Derek Hough, Nicole Sherzinger, Dancing With the Stars Adam Larkey/ABC via Getty

Dancing With the Stars dancer Derek Hough may be skipping the twelfth season of the show to shoot the dance movie Cobu 3D, but he’s keen to reminisce about the show’s stunning costumes. “There’s a lot of thought behind it, it’s not just ‘Oh that looks pretty, let’s wear that,’” Hough told InStyle recently. “There’s usually a technical reason—to hide mistakes or it’s to amplify things, to make things bigger and better.” And not only does he perform in costumes, he helps design them with the show’s Emmy-award winning costume designer Randall Christensen! “I’d say I have about a 60% say in deciding what we wear,” Hough said. So what are some of the dancer’s design strategies? “If their legs don’t look nice in this particular dance, I’m gonna put them in fringe. Or with rhythm, if they’re quite stiff I’ll put them in a lot of stuff that moves, so that it looks like they’re moving a lot.” Click through the gallery to take a look back at Hough’s most memorable outfits.

Caitlin Petreycik, with reporting by Erica Helwick