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How Low Can They Go?

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At an L.A. party in July, BRITNEY SPEARS went “extra low,” says her stylist Bart, in “distressed Cinderella” pants by Gary Graham. How does she keep them on? “Britney’s clothes are made to fit her perfectly,” says Bart. “So we don’t worry about mishaps.”

For an MTV special in March, JANET JACKSON “didn’t want to have a butt-crack moment” in her Dolce & Gabbana pants, says her stylist Wayne Scot Lukas. “She paid attention to what showed when she sat and we put the microphone pack behind her as a cover.”

“Low-cut, hip-hugging pants are one of my wardrobe staples right now,” says American Pie 2‘s TARA REID, in custom-tailored Ymayaba at her movie’s L.A. premiere last month. “They’re really flattering if you have a flat stomach.”

Pop trio Destiny’s Child—KELLY ROWLAND, BEYONCE KNOWLES and MICHELLE WILLIAMS—were early converts to shape-revealing denim, thanks to their own fit figures and Tina Knowles (Beyoncé‘s mom, who dresses the group). “Kelly is like a model and so is Michelle,” says Tina. “Beyoncé is curvier, but has a small waist and great midriff.” All three strutted their stuff in Dolce & Gabbana jeans that were ripped and bejeweled for a March MTV party in L.A.

Actress BAI LING chose plunging Frankie B. jeans for the L.A. premiere of Moulin Rouge in May because “they are very funky and modern and make me feel sexy,” she says. Underneath, advises their creator, Daniella Clarke, you need “a good wax and a lot of confidence.”

MADONNA wore midriff-baring Dolce & Gabbana cowgirl pants to Europe’s MTV Music Awards last fall—just three months after giving birth to son Rocco. Britain’s Times later praised the star for baring “her potbelly” during her concert tour, declaring, “The truly hip are taking a leaf out of Madonna‘s book and learning to love their tummies.”

Number of inches in the rise (the distance from the seam of the crotch to the top of the waistband) of the Juicy jeans on JULIA STILES at June’s MTV Movie Awards: 7. Number of T-shirts she cut up herself before getting the look she liked: 5.

“They’re not the thing to wear to the grocery store,” concedes JOANIE LAURER (formerly the WWF’s Chyna) of the stretch mesh and leather pants she wore to an April awards show in Los Angeles.

“I think low-waisted jeans make me look thinner than high-waisted ones,” says The Sopranos DREA DE MATTEO (at the Manhattan premiere of Made in July) of the Filth*Mart pants she designs with her boyfriend, retailer Mike Sportes. “I wear them almost every day.”