Britney Spears

updated 09/18/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/18/2000 01:00AM

SHE'S ONLY A VIXEN in videos, where skintight leather and exposed midriffs sell records (in her case, 22 million of them). In real life, Britney Spears, 18, says that she's a virgin–and that she vows to remain one until she's married. In the meantime, her wardrobe, like her hit song "Oops!...I Did It Again" ("I played with your heart/ Got lost in the game...I'm not that innocent"), aims to tease. Although, deep down, the 5'4" former Mousketeer prefers wearing jeans and T-shirts, as she confessed to Rolling Stone in May, she also indulges a taste for glitter, cleavage, stiletto heels and the latest trends. (She had her navel pierced during a Christmastime vacation in Hawaii.) When duty calls the pop princess onto the red carpet in Donna Karan or Calvin Klein, "she looks fabulous," says game show host Ben Stein. "Exactly the way a young star is supposed to look." No less an authority than fellow singing sensation Sisqó agrees. "Britney rocks," he cheers. "She's got the powers."

All dolled up for December's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Spears "has the Barbie thing going on," says model Mia Tyler. The bejeweled gown is "feminine, very simple and goes with who she is–a young woman appealing to teens," lauds designer Dana Buchman. Sisqó, though, sees multi-generational appeal: "This is the teen queen for the parents. Not too much cleavage, not too much makeup. Nice, clean, dainty. She's showing she can be a good girl and you can invite her to your house."

Teen pop stars are entitled to some fringe benefits. In this case, our judges agree that Spears–during a February photo op in L.A.–"gets away with that Pocahontas thing," as Mia Tyler puts it. Says Dana Buchman: "The chic color makes the wacky outfit work. It's flashy but not offensive. It has a sense of humor." Designer Elie Tahari admires "the nice low-cut pants" that catch Sisqó's eye as well. "They're like a thong," says the "Thong Song" singer. "Thong, thong, thong. I love the whole deal."

In the pink at an April music awards show in London with a ruffled slip dress and jacket, Spears wowed the judges. "This is the 'I'm a star' look," says Sisqó. "'You can put me in your movie, your TV show. I am the face, I am the body. Behold, for I am Britney!'" Mia Tyler's assessment is more grounded: "Great silver shoes."

At the Grammy Awards last February in L.A., Spears lost out as best new artist to Christina Aguilera, but her clingy Randolph Duke halter dress and white mink Oscar de la Renta stole inspired a chorus of approval from panelists. "This is a perfect dress and perfect look," says Ben Stein. "It could not be improved upon." Elie Tahari praises the ensemble's "old-fashioned elegance," while Dana Buchman likes that it's "flashy without being garish." Adds an impressed Sisq: "She looks like money."

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