to say this, I saw Janelle earlier this week while I was in Minneapolis. And easily a bralette and 90s jeans was the most chosen outfit by all variety of queer humans in attendance, and I’m not just saying that because it was — ahem — also my outfit of choice, I promise.

The thing about the crop top/bralette situation is that, as you may know, Janelle Monáe has declared that the Age of Pleasure is also time to free the tiddies (their exact words were “Titties out for the next 15 years 😝”) and you’ll want easy access to your chest area if you wanna flash the concert. The less fabric to get you there, arguably the better.

I layered mine with a flannel, because I am a stereotype.

And speaking of free the tiddies! Have you considered… pasties?

Mesh tops are hot, for the most part gender-neutral, and give the essence of summer, but pair one under a denim of leather jacket and you are giving instant fall vibes.

1. Grace Jones Sweatshirt on Etsy (s-2x, $40) // 2. Gap David Bowie Tee (xxs-xxl, $8) // 3. Target Whitney Houston Tee (xs-3x, $12) // 3. Prince Shirt (s-xxxl, $30)

Janelle Monáe is referential in all that they do, a true student of their craft, and while I think it can be a little too on the nose to wear an artist’s image to their own tour — this opens up a great opportunity to wear someone else in Monáe’s musical genealogy. Plus, when they sing “They say I look better than David Bowie in a MoonAge Dream”… you’ll have something to point at while you scream-sing along.


If you’re one of the lucky ones who will be spending this fall at Janelle Monáe’s Age of Pleasure tour, I hope you have the best time, dance your ass off, and flirt with someone cute who flirts back. Don’t forget to eat food if you’re gonna drink! Also, hydrate with water before and after the concert. Sorry to be your mom friend. I love you.

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 698 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. I have been puzzling over this!! I know the vibe is tits out, but that is just not me (no judgment, just personally physically uncomfortable for me) and late September in DC is so unpredictable, weather-wise!

  2. I basically went disco/70s sex worker. My whole buckle suede pointy high heel boots were so painful my girlfriend had to carry them in a trash bag she got from the bar. And then I actually made my way through the crowd barefoot to get to the front I was drunk so it didn’t feel too sticky

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