Paris Seeks Repeal of Law That Women Can't Wear Pants

Forget about no-jeans rules at some fancy French restaurants. It turns out all women wearing pants in Paris are actually breaking the law.

Still in place in the fashion capital is an obscure rule, enacted back in 1799, that says any woman who wants to "dress like a man" has to get special permission from police.

Now some members of the French parliament have filed a bill seeking to repeal the unfashionable law.

"It is fundamentally outdated and clearly wrong that this odd rule is still in place," says Left-wing MP Gerard Charasse, who is leading the fight. "We would be baffled by the motivation of any MP who voted to keep it.''

The law was actually adjusted a few times over the years. In 1892, it was relaxed to allow women to wear pants if holding the reins of a horse. And in 1909, women were additionally allowed permission to wear pants in Paris if riding a bike.

The pants ban is actually contradicted by a 1946 French law giving men and women equal rights, as well as a law that Paris policewomen have to wear pants.

In 1969, the city's mayor called for police to scrap the law. But the rule survived on a technicality.

Now, the Paris council has joined the most recent repeal attempt, asking the city's chief of police to declare the rule a thing of the past.

Photo, malias, flickr
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