May 13, 2009 02:30 PM

Call it the Brad Pitt Effect: While locals in Oyster Bay on the North Shore of Long Island are known for their posh yet casual style, ever since the Hollywood A-lister started picking up his kids at school, local moms have ditched their flats and no makeup look for chic heels and lipstick.

“They are off the charts excited and everyone is dolled up, ” one local tells PEOPLE. “The moms are trying to look a little bit more polished. Instead of schlepping in sweat pants and messy hair, now they wear designer jeans and high heels, which they never wear. Usually it’s Tod’s or Gucci loafers. Everyone is putting a little more effort. Let’s face it – he’s a handsome guy.”

Pitt, who has set up a base in the town with Angelina Jolie and the couple’s children, is embracing his role as Mr. Mom while Jolie spends time filming her new movie, Salt. Pitt’s daddy duties include dropping the kids off at school and even reading books to the children in daughter Shiloh’s class, PEOPLE reports in its new issue.

“At school, they think they are going to bump into him,” says the local. “Brad sits in the back of the classroom a lot. He is very unassuming and very sweet and nice.”

Locals love the fact that Pitt, Jolie and the kids are often spotted at the Stop & Shop and Dunkin’ Donuts. “Who would think they would see them grocery shopping, and not sending out the help?” says a source. “They are trying to teach their kids what’s normal … And they are always in the pizza parlor and Borders Books.”

Over the Moon with Excitement

It’s not just Pitt and Jolie who have been causing a stir. Rumors swirled that the actor recently had lunch with pal George Clooney at the Breakers restaurant in Bayville, N.Y. – though a rep for Clooney says there was no such lunch date.

“I heard a woman screaming at Stop & Shop because the clerk was telling her George Clooney was at the Breakers,” says the local source. “It startled me because she shrieked so loud. Then, a few women said they were going to go down there and see if they could run into Clooney.”

Even morning donut runs are cause for people to reconsider wardrobe decisions. “I go to Dunkin’ Donuts and believe me, I even think of it,” says our spy. “I say, ‘I can’t wear those jeans, they make me look fat.’ ”

Though the people in town have seen their share of celebrities, high-wattage stars such and Pitt and Jolie are still unique. “They are A-list movie stars, and for such a small town it’s a big deal,” says the source. “Every time a big car passes, people look. It’s a big buzz. Everyone who sees them is over the moon. It just makes everyone light up.”

For more on this story, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

PEOPLE covers: Brad goes from ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ to doting dad

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