July 20, 2007 -- Girls who've just barely become women — teen idols like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton — are also, very often and publicly, barely dressed.
These young stars have tremendous influence over the fashion fantasies of young women and girls.
"It's just fashion," said one teen about today's revealing styles. "Like, we have to fit in."
Another teen girl said she almost couldn't avoid dressing immodestly.
"That's what they sell these days," she said.
While skimpy clothes still dominate the fashion scene, today there's a flip side to girls gone wild.
Call it "girls gone mild" — a building modesty movement among many young women.
"The young girls themselves, they are the ones leading the modesty revolution," said author Wendy Shalit.
The "modest fashion" these girls wear may not be to everyone's taste, but most looks are straight off the catwalk.
A slick new magazine Eliza caters to the modest dresser. Shalit said the thousands of young women she'd heard from wanted to fit in and be cool, just not trashy.
These new modest fashionistas prefer their necklines higher and their hemlines lower — no more than four fingers above the knee.
And it's big business, too. A modest design company Shade is pulling in $8 million a year. Shade clothing is the brainchild of two Mormon women looking to respect their faith without compromising their fashion sense.
"The role models we have out there now like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan is a very narrow notion of empowerment," Shalit said. "If that works for you, great. But for a lot of women, this is inauthentic."
How to Go From Wild to Mild
Lucky magazine's Allyson Waterman said women can dress sexy, but in a way that's classy.
"Sexiness isn't about letting everything hang out anymore," Waterman said. "This has nothing to do with figures and body types and what you look like. This is about decorum."
Casual Weekend Look
Trade in skinny, low-rise jeans and a tank top for a high-waist, wide-leg jean with a tie-front and long-sleeved blouse. The tie front is a huge trend for fall.
Trade in the miniskirt, which is not for the office, for a knee-length pencil skirt. Pair it with an animal print blouse and three-fourths-length sleeve jacket.
Trade in the spaghetti-strap baby doll dress that's too short for a dress with a high neck, short sleeves and full skirt. The waist has been a woman's sexiest area throughout history.
You can find "modest" fashions and get more information about the modesty movement at the Web sites below.
Modest Apparel USA: www.modestapparelusa.com
Shade Clothing: www.shadeclothing.com
ElizaMagazine.com is a magazine based on modest fashion
PureFashion.com is a Christian organization that instructs girls in modest fashion
Blog for young women interested in modest fashion: http://blogs.modestlyyours.net