Paris Bans Pants! Long-Standing Law STILL Forbids Trousers

Paris Pants Ban: Long-Standing Law STILL Forbids Trousers

Katharine Hepburn must be rolling in her grave.

In Paris, a law still stands banning women from wearing trousers, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph's Henry Samuel. The decree was first implemented in 1800 by Paris' police chief, and astoundingly, it has withstood attempts over the years to repeal it.

There have, however, been a few tweaks to the law over the years, Samuel reported. In 1892, it was added that wearing trousers would be allowed "as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse." This was later extended to bicycles in 1909.

The most recent attempt to do away with the out-of-touch rule came in 2003, when a right-wing member of Parliament from President Nicolas Sarkozy's party wrote to the minister in charge of gender equality, Samuel reported. The minister responded: "Disuse is sometimes more efficient than (state) intervention in adapting the law to changing mores."

The law makes Paris less progressive than Sudan, Samuel points out, which recently defended women's rights to wear trousers back in September.

While the law obviously hasn't deterred women in Paris from wearing trousers, its existence comes as a shock, especially given the metropolitan city's role as a major fashion capital.

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