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Girl pleads to retailer for modest clothing

The president of a leading retailer promises to offer more modest clothing to youth after receiving a letter from a concerned 11-year-old girl.

Ella Gunderson wrote Nordstrom executives, who promise more modest fashions. (Photo: Seattle Times)

Ella Gunderson’s missive to Seattle-based Nordstrom made it all the way to Pete Nordstrom, an executive vice president and president of the company’s full-line stores, the Seattle Times reported.

“Dear Nordstrom,” wrote Gunderson, of Redmond, Wash. “I am an eleven-year-old girl who has tried shopping at your store for clothes (in particular jeans), but all of them ride way under my hips, and the next size up is too big and falls down.

“I see all of these girls who walk around with pants that show their belly button and underwear,” she continued. “Your clearks sugjest that there is only one look. If that is true, then girls are suppost to walk around half naked. I think that you should change that.” (sic)

Two Nordstrom executives responded, promising they would educate employees on the fashion choices young people should have.

Kris Allan, manager of the Bellevue, Wash., Nordstrom store where Ella shopped, wrote:

“Wow. Your letter really got my attention. … I think you are absolutely right. There should not be just one look for everyone. This look is not particularly a modest one and there should be choices for everyone.”

Fashion watchers such as Gigi Solis Schanen, an editor for Seventeen magazine, told the Times Gunderson should be pleased with the new trend on the horizon.

“If modesty is what she is looking for, it’s going to come full force in the fall,” she said, adding ‘tween and teen girls can expect to see fuller skirts, higher waist lines and more “layering” of tops.

“The ’50s sexy-librarian look is in,” Shanen told the Times, and the Britney Spears-style exposed belly is out.

The Seattle paper said Gunderson’s mother isn’t waiting for fall, however, and plans, with other concerned mothers, a “Pure Fashion” show in Bellevue tomorrow to highlight more modest fashion options.

“You see girls doing a lot of tugging. They want to be covered, but they are not having the clothes cooperate,” Gunderson told the Times.

“The girls want to look feminine and they want to look pretty, but the only look the stores offer is sexy,” she said.