Priyanka Chopra on Her New Denim Gig, Fashion Philosophy and the Red Carpet Looks She Wishes She Kept

The new face of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans tells PEOPLE about her go-to comfy outfit, her favorite fashion trend and more

Priyanka Chopra; Gotham for Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans
Photo: Gotham for Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has a lot of fond memories of her favorite red carpet looks, but she has one regret when she thinks back on them.

"I've started thinking about, 'Why didn't I archive so many amazing outfits that I have worn along the way?'" she tells PEOPLE, revealing that despite wearing so many iconic outfits at events and on red carpets, she's kept zero of them.

"I was always a nomad," she adds. "I moved around so much, especially in the last 15 years. Till three years ago, I didn't own a house. I don't think I thought about roots. I wish I had kept the gown that I won Miss World in or the Jason Wu red outfit I wore for the Emmys. I loved it and was twirling like a princess in it."

Chopra Jonas, 40, says her Miss World dress, from when she won the pageant in 2000, was lost in her many travels, but at least the Jason Wu gown is safe in the designer's archives, in case she wants to go back to it someday. And though she doesn't have her own archive of red carpet looks yet, what she does have well-stocked in her closet is jeans.

The Matrix Resurrections star admits she has somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 pairs of jeans, because they're the basis of her "uniform" along with a crisp white button-up shirt. As the new face of Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans' latest campaign, I Have Needs, Fit Them, the actress likes when her jeans are actually comfortable and won't wear any that aren't.

"I'm curvy; I love my jeans being able to hit me in the right places where I need them to be and hide what I need them to hide," she tells PEOPLE. "That's what I love about my GV jeans — whether it's a boot cut, whether it's a flare. I do not like uncomfortable jeans; cannot wear them."

The brand's latest launch celebrates the history of its denim and Gloria Vanderbilt's legacy. For Chopra Jonas, it's a way to celebrate women. "I think women have always been told that we just need to cater to people," she shares. "We always put somebody else before us. That's just our nature or societal upbringing, but I love that this campaign tells you to think about your needs first. I think that's a very empowering thought. It's inspiring."

Priyanka Chopra; Gotham for Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans
Gotham for Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans

One of the women Chopra Jonas is always happy to celebrate is her own mother, Dr. Madhu Akhouri Chopra. The actress tells PEOPLE that her mother's affinity for always looking "well turned out" when she leaves the house made her want to be the same.

"She'd never step out in what she slept in; she would always change into something, not be dressed up, but to be presentable when she came out," Chopra Jonas says. "So it was ingrained in me, and I like being well turned out when I have people over or if I'm going somewhere." Admittedly, though, Chopra Jonas likes "being a slob at home" sometimes.

That might mean wearing her more comfy jeans and bare feet, but what it will never mean is a low-rise cut. "I don't have the pelvic bones for it anymore," she says of the jeans popularized in the early 2000s that are currently making a comeback. "Not happy about them," she adds with a laugh.

She is happy, though, about body jewelry growing in popularity again, because she says for many years, her friends made fun of her belly button piercing for being uncool. What they didn't seem to pick up on, is that Chopra Jonas is just ahead of the trends. "They were like, 'When are you going to get rid of it?' I still love it. Now everyone's doing it, so I'm so excited about body piercings," she says. "It's something people are doing now. I feel relevant. My belly piercing feels relevant."

Chopra Jonas, who married Nick Jonas in December 2018 and welcomed her first child with him in January, has seen her style evolve a lot over the years but her willingness to have a pair of jeans to suit every mood and occasion has stuck with her. She admits she even still has a pair from high school that she had all her friends sign. "I have an excess," she admits, adding that you never know when you'll want to go back to a pair you previously fell in love with.

"[My fashion philosophy] has definitely changed over the years. I don't think when I joined this industry that I knew anything about fashion," she says. "I was a small-town girl, so I just did a lot: jewelry, hair, makeup, the outfit — just like a Christmas tree."

She's pared it down now, which is why the classic Gloria Vanderbilt jeans fit right into her wardrobe. "The jeans rock," she tells PEOPLE. "As soon as you wear them, you're like, 'Okay, a woman made this.' They cinch you in the right places, they stretch in the right places, they're for so many body types. That's what I love about them."

The new campaign launches today, and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans can be found at Kohl's, Macy's, belk, JCPenney and Amazon.

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