By Kelsey Glein
Aug 04, 2016 @ 7:00 am

Kerry Washington's style may captivate us every week on her hit TV series Scandal, but InStyle's September 2016 cover star repeatedly nails her looks in real life as well.

The 39-year-old soon-to-be mother of two sat down with us during her cover shoot to give us the scoop on some of her most memorable red carpet moments over the years, from her eye-catching Thakoon number at the 2014 NAACP Image Awards (which she wore while pregnant with her first child) to the unforgettable and dazzling high-slit Marc Jacobs dress she donned at the 2015 Emmy Awards.

But just how do her winning looks actually come together? Plenty of teamwork, she says, not forgetting to give credit to her hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew and makeup artist Carola Gonzalez. "When I'm expecting, I like to have big hair because I like to think the bigger the hair the smaller you look," she says with a laugh in the video above.

She likes to let loose in other ways, too. "I feel like sometimes we get way too overdressed for awards shows and there's too many of them," she says in reference to her dazzling Miu Miu frock at the 2013 Golden Globes. "I really liked that this look was so clean." Another favorite? The wow-worthy pink Prada ballgown she donned at the 2015 Met Gala. "I loved this look because it was really sophisticated and yet simple," Washington recalls. "The makeup was elevated and princess-like, but didn't distract from the gown."

Watch the video above to hear Washington discuss more of her best red carpet outfits, and to read her full feature, where she gets candid about the state of the world today, pick up the September issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Friday, August 12.