By Kat Giantis
Don't Believe the Stripe: For crying out loud, Jessica Simpson, how many times are we going to have this conversation? Did you really think a horizontally striped, vacuum-sealed dress with a cutout back was the most figure-flattering option for belting out the national anthem at the AT&T National golf tournament? Granted, the song mentions "broad stripes," but no one expected you to take it literally. It's time to stop this sartorial self-sabotage and start wielding that bombshell body of yours like the powerful weapon it is (and not just because of those formidable torpedoes). Need convincing? Check out the young man in white eyeballing you as he stands at full attention, if you know what we mean. Look, Jess, dressing to titillate isn't necessarily a bad thing (ask any Hooters waitress with a 401k), but you have the potential for so much more. With the right clothes and confident attitude, you could meld the lusciousness of Marilyn with the classiness of Salma, and become a role model for the anti-lollipop movement in the process. But first, you need to renounce the horizontal stripes, which are as frightening on you as they were on Freddy Krueger.
By Kat Giantis
Shortcomings: Amid rumors of relationship trouble, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake make a paparazzi-accompanied run to Whole Foods to show that their diet is as healthy as their romance. Let's listen to their post-shopping confab …
Justin: Why are you walking so far away from me? Is it my fedora? I knew it was too jaunty for the grocery store.
Jess: No, your hat is fine; hackneyed, but fine.
Justin: Then what? Are you worried about being photographed in those polka-dot shorts?
Jess: Should I be?
Justin: Not if you were trying to look like the winner of the Miss Beachy Keen contest of 1922 — then it's all good.
Jess: Whatever. You just don't understand the burden I carry because of my looks. It really is a problem. I have to balance being really sexy with being really attainable.
Justin: As you've said in recent interviews. [Eye roll.] So, the middle ground between gorgeous and get-able means wearing a schoolmarm's beach bloomers on the bottom, a biker chick's Sunday driving outfit on top, and a hippie's fringed purse on your arm?
Jess: See, you totally get me. We're so perfect together. Should we smile so the world knows how happy we are?
Justin: And break our glum streak? Nah. Besides, not smiling makes us look cool, and with your dorky shorts, we need all the help we can get.
Hayden's Panty Err: Hayden Panettiere has been trying to spark interest in her new movie, "I Love You, Beth Cooper," by talking up her pivotal towel-dropping locker room scene. "If I can't flaunt it at 20, come on!" she says. "I mean, I might as well show it now." And that she does, just not in the PG-13 flick (she exposes only her bare back). For her sit-down with David Letterman, however, the bronzed "Heroes" starlet plays peek-a-boo with her private parts in a wispy black lace minidress that is strategically opaque over said parts, a design element that makes it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. Unfortunately, such close inspection exposes a secondary problem beyond a cutie-pie actress making a blatant bid for attention by donning a frock so sheer we can almost see the misspelled tattoo decorating her side (a story she shared with Dave while perched uncomfortably on the edge of her chair, a position that kept her thigh-high display from turning R-rated). Seems Hayden forgot the first rule of see-through: A wholesome white bra and panties are a contradictory no-no. But at least she remembered the second rule of see-through: Always wear a bra and panties.
Brody to the Max: Hi, I'm Adrien Brody and I'll be your gondolier this evening. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the tour of Venice's world-famous canals. And remember, tips are always appreciated. Don't be shy. Just stick them in that jar over there with the sign reading, "Help Adrien Buy a Shirt." Did I mention I'm also saving up for a shave and a haircut, along with a chest wax and some Axe Body Spray? One day, I hope to own my own gondola business. Maybe then I can stop wearing this ridiculous straw hat and red bandana I borrowed from my golden retriever. Please be generous, people. My pecs are freezing.
Piping Not: It takes a self-assured man to wear a salmon-pink shirt with a coordinating pocket square and paisley tie, and Daniel Radcliffe, being the debonair young actor he is, almost pulls off the bold combo at the rain-soaked London premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." But almost isn't enough. If only Radcliffe could have conjured up a suit that didn't make him look like the creepy Victorian doll version of his wizard alter ego. The ensemble's dated brown piping is at odds with the slim-fit modern line, as is the dandyish, old-fashioned looped fastener. In DanRad's defense, he did spend the majority of his formative years beneath a plain black Hogwarts robe, so perhaps he's not familiar with these nifty, newfangled devices called buttons. He is, however, hip to standard celebrity perks, and he keeps his foppish duds dry on the red carpet with that must-have Hollywood accessory, a personal umbrella holder.
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Be-Shouldered: Kim Kardashian waits impatiently for the valet to bring around her DeLorean, worried that she might be late for her hot date with either Crockett or Tubbs. Truth is, she's not quite sure which one she's meeting — her "Working Girl"-by-way-of-the-gridiron shoulder pads kept riding up and muffling the phone call. But it was definitely one of the "Miami Vice" guys. And they're going to be totally stoked when they see that she scored a pair of the same sunglasses Gov. Schwarzenegger styled in the first "Terminator" movie. Now, if she could just pry the plastic comb out of the back pocket of her skintight Jordache jeans and give the front of her hair some serious pouf, she'll be so bitchin'. Like, fer sure.
Lohan Be Old: Before you judge Lindsay Lohan harshly for celebrating her birthday in an outfit that discerning ladies of the evening would dismiss as way too strumpet-y, cut her some slack. Remember, she made it through a whole year without going to rehab or getting arrested. True, she also made it through the whole year without landing a job on the big screen or calling a détente on the drama with sometime squeeze Samantha Ronson, but we see good things ahead. After all, one's thirties are all about self-actualization, a heady time when you learn many important life lessons, such as: a) fringed-encircled, open-toed booties are stupefyingly hideous; b) bellies don't require fresh air at all times; and, c) pants aren't evil incarnate and therefore won't burn like a vampire dunked in holy water when you slip them on. What's that? Lindsay turned 23, not 30? You sure? Huh. Well, here's hoping her birthday wish was to have Cher show her how to turn back time.
New York Pity: "Gossip Girl" is to living in New York as "Grey's Anatomy" is to working in a hospital (in other words, neither situation typically involves sleeping with everyone you know). That said, an occasional touch of authenticity would be appreciated on "GG," even if it's just a scene in which Blake Lively's flighty character, Serena Van Der Woodsen, exits a building. In real life, a fashion-conscious teen would never crack a smile while wearing a plunging spandex onesie that's wedging into awkward and uncomfortable places with every step. Or strut around in open-toe elf booties with a heel that's sharper than one of Chuck's soul-cutting remarks. Or style a crazy-patterned blazer that Kelly Kapowski and Lisa Turtle would have bickered over on "Saved by the Bell" before learning an important lesson about the value of sharing. Even the doorman lacks verisimilitude, unless there's an upcoming plotline about how he's only opening doors for well-to-do Upper East Siders while waiting for his big modeling break.
Helena Handbasket: There's a definite upside to Helena Bonham Carter's singular fashion sense, which she shows off in all its wacky splendor at the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince": She never has to worry that someone will turn up on the red carpet kitted out in the very same getup. See, non-kooky people wouldn't have the first clue where to acquire an outfit like this. Our best guess is that in some remote, oddball corner of the world, there's a store that stocks only clothes and accessories inspired by movies featuring the sublimely eccentric actress. Take Helena's corset jacket and ruffled black skirt, which are versatile enough to go from a furtive make-out session with Julian Sands in "A Room With a View" to baking people-packed pies with Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd." Meanwhile, you can almost smell the musty odor of the "Corpse Bride" coming off her white crinoline petticoat. As for her polka-dot tights, twee gold shoes and glittery, glorious castle purse, those apparently came straight through the rabbit hole of the forthcoming "Alice in Wonderland," where Helena's hair appears to have been clawed (repeatedly) by the Cheshire Cat.
Misch-Mash: Mischa Barton careens toward a London club in the wee hours of the morning, seemingly listing under the heavy load of her layered separates and unfulfilled career promise. The starlet pairs the drafty blunder that is studded short-shorts with a well-insulated upper half, tossing on a black T-shirt, a black-and-white striped cardigan and a leather jacket. There is, of course, a more effective way to stay warm at night, but who wants to wear boring pants when you can bare your gams in spangled boxers? Mischa caps her look with a bowler hat and racoonish eye makeup straight out of "A Clockwork Orange," which likely wasn't intentional, unless we've underestimated her and she actually knows that Kubrick was a famous director and not, say, a multicolored, plastic-cubed puzzle.