Retailers widen options, including more modest clothes

"Sometimes that means our ads are more controversial than other companies' but they are at least, always sincere and genuine," says company spokesman Ryan Holiday, who says provocative ads are at the "core of many fashion brands." While she's pleased by the response her cause is getting, Sharman suspects some of retail's embrace of modesty may cycle back out of fashion again in a few years.

"Fashion has been so sexy for the past seven to 10 years, they wanted to do something different to keep sales going," she says.

Still, all her members really want are options. Hoffmann says most stores these days are acceptable for girls who "know how to shop" with an eye toward modesty.

"Everybody's seeing their bottom lines shrinking, so they want to sell to those who wear modest clothing, as well as those who want to wear it in a more risqué manner," says Hoffmann. "And that's fine with us."

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