The singer's stylist dishes on the crazy amount of costume changes

By Kate Hogan
Updated December 01, 2011 09:30 PM

Courtesy CMA

Jennifer Nettles has that newlywed glow, but she also has one heck of a wardrobe, which she’ll showcase Thursday night on the CMA Country Christmas special. The Sugarland singer, who’s hosting the show, is changing seven times, wearing looks by every designer from A.L.C. to Yves Saint Laurent.

“We just thought it would be fun,” stylist Gillian Steinhardt tells PEOPLE of the crazy amount of costumes. “When she does performances we are limited to a specific silhouette. She’s more comfortable performing in pants, so we wanted an opportunity to dress up in ways she’s not normally seen.”

Though Nettles’s favorite look was a custom-made bustier and leggings by Steinhardt and designer Lauren Bradley (bottom right) — “that was fun for her,” the stylist says — what she really loved were the red Givenchy blouse and black polka dot Diane von Furstenberg pants (top left).

“We kept calling it ‘the crazy aunt so-and-so at the Christmas party’ outfit,” Steinhardt recalls. “She loved that and she was like, ‘I want to wear this to my own holiday parties.’ In fact, she did take it home.”

Jennifer Nettles CMA Country Christmas

Courtesy CMA

All the glitter and shine wasn’t just for the cameras; it was for the season, too, Steinhardt says. “It’s the holidays, we had to have sparkle, sparkle, sparkle — as much as possible,” she explains. “She wanted an element of kitsch and glamour and whimsy — and also a sort of sophistication — but a little fun. She’s a showgirl at heart, and she loves the holidays.”

It’s that inner showgirl that allows Nettles to wear these outfits so well, Steinhardt says. “You have to own a look, and she recognizes that she can own it,” she shares. “She knows the power of clothing.” Tell us: Are you tuning in tonight? Which look is your favorite?

–Eileen Finan