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Priyanka Chopra, InStyle's Breakthrough Style Star: 'The Only Way to Wear Clothes Is to Feel Your Best - You Can't Overthink It'

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Gilbert Flores/Broadimage
Gilbert Flores/Broadimage

Priyanka Chopra has had one hell of a year, starting with her role in Quantico, continuing onto a number of showstopping red carpets and culminating in being named InStyle’s Breakthrough Style Star at the magazine’s annual awards in L.A. Monday night. But the actress, who’s had a 15-year career as a global superstar before landing a TV show in the U.S., jokes that the word breakthrough is really all relative.

“I don’t think that in the last one year I suddenly become more stylish, no,” she tells PeopleStyle. “I think I always had an inherent style, that my clothes need to make me feel comfortable, that’s something I’ve always had. I guess once I came to America, America has become a little bit more aware about my style. My style stayed the same!”

And being comfortable and confident in her clothing is her through-line in all her many varied red carpet looks. “I am not someone who is like, ‘I want to break the internet with what I am wearing!’ I don’t think like that,” she says. “I wear what I feel, and I need to feel my best in what I wear. I decide on my clothes based on that. I’ve had lot of great reviews for what I wear but I really don’t wear my clothes for that reason. I pick outfits to feel the best that I can feel and I think that’s the only way to wear clothes. You can’t overthink it.”

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That’s not to say she doesn’t have a few favorites from the past year, though: “I definitely think that the Emmys were one of my favorite looks this year — it was a gorgeous custom Jason Wu,” she says of the look above. “The Oscars — it was a really, really beautiful Zuhair Murad. The Billboard Awards, I wore this amazing Versace … I was feeling a little bloaty that day so we went for an outfit that was just so breezy, and I wore a braid which was so edgy. I react to how I am feeling the day of.”

Priyanka Chopra on cover of InStyle

InStyle had already taken notice even before the event — she landed the magazine’s August cover, which was “one of the easiest photoshoots I’ve ever done,” she says. “I was really excited when I saw it on the stands, and of course my mom was too — she collects them all!”

And though she’s guaranteed to be wearing something beautiful at Monday’s party (she doesn’t know just what, yet) if you catch her off the carpet, you’re likely to see her in what’s more or less her off duty uniform: “Quintessential Priyanka would be a great pair of jeans, some solid shoes, an amazing backpack, a jacket and you’re out the door!”

“Oh, of course,” your style changes from real life to the red carpet, she says. “But the philosophy stays the same. What you wear changes completely. But the thing is, the way I see it, the only thing you need to wear well consistently is your confidence. Then no matter what outfit that you wear, whether it’s a giant gorgeous gown or whether it is a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, you rock it just as well.”

We can’t wait to see what other wise words she offers up on Oct. 24 at the L.A. event, where Nicole Kidman, Tom Ford, Sheilene Woodley and Leon Bridges will also be among the honorees. Check back for photos and all the scoop!

What do you think of Chopra’s style?