For American singer-songwriter Janelle Monae, two hats doesn’t just mean two looks – it means three.

Last Friday, Monae made New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza her stage as part of NBC’s “Today” Summer Concert Series. Performing hit songs from her new album Dirty Computer, she danced and sang on stage in sparkling and eye-catching outfits.

But what made her performance costumes so unique was her ability to combine different elements of certain outfits to create three cohesive looks. The best part? She only needed to wear two hats.

Janelle Monae

She kicked off the concert wearing a shining silver sequined jacket and matching pants. From under her jacket peeked a vintage David Bowie shirt and her classic black combat boots were given an upgrade with golden stud details. To make the look ready for the spotlight, she opted for a black conductor hat with a simple silver trimming.

Wearing the same hat and boots, Monae also performed in a black and white patterned jumpsuit. Her black bomber jacket made the look more casual and appropriate for a Friday morning performance. While the outfit featured similar elements, the colors and patterns were different, giving the quick outfit change some meaning.

Finally, she swapped the bomber jacket for a fringed black and white military cape. She also traded her sequined cap for an almost exact replica, except this one featured a shiny black trimming. The movement of the fringe and the cape was a nice juxtaposition to the stark, boxy hat.

Monae’s outfit choices show that you can still create exciting, new outfits using some of the same pieces. Don’t be afraid to rewear a hat. Just change your shoes, switch out your shirt and you’ve got a whole new outfit. Besides, a hat like Monae’s deserves more than to be worn just once!

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HATalk Issue 140 (November 2017). Cover hat by Veronica Marucci.