October 25, 1993 12:00 PM

STYLE WEAKNESS: Relentlessly dowdy and uninspired

BIGGEST MISTAKE: Dressing down

HELPFUL HINT: Whenever you go shopping, you should take along a friend who promises to be honest

She has what many only dream about: gorgeous looks, big bucks, fame, great hair. So why is it that Julia Roberts, 25, always seems to be scratching the bottom of the apparel barrel? Granted, dressing down is de rigueur among Hollywood trendoids; Roberts, however, travels even further down this anti-fashion road. A worst-dressed list veteran, she prefers mismatched stuff that is unglamorous and oversize. Was she separated at birth from Raggedy Ann, or what?

After two years away from the public eye, she’s back and lamenting the scrutiny she faces. When she’s thin, she said recently, people think she’s on drugs; “if I wear a baggy dress, I’m pregnant.” Maybe hubby Lyle Lovett, a tunester with taste, can persuade her to sink some of the $6 million-plus she earns per movie into something slinky by Armani or classic by Chanel. It was Lovett, after all, who purchased the graceful Comme des Garçons wedding dress Julia wore to their June nuptials and she who chose to play the barefoot bride. For a White House dinner last month, Roberts, who had been filming The Pelican Brief in D.C., did, however, put on pumps. She’s getting over her fear of footwear; her fear of stylish dressing haute not to be far behind.

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