There’s a good reason you’ve been seeing a lot of Heidi Klum’s legs lately — she’s in love.
“My boyfriend likes legs, so I like wearing minidresses and fishnet stockings,” the model, 43, tells PEOPLE during an interview about her new swim line for our latest issue, on newsstands today. The TV host has been in a relationship with art dealer Vito Schnabel for over two years.
And a mini isn’t the only thing she likes to wear for him, either. “I love a beautiful pump,” she says. “I’ve been walking in heels for 25 years so they don’t really bother me. They just make me feel sexier when I walk into a restaurant or down the street hand-in-hand.”
This reflects her overall fashion approach right now. “I’m not someone who wants to blend in,” she says. “Some people don’t feel comfortable in something bold. I do. I love making an effort, even when I go to dinner with my boyfriend or with my friends. I like to step it up.”
She says people most often see her sexy side when she’s on TV, either judging America’s Got Talent or hosting Project Runway. “As the host, I always have to push the envelope,” she says, noting she does so by wearing “more color, crazier silhouettes and big, bold statement jewelry pieces.” Adds Klum: “I don’t want to come in something snoozy!”
The key to her look, she says, is balance. “Anything goes,” she says. “But don’t be sexy everywhere. If I have a supershort mini on, I’m not gonna put my boobs on display. But I feel great in my skin so I feel like I wear whatever I want to wear whenever I want to wear it.”
So what are some of her favorite looks she’s worn this year?
Jitrois dress, America’s Got Talent, 2016
“This dress was a beautiful, fire-engine, tomato red dress and it had zipper details. I paired that with a pump that is exactly the same color. I love that it was really short so you see a lot of legs, but the boobs and the arms were all wrapped up, so it’s not sexy everywhere. It was just legs.”
Atelier Michalsky jumpsuit, America’s Got Talent, 2016
“This is by my friend Michael Michalsky. This jumpsuit had amazing embroideries on it, and it looked like a corset, but had one sleeve. I loved it.”
Barbara Bui dress and boots, Project Runway 2016
“I asked Barbara Bui to make something for me for the Project Runway finale, and since our show is about fashion so I asked her to make it special. She had created this and I thought it was beautiful. Then, she let me pick whatever color I wanted. She had green, fuchsia, black and white and I wanted the white. She suggested to do over-the-knee boots, which I thought that was fabulous. I felt really great in it.”
So, what about when she’s off-duty? “On my days off, I’m in jeans, T-shirts and sneakers,” she says. “It’s really about comfort.”
For more of our new interview with Heidi Klum, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.