Anna Nicole Smith wants the public to think she's a sexpot, but the U.S. Supreme Court to think she's a classy, grieving widow.
Good luck with that.
Smith, a former Playboy model, hasn't actually said that's what she's trying to accomplish, but her clothes say as much.
Yesterday, Smith appeared outside the Supreme Court, prepared to battle over her late husband's fortune. She dressed like a Hollywood starlet headed to a funeral -- black overcoat, black dress, black hose, big black sunglasses.
It was in stark contrast to Smith's normal Kewpie-doll-does-Dallas attire. The voluptuous bottle-blonde usually is poured into something hot pink or siren red. Her skirts are generally micro-mini, and her tops appear to be Frederick's finest.
So it was smart of Smith to realize that "blond bimbo" is not a good look when one is about to stand before Supreme Court justices.
Still, she didn't get the new look entirely right.
"She is trying to look respectable, but black is not a color of respect; it's the color of austerity, like she's in mourning. And it's really too late for her to project that image," says consultant Sandy Dumont, who calls herself "the Image Architect." "It makes her look like a femme fatale."
Smith would've done better in a Chanel-esque tweed number or a simple St. John's knit suit, Dumont says. And she should have chosen lighter shades, such as pale blue or soft pink, which suggest innocence.
"She should have gone for `sweet and nice, going to play bridge with the girls,'" Dumont says, "as opposed to `going to seduce another rich, old guy.'"
Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when he was 89 and she was a 26-year-old topless dancer. He died 14 months later.
Since his death, there's been legal wrangling about Smith's entitlement to the billionaire's money.
To win over the Supreme Court, she wore pink lipstick instead of her usual cherry red, a black dress instead of the pink "Spoiled" T-shirt that she wore in federal court, and exchanged cleavage for a chunky silver crucifix around her neck.
"She's really working hard to overcome this image that she has as a trashy gold digger," says David B. Lat, co-editor of Wonkette.com, a dishy political blog.
Did it work?
"Methinks the widow doth protest too much," Lat says.