March 28, 2005 12:00 PM

She once appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards exposing a pasty-covered breast, but these days Lil’ Kim is judiciously selecting her wardrobe. Facing up to 30 years in prison for perjury and other charges stemming from her grand jury testimony about a 2001 shootout in New York City, the 4’11” rapper has shown order in the court, appearing in a series of demure designer outfits mostly by Marc Jacobs. “He’s one of my closest friends, and I really like his clothes,” says Kim, 30.

Besides, “That rough image that everyone thinks of her is just entertainment, that’s her job,” says her stylist Ray Oliveira. For the trial in Manhattan, “she wanted to bring her look up a little bit. The idea was not to make her look innocent. It just turned out that way.” (Especially since a small burgundy Bible was her most trusty accessory.) And after there’s a verdict—at press time the jury was deliberating—Oliveira says, “we’re going to keep with the same feel. But of course we’ll keep it sexy and keep it Lil’ Kim.”

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