Paris: No Trousers for Women

Posted On: December 1, 2009

A decree banning women from wearing trousers in Paris is still technically in force, making the laissez-faire French capital theoretically stricter than hardline Sudan in the fashion stakes.

The rule banning women from dressing like men – namely by wearing trousers – was first introduced in 1800 by Paris’ police chief and has survived repeated attempts to repeal it.

The latest attempt to remove the outmoded rule was in 2003, when a Right-wing MP from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party wrote to the minister in charge of gender equality. The minister’s response was: “Disuse is sometimes more efficient than (state) intervention in adapting the law to changing mores.”

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