By Kat Giantis
Floral Fixation: The world is a better place because of miniaturization. Computers, skirts, vans, golf, Schnauzers and pizzas have all benefited from shrinkage. But there are certain things that should never, ever be made mini. At the top of the list (sandwiched between the mini-mall and Dr. Evil's Mini-Me): the muumuu. Jessica Simpson demonstrates the many reasons why Mrs. Roper's trademark look should stay floor-length as she attends a family dinner in Los Angeles. No matter how leggy, lithe, or pillow-lipped you are (and Jess is all those things), it's impossible to carry off a butt cheek-grazing caftan made from the tropical wallpaper that once covered Blanche Devereux's much-trafficked bedroom on "Golden Girls." You just end up looking like a dizzy blonde who forgot to wear pants while borrowing her boyfriend's deliberately kitschy Hawaiian shirt. At least the starlet's mini-muumuu is an improvement over the Great Double-Belted Denim Disaster of '09, although that's kind of like saying her straight-to-DVD Army comedy, "Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous," is better than her straight-to-DVD romantic comedy, "Blonde Ambition" (not that we're admitting to watching either flick. Hey, don't look at us like that. We were bored. It was late. There was nothing on. And there may have been alcohol involved).
By Any Jeans Necessary: Katie Holmes was well aware the paparazzi would be lying in wait when she left her dance class, which means she knew this outfit would be photographed for posterity. Yet she saw no reason to slip into something a little less comfortable. Shortsightedness: 1. Katie: 0. Mrs. Tom Cruise crushes the last vestiges of her media-touted but evidence-light "fashion icon" status beneath the hairy-toe-creating fringe of her clunky gladiator sandals, which are just the peculiarly festooned tip of a very unsightly iceberg. Separately (or perhaps if worn by Suri), her cuffed denim shorts and button-down plaid shirt might seen fun and casual, but together, it's like Jennifer Grey from "Dirty Dancing" ditched easy listening and went grunge. Or, as Katie's stylist probably told her while trying to sell this more-misguided-than-"Mad Money 2" style concept: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner at a Nirvana concert."
Dye Hard: With a Vengeance: The word "fierce" is tossed around Victoria Beckham like so many bowls of the carb-free salad she seems to love so much. And in a lot of ways, the label is justified. After all, fierce is strutting down the sidewalk as if it's your own personal runway. Fierce is being able to project an expression steelier than the underwire of your reinforced bra despite having most of your face hidden behind windshield-sized sunglasses. And fierce is wearing the hottest designer duds without fear of looking like the '80s dumped a truckload of acid-wash and shoulder pads on top of you. So, here's to you, Posh, because even when you're sporting bleach stains and Morgan Fairchild's hand-me-downs (with the hanger still in 'em), you're still fiercer than Tyra Banks and RuPaul duking it out for the last remaining can of Aquanet and tube of waterproof mascara on the planet.
Gaffe Out Loud: Whoa, we almost didn't see you there, Katy Perry, what with you blending quietly into the background and all. Speaking of which, we think it's time for a heart-to-heart. We get that you're the shy and retiring type, uncomfortable with blatant grabs for attention. It's refreshing that you prefer to put your talent front and center instead of stooping to some premeditated display of cornea-burning silliness to prove what a quirky, girl-kissing individualist you are. But it's time for you to step out of your Plain Jane comfort zone and take a style risk, because — and we say this as a friend — there's just something so humdrum about a pantsuit covered in the food-processed and lacquered remains of the entire "Finding Nemo" cast. Might we suggest an eye-catching khaki? What's that? You have an idea on how to spice things up? And it's on the next page? OK, lay it on us …
Kitty in Pink: Hello again, Katy Perry. Let's just begin by saying that this outfit gets an "A" for effort. We're thrilled you took our advice from the previous page and went with something slightly less inconspicuous. And the Easter theme is genius, because nothing says "resurrection" quite like a shoulder-padded, marshmallow Peep-pink shiny blazer ripped off the shoulders of an extra from "Heathers" and paired with matching leopard-print capris from David Lee Roth's "Just a Gigolo" phase. This is real progress. And who knows? Maybe one day you'll overcome your reticence in the spotlight and will branch out into exotic fruits instead of sticking with such been-there, juiced-that varieties as bananas and watermelons.
Dire and Grim Stone: Sharon Stone seems out of sorts as she exits her interview with Larry King, a somber mood reflected by her mystifying separates. Did the exceptionally well-preserved actress toss on this pear-shaped, Kermit-green satin smock because she was worried the suspendered, overly seasoned host would spill some of his primordial soup on her? Or is she getting into character to play a Beverly Hills widow, who, after being fleeced by Bernie Madoff, becomes a high-class madam to maintain the lifestyle to which she's become accustomed? And what about those sheer cropped leggings, which Sharon apparently pruned herself? Was she trying to offset her oversized matronly top by yanking on sleek, trendy bottoms? If so, her plan backfired, because while she may have been aiming for a Lindsay Lohan look, she unluckily landed squarely on the troubled starlet's youth-clinging mom, Dina.
Restrains of O'Day: There are several things amiss in this picture of Aubrey O'Day. For starters, the former Danity Kane outcast-turned-Playboy pinup is posing on the red carpet at Bravo's A-List Awards, which means either she wandered in off the street or "A-List" doesn't mean what we think it means. Aubrey also appears to have matched her roots to her eyeliner, giving off the regrettable impression of a raccoon dunked in peroxide (and somewhere, the crew behind her stunning recent make-under weeps quietly). Then there's her designer dress, which, in theory, should be a classy choice: The color is flattering; it covers up almost everything she laid bare for Hef; and it hits demurely at the knee. But O'Day must possess an elegance-repelling gene, because this ill-fitting frock is weapons-grade unbecoming. The "take me to your leader" pointy shoulders and rounded neckline are at odds with the secretarial pool skirt, while the center cutout appears to be a teeny-tiny Bermuda Triangle, sucking in every trace of sophistication in its path.
Thigh Hopes: Hold on to your pudding pops, people, because you're about to feel really old and perhaps a mite uneasy. Believe it or not, this lovely young lady in thigh-creeping short-shorts and a sternum-baring top is Keshia Knight Pulliam, who's better known as button-cute Rudy Huxtable from "The Cosby Show." And she just turned 30. Yeah, go ahead and pop a Geritol — we'll wait. Anyhoo, as you can see, the littlest and least annoying Cosby kid is grown up and gorgeous — and apparently quite thrifty, because she appears to be uncomfortably sheathed in the very same Garanimals that Rudy used to wear while trading one-liners with Cliff.
Winky and the Brain: A day in the life of Paris Hilton's brain sure can be exhausting. When it's not busy calculating the hotness level of everyone within a 30-foot radius, it's sending out complex posing instructions (thrust hips, throw back shoulders, heave bosoms, give awkwardly sexy wink and pout) and trying to come up with a suitably schmoopy pet name for her boyfriend, Doug Reinhardt, who set the bar high by dubbing her "Angel Princess." Such challenges might explain why the starlet's cerebrum was unable to process her request to find appropriate attire for a J.C. Penney-sponsored event. Instead, Hilton's overtaxed mind simply figured that J.C. Penney sells inexpensive goods. Inexpensive means cheap and cheap means posing at the store's shindig in a see-through, please-check-out-my-hoisted-cleavage corset. Of course, given that we're already intimately (if reluctantly) familiar with Paris' lady parts, it's not as if she's showing us anything new. In fact, stepping out in public in only a push-up bra is positively modest for her. Heck, it's even a tad wholesome considering how Mickey Mouse's ears are gently cradling her boobies.
Blunder Cover: From certain angles, we absolutely adore the stark silhouette of the intricately beaded backless gown Nicole Kidman encased herself in to accompany hubby Keith Urban to the Academy of Country Music Awards. Actually, scratch that: We adore it from one angle and one angle only: the dramatic, porcelain skin-revealing flipside. From the front, the exquisitely unlined Oscar winner's turtlenecked, full-coverage couture looks like a wetsuit designed and Bedazzled by Morticia Addams, which makes it way too cutting edge and austere for a cowboy hat-crammed Las Vegas ceremony that bestowed an award on "Dancing With the Stars" hottie Julianne Hough.
Skirting the Issue: Demi Lovato is only 16, so instead of critiquing her red-carpet ensemble, we're just going to offer some helpful advice for the future. Demi, honey, skirts can be made from a host of materials, from the practical (cotton, denim, wool) to the polished (cashmere, taffeta, velvet, silk) to the tackily unnatural (Lycra and gold lamé). They should not, however, be fashioned from the wig you wore last Halloween when you dressed up as a Goth Shirley Temple. 'K? Not that the Disney starlet is likely to heed our suggestion. Word is, she recently plunked down $2 million for a new house. When we were 16, we were saving up for a scooter, so we'll just show ourselves out.
No Laughing Splatter:Try as she might, Ginnifer Goodwin just can't make her mouth curl into a smile. But the "Big Love" actress has a darn good reason for not being able to turn her frown upside down. See, she was so determined to look perfect for her photo op that she took preventative stain measures, waiting until the very last minute to put on the pristine white minidress she'd picked out just for the occasion. How was she supposed to know there was a condiment convention going on nearby? Or that the obligatory wienie roast would deteriorate into a food fight, sending mustard, ketchup, relish and flame-broiled pork-based products raining down on her immaculate frock? The unappetizing result is enough to turn your stomach.
In Case of Emergency, Drew Barrymore Can Double as a Flotation Device: How do we love Drew Barrymore? Let us count the ways. We love the genuine warmth that radiates from her sunny personality. We love that, at the age of 34, she's come into her own and has never looked better. We love that she was able to rise above her lousy childhood and become a Hollywood powerhouse through hard work and determination. We love that she's winning raves as Little Edie in "Grey Gardens," a role she went Method for. And most of all, we love that she turned up at David Letterman to promote the movie decked out in something her eccentric alter ego would have loved, a dress that mixes vintage Hollywood glam with a touch of the zany courtesy of adult-sized water wings. Kudos, Drew. Kudos.