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Nicole Scherzinger's Style Gets More 'Grown Up'

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Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

As a Pussycat Doll in her 20s, Nicole Scherzinger was all about the barely-there costume. But now, at 33, the singer and
X Factor
judge concedes that when it comes to fashion, less is more.

“My style has evolved into being a little bit more grown up,” she told PEOPLE Thursday at her 102.7 KIIS FM concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, where she donated one of her old Pussycat Dolls outfits. “It’s rock ‘n’ roll inspired, but chic. Glam rock.” Adding feathers or a cuff to a dress by Isabel Marant or Roberto Cavalli (two of her favorite designers) helps complete her look. “If I wear a lace dress I throw on a leather jacket to toughen things up, or some crazy boots,” she adds. “I like dresses that are sassy, but have clean lines.”

“She’s mixing it up with cute dresses, sequin jackets and tons of jewelry,” adds her stylist, Wyman Chang. But not before checking in with her loveable X Factor costar, Paula Abdul, on the days they film. “As far as Paula and I, we will find out what color each other’s dresses are that day and try to wear things that will complement each other,” she explains.

Currently promoting her new album, Killer Love, which drops this fall, Scherzinger is choosing looks by designers like Kristian Aadnevik while performing, and outfits from camilla and marc and Hervé Léger for the X Factor. “I want to wear dresses that make me feel like a woman, but I add a rock edge to it as well,” she explains. “That’s my style and I’m an artist before I am a judge.”

As far as keeping that body fit under those dresses, Scherzinger says intense choreography paired with running, sleeping well, drinking water and maintaining a balanced diet keeps her in shape. “I’ve gone through so many years of diets,” she says, “that now I don’t deprive myself of anything.”

–Jessica Herndon