SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Hey, Cap’n Crunch, you can have your uniform back!

Michael Jackson began his child molestation trial in a series of ensembles that included red stripes down the pants legs, gilded epaulets, military insignias and gaudy pocket crests.

But ever since the incident with the paisley blue pajamas, it looks like Jackson has been raiding Liberace’s closet.

The embattled King of Pop has ditched his toy soldier look in favor of pure Vegas flash. He’s got jackets in fire-engine red and electric blue. There have been black satin pants, rust-colored pants paired with a shiny jungle-print vest and a maroon suit with shiny gold brocade vest. Can a sequined tux be far behind?

Jackson’s courthouse fashion statement has been, well, confused.

First it was an Elvis-ey all-white with glitzy jeweled vest. (Was he trying to get Lisa Marie back?)

Then a few days of vintage Jackson, mostly black soldier suits with gilded Brit military insignias and pocket crests.

Then, suddenly, right around opening statements, he started sporting some real men’s suits.

Sure, he still had the odd baubles dangling off his gold waist chain, and there were colorful brocade vests, shirts and natty silk pocket squares. But the basic suits and ties were almost Wall Street duds.

Then came the dreaded pajamas.

From those fashion ashes rose the gawdy Vegas look.

So is Jackson’s taste in clothes morphing? Soldier, tycoon, lounge lizard? Is it mood swings?

“Nothing is happenstance with him. A dresser has been brought in for the business of the daily dressing of Michael Jackson,” said one Jackson source. “You have to remember Michael Jackson is not used to making daily public appearances. This is a real challenge to come up with an outfit every day.”

Another Jackson source said the man behind the pop star’s daily look is his longtime wardrobe master Michael Bush, who has gone into overdrive to supply enough outfits to keep the high-visibility star happy five days a week.

So far, Jackson hasn’t had a “repeat” outfit.

Police videotape of Jackson’s pretrial closet showed an abundance of black pants and jackets, but then again, it’s all in the accessories.

One day it’s black linen suit, white shirt with a dusty-green brocade vest, tie and silk pocket square. Another day it’s a black wool suit with deep purple shirt and gray brocade vest.

At times, the Jackson clan members appear to be color-coordinated, like the day they arrived at a pretrial hearing last summer all wearing white. Another day, the whole clan donned black-and-white ensembles.

“He’s looking really cute,” says Jackson fan club head and family friend Angel Howansky, who approves of Jackson’s dapper dressing.


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