OFFSTAGE: Carrie Underwood, Always InStyle

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

The holiday issue of InStyle magazine alone is a little bit of a celebration. Then you put Carrie Underwood on the cover — and a big story on her inside — and it’s really like a gift in itself. There are 438 thick and glossy pages, and a large majority of those feature Underwood’s candor and beauty. And what works for her, fashion-wise. “I love things that make me feel comfortable but aren’t too tight or showing too much cleavage. That might be some people, but definitely not me. I can be sexy and still be classy. I don’t do outrageous outfits, and I never will,” she tells the magazine. “Fashion, to me, is what makes you feel awesome.” As for her always-smoky eye look, check out the online photo gallery that takes her from a high school senior to nine short but amazing years later to see how that makeup trend has been a common theme. “Me and black eyeliner go way back,” Underwood says. The big issue will be weighing down newsstands everywhere on Friday (Nov. 19).

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.