Katy Perry Is a Proud Outfit Repeater

The pop star chats with InStyle about her Las Vegas residency, style evolution, and the app she uses to help clean out her closet.

Katy Perry neon dress
Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

As Katy Perry gallivants around the larger-than-life set of her newly extended Las Vegas residency, PLAY, at the Resorts World Theater, it's easy to assume she's the exact same queen of camp whose "California Gurls" music video first broke the internet all those years ago — substance-shooting bra and all. Drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Cher's self-titled variety show and Carol Burnett, to Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Pee-Wee's Playhouse, the show's 90-minute runtime (and extravagant costumes) delivers an all-out spectacle not uncommon for the star that's as dazzling as it is fun.

In reality, Perry says she's far from identical to her on-stage persona and has started to identify as "two different people" since becoming a mom — at least when it comes to her fashion sense. While you can still look to her show for the same "over-animated" outfits we've come to expect from the singer (think disco-inspired dresses and beer-can lingerie), Katy says her current daily wear — like the neon-green midi dress she wore while accepting a key to the Las Vegas Strip on June 8 — encompasses a much sleeker feel.

"I think that I'm two different people," Katy tells InStyle. "In my show, it's very larger-than-life. It's very 3-D. It's very over-animated. In my day-to-day and in my other business ventures, I'm a little bit more neutral, streamlined. Every once in a while, a pop of color, for instance. But it's just one color, and we stick with it. And it's a brown, neutral shades on my face."

Katy Perry
Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Katy Perry

Katy adds that although the show may call to mind theatrical costumes of performances past, she's strived to fine-tune her signature self-proclaimed "kooky" style when curating fresh new looks for the residency. "I would say that in my personal life, it's becoming a little bit more sophisticated and less kooky," she shares. "I save the kook for the stage. But it's still an elevated kook. There's no messiness to any of it. It's intentional camp."

This idea of "intentional camp" can be seen in each of the show's seven costume changes. All of which, according to Perry, were all created with throwback fads and a Barbie-esque storyline in mind.

"The clothes are all loosely based on the 1960s. Even a lot of the design elements and the animation in between act sets, when I'm changing, and we're changing over the set. All of it was meant to have a '60s undertone," Katy shares. "And I just like those kind of empire waists, disco a little bit, just in that vein. So, we were drawing off of that — and dolls. Because I'm a doll in the show, and so, everything has a doll element to it. A lot of scalloping."

Aside from wearing the same costumes nightly to perform in front of Vegas crowds, when asked if her outfit repeating extends beyond the stage, Katy admits, "Oh my god, yes."

"Yes, I am an outfit repeater in my personal life," the pop star says. "Costumes, not so much; I've got a warehouse full of costumes. But now I'm doing constant clean-outs of things and sending it to The RealReal, It's just like, 'I can't.' Why am I looking at this anymore? Because I don't even feel like I want to buy anything until I can let go of things. I'm starting to be less attached [to clothes], which is great."

As for her attachment to costumes, however, Katy says there's one outfit in the show that she's particularly fond of. "I do love my silver disco-esque soda can tab dress, because it has cans on the bra that are actually working cans," she says. "It's a big surprise when I can fill up my beer mug [with Red Bull] every night. And when I do a big cheers with the audience, I can literally pour it from my bra."

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