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Great Outfits in Fashion History: Janelle Monáe in Black and White Chanel

This look is a master class in making a styling trick feel personal.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

Though dressing in a black-and-white color palette is something of a fashion classic, no one has truly mastered it quite like Janelle Monáe. She's made it one of her style signatures, regularly relying on the combo for everything from TV appearances to major red carpets, and it has never once felt stale. 

It's a real hat trick to make something so reliable feel so fresh, and Monáe's powers don't stop there: She also has a way of transcending the labels she wears so that they look more like her than they do themselves. Take, for example, the Chanel suit she wore to the brand's Spring 2011 Haute Couture show — there's nothing particularly revolutionary about a black suit over a cream button-down, but on Monáe, it sparks with menswear-inspired detailing at the cravat, oversized clutch and snappy cap-toed platforms. The beauty seals the deal, with a sculptural updo, a red lip and strikingly thick lashes. Personally, I think the key takeaway is that you can make any styling trick your own, so long as you pull it off with the confidence Monáe always has on display. 

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