It's out with the old, in with the new do. Whether it's a '30s cut like Natalie Portman's for an upcoming film role or a full-on buzz like Sex and the City's Jason Lewis, stars are changing their image headfirst. Nicky Hilton's blonde-to-brown shade trade sets her apart from platinum-tressed sister Paris, and Brittany Murphy's choppy cut adds maturity. Kirsten Dunst's clip was a whim. "She wanted something very original and very cool looking," says her hairstylist John Sahag. Why not start 2004 with a bang—or a bob?
Behind the Seams
And the No. 1 reason to watch Late Show with David Letterman on Dec. 23: Renée Zellweger, splendid in a red-satin Carolina Herrera dress.
BIG TIME: How do stars make sure they show up fashionably late for parties and premieres? By checking their chunky, clunky, oversize and multicolored Invicta watches. The weighty timepieces with funky-hued straps adorn the wrists of P. Diddy (he owns a diamond version), Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee, Mandy Moore and 50 Cent. Just another pretty face in L.A....
Invicta watch, $295, other styles $150-S5.000; 800-542-2389.
EAGLE BUYS: Julia Roberts could shop like a queen, but she and hubby Danny Moder took an alternate route at the average-Joe-priced American Eagle store in Soho. Their $600 haul included a cardigan and suede clogs for her, and cargo pants for him. No mistaking these two for J.Lo and Ben....
American Eagle Homespun Cardigan, $78; www.ae.com
MADE IN THE SHADES: Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker so loved the Kate Spade Jackie O-style sunglasses she got in an Emmy gift bag that she wanted to wear them as her trademark shades on the show. But Kristin Davis, who also got them, beat her to it by donning them on-camera in an earlier episode. Parker took defeat gracefully and wears them offscreen. That's seeing things eye-to-eye....
Kate Spade "Griffon" sunglasses, $148; Solstice stores, 212-563-7877.
SCENT WITH LOVE: Only Vera Wang's famed grooms, like Freddie Prinze Jr., got a sneak peek of her new fragrance for men with a handwritten note. Lest the brides feel left out, they got a bottle of her existing perfume for gals. Ah, the sweet smell of success.
Vera Wang for Men, $65, and Vera Wang perfume, $85; www.saksfifthavenue.com
Making a Comeback...
Yee-haw! When style mavens like Nicole Kidman and designer Stella McCartney start hoofing it around town in cowboy boots, it doesn't take a posse of fashion editors to see a trend is on the rise. Worn with pants, skirts and mini-anythings, the boots reappeared on the runway during D&G's Spring 2004 fashion show. Will urban cowgirls shed their Uggs for the latest in clunky footwear?
What do Lara Flynn Boyle and 9-year-old Dakota Fanning have in common? Wide eyes, waifish figures and the new Coach Kids collection's shearling coat. The petite 5'5" Boyle liked it so much, she snagged one each in blue and khaki. Hey, if the coat fits, wear it....
Coach Kids shearling coat, $698; 866-262-2440.
Puff 'N' Stuff
Staying out late at holiday parties—or staying in to watch a Lifetime movie? For those eye-swelling moments, Hilary Swank and Christina Aguilera swear by Origins No Puffery with calming yeast extract. And it's one of Katie Holmes's secrets—"the perfect remedy for those nights you haven't slept."
Origins No Puffery, $20; www.origins.com