Spears’ style reflects personal meltdown

What happened to the old Britney Spears? You remember her: the belly-baring blonde bombshell who rocked our world with stripteases and spectacular performances. Lately, Britney just looks disheveled in the midst of her chaotic life. After splitting from Kevin Federline (finally!), she’s been photographed partying with Paris Hilton, exposing her naughty bits and even shaving her head. Her crazy antics have landed her in rehab, and some think she’s too far gone for a comeback.

Ironically, Britney’s style (and often lack thereof) has mirrored her life and career as a pop princess. In 1998, the world was introduced to Britney as an innocent (but “not that innocent”) teen pop idol who set trends with her pigtails and risqu? Catholic schoolgirl uniform. America got to know and love the famous Britney and Justin duo in 2000. Glowing with happiness, Britney looked stunning in a sleek, black dress the night the couple publicly debuted their love by sitting next to each other at the MTV Video Music Awards. Except for their awful matching denim outfits at the American Music Awards, Britney’s style remained in tip-top shape throughout her relationship with Justin.

The great schism was announced in March 2002: Britney and Justin had broken up. Rumors flew about the breakup, but Brit kept herself looking good. Later that year, she wore a full-length, multicolored Versace gown for the designer’s runway show, where she was photographed getting chummy with Donnatella herself.

In 2003, Britney made jaws drop with the open-mouthed kiss she shared with Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards. She was shocking and independent, which put her on the road to becoming a diva.

In January 2004, Britney married childhood friend Jason Alexander on a drunken whim, sparking the dramatic descent of her life and style. Britney was able to get the marriage annulled, but that didn’t stop her downward spiral and fashion catastrophes.

Eight months later, Britney was back at the altar – this time with her backup dancer, Federline. After the marriage, Britney rarely wore make up or did her hair. Trucker hats and sweatpants overtook her designer wardrobe and she was often photographed in public not wearing a bra.

Britney gave birth to her first child in September 2005 and her second child in September 2006. In November, she filed for divorce. Britney’s life was changing so fast, and her stress was evident in her unkempt appearance.

Shortly after her split from K-Fed, Britney and Paris Hilton shared a pair of fishnet stockings at a Los Angeles club. In February, Britney swapped her red mini-dress for a go-go dancer’s teeny bikini at a club in downtown New York. She was seen partying almost every night in a different, heinous outfit.

But is it too soon to give up on Britney? Let’s face it: everyone wants to know what she’s going to do next. She has the world in the palm of her hands right now. It’s the perfect time for Britney to turn around her negative image with a head-to-toe makeover.

A new look coupled with a new album would be the ultimate winning combination for Britney. According to MTV News, hip-hop producer Timbaland wants to work with Britney on her new album.

Timbaland gave Nelly Furtado a whole new sound on her album, “Loose,” and collaborated with Justin Timberlake on “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” If Timbaland can get Justin on board, Britney’s album will be a surefire hit (and maybe they can even rekindle their love!).

With Timbaland to the rescue, all Britney needs is a stylist and she’ll be back on the road to success. Rachel Zoe, who transformed Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie from trash-o-nistas to fashionistas, would be perfect for crafting Britney’s new look.

If Britney started putting her life together by reinventing her style, she could work toward reinventing herself.