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12/28/2012 at 04:00 PM ET

Jordin Sparks
Frazer Harrison/Getty

Jordin Sparks is stepping out of her comfort zone and into some very daring dresses.

The singer reveals to PEOPLE.com that the graphic-print gown with mesh insets (left) she wore to the American Music Awards last month was a big decision for her.

“Instead of wearing something because I know it will accentuate my positives and look good, I’ve become adventurous,” she says. “I know I’m not this edgy and crazy person, but that AMA dress was so different for me. So I just said to myself, ‘I’m going to try it.’”

And we can expect to see Sparks taking more fashion risks because in her opinion (and ours!), the dress was a total success. “I ended up loving it!” she says.

But just because she’s getting more daring with her red carpet choices, she’s sticking with what makes her comfortable when it comes to her everyday wardrobe. While some women are happy to suffer through the cold for the sake of fashion, especially this time of year (heels and minis when it’s snowing, anyone?), Sparks isn’t one of them.

“I got these really cute sweater dresses because Arizona [her home state] has bi-polar weather,” Sparks says. “They’re light enough [that you’re not hot], but still heavy enough to keep you warm. I pair them with some funky boots and then add some sparkle and glitter.”

Tell us: Did you love Sparks’s AMA dress as much as she did? 

–Jennifer Cress

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