"I guess those who think my new hair style is nice simply haven't had time to send in their letters," said Jane Pauley, "Today" show co-host, as she laughed off criticism of her new, looser hairstyle. About three weeks ago, she released her pony tail and had five or six inches cut off the bottom so that it now hangs to her shoulders. "I had just gotten bored with the old ponytail," said Pauley, who had worn it that way for four years.

So far, most letter-writers like it better the old way. "What's happened to our fresh, wholesome Jane?" asked one viewer. Others complain the old way was "neater" and now she looks like a "floozy."

Now that it's done, says Pauley, "I would like to stop thinking about my hair and get on to other things."

Pauley chooses her own clothes for the show, mainly off the rack in New York shops or in stores in Indianapolis or Pittsburgh when visiting family. She once dipped into Seventh Avenue, the garment center, and found she bought everything in sight, mostly out of obligation to the designer. She has no particular favorite designer and "no fashion sense to come up with a particular trademark," she says.

(Said local TV commentator Pat Mitchell, moderating a panel last week for Garfinckel's "Image of Success" series, "The week I changed my hairstyle, 150 people called up to comment.")

Farah Fawcett-Majors may have bought her way off the Worst Dressed List with a $6,000-shopping spree at the boutique of Roberta di Camerino in New York earlier this month. "She fell in love with the stuff and went crazy," says her sister, Diane Fawcett Wells, who listed skirts, pants, coats and capes among the items in her sister's new wardrobe. The television personality insisted on wearing one of the outfits out of the store.

According to Wells, Farah was never much into clothes. "We went to parochial school, wore uniforms most of the time and had only two or three dresses that we wore for good." In high school, though, she was known for her "perfect hair," even then, though she often wore it upswept, says her sister.

Fawcett-Majors also stopped on Seventh Avenue this week to pick up an ivory charmeuse dress off the sample rack at John Anthony. It's a one-of-a-kind since Anthony made it only to show with his new collection of menswear.

Designer Joan Sibley says it's a breeze for her to help others pick clothes, but for herself, she'll often change three or four times before being satisfied.Sibley was in Washingtn to assist customers at Saks/Jandel. Tuesday night she was honored at a party given by Val and Philip Cook at La Serre where Laurie Firestone and Nancy Murphy showed up in the same Sibley dress, where Rose Marie Bogley got tired of waiting in line outside the ladies room and adjusted her makeup in the men's room, where Joy Sundlun lost a pearl and sapphire bracelet and never realized it until Ernest Marx of Saks/Jandel returned it to her. Other guests included Valerie Pinson, White House congressional liason, John Heimann, comptroller of the currency and Israel Hicks, head of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, plus 100 more.

Sibley best-sellers at Saks/Jandel and elsewhere are the skinny rumpled pants and tunic top. "Complete with spike heels it makes everyone look like a hooker," laughed Val Cook, "but they love it."

Confessions of a new appointee to the Best Dressed List: Said Vicki Bagley's mother after hearing her daughter was put on this year's BDL, "Maybe it will make you dress better."

Bagley thinks it has. "Now I think twice about going out of the hosue with blue suede boots and a black bag," she says. It totals a grand five minutes extra attention to what she wears each day. "I think people are looking at me differently."

She buys a few good things each season, mainly Mary McFadden, and wears them a long time."I stick to strong materials, never flimsy like chiffon. Strong materials stand up and stand out." When she finally is ready to retire a garment, her sister get "discards."

Her clothes are all pretty similar and fairly ungimmicky, she says. The only real change she makes is occasionally wearing her hair upswept.

You can't tell the visitors from the prisoners since prisoners have been permitted to wear blue jeans and work shirts in Georgia prisons. The problem is when the visitors leave, so do some of the inmates, who, according to a corrections official, "don't even have to go to the trouble of finding other clothes. They fit right in." Corrections commissioner David Evans is urging that inmates switch to a more distinctive dress. He suggests white uniforms with a blue stripe down each leg.

Christine Creely had licked the problem of how to pack for more than nine months of travel yearly on the tennis circuit with her husband Richard. "Mostly by buying the best of inexpensive things for Dick and myself, and wearing them as long as we can stand them, discarding some and then buying something else," says Creely, who has been in Washington for the Volvo tennis tournament. Her big problem is always what to wear at the ball at Wimbeldon. "You don't want to wear anything cheap, and you can't wear the same dress year after year," she said.

Each tour through France, Richard Creely refreshes his tennis garb from Chemise Lacoste, according to his contract. "I went and asked them to let me wear their things. They are simply the best made, in my opinion," he says.* CAPTION: PIcture 1, "I had just gotten bored with the old ponytail," said Today Show co-host Jane Pauley, above. So about three weeks ago she had six or so inches cut off.; Picture 2, What do viewers think of the new Jane, top right? According to the mail, they liked the old one better.; Picture 3, Farrah Fawcett-Majors walked into Roberta di Camerino's boutique and walked out with $6,000 worth of designs. One she didn't even want to take off, Photo by Oscar Abolafia; Picture 4, Joan Sibley's skinny rumpled pants and tunic top, far left, are her best sellers this year., Photo by Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post