September 18, 2000 12:00 PM

ALTHOUGH SHE STARRED as Hollywood’s most glamorous gamine in The Audrey Hepburn Story earlier this year, our judges don’t think that Jennifer Love Hewitt, 21, learned any lessons in style from the experience. “Whoever is dressing her should be indicted for serious war crimes against fashion,” says game show host Ben Stein. The 5’3″ Hewitt’s alleged offenses range from reckless mismatching–”She experiments too much,” gripes designer Elie Tahari–to felonious overexposure. Model Mia Tyler, who remembers the actress as the wholesome teenager Sarah on TV’s Party of Five, can’t get used to Hewitt’s offscreen image: “When she wears skimpy clothes, I just want to throw a blanket over her and yell, ‘No, you can’t look at her!'”

The panelists agree that Hewitt (at an awards event in Manhattan in February) could have looked pretty in pink–if her footwear hadn’t tripped her up. “She needs little shoes with this dress,” says Mia Tyler. Adds designer Dana Buchman: “The boots just ruin it. I guess she chose the bag to try and tie them in with the dress, but it’s not enough.” Even singer Sisqé, who likes Hewitt’s boots, declares, “They don’t go here. Nay, nay–again I say nay!”

Like several other outfits, the Donna Karan gown Hewitt wore to the People’s Choice Awards in Pasadena last January sent our judges in search of similes. “I’m getting a whale or a porpoise vibe here,” says Sisqé. “She looks like she wrapped Free Willy’s carcass around her back.” To Mia Tyler, it looks like she’s being sucked through a straw.” Elie Tahari offers a pro’s appraisal: “Nice dress, bad neckline. Not flattering. It’s too tight and too low.”

Dana Buchman is puzzled by the Tommy Hilfiger creation Hewitt chose for a Manhattan gala in December. “A feather skirt!” she exclaims. “I’ve never seen one before, and I guess I know why.” Ben Stein thinks he knows as well: “She’s borrowed Santa Claus’s beard and sewn it into a skirt.” Mia Tyler wishes Hewitt would stick to a “classic look”–and lose those boots. “I hate that heel!”

“It looks like a maternity outfit,” says Dana Buchman of the halter Hewitt sported at the L.A. premiere of Road Trip in May. But Elie Tahari doesn’t see a baby on board: “It looks like she’s carrying a sign.”

At the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in December, Hewitt reminds Elie Tahari of “a cancan girl” and Mia Tyler of “an exotic dancer.” Dana Buchman diagnoses accessory overload. “The top looks great and the skirt might be fine,” she explains, “but once you add the feather boa and those unusual platform shoes, there’s too much going on.”

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