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Plenty of places have weird laws that were passed hundreds of years ago and that are still technically on the books even though no one enforces them- laws about everything from spitting on the street to ‘parking’ your horse. However, I was unaware that Paris has a law stating that women cannot wear pants in public. Obviously, considering the number of chic French filles I’ve seen in impossibly perfect Bianca Jagger-style pantsuits, no one is enforcing this law. Yet there’s a movement to get it finally expunged from the books for good. The law has been modified over time, as the Telegraph points out:
In 1892, it was slightly relaxed thanks to an amendment which said trousers were permitted “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse”.
Then in 1909, the decree was further watered down when an extra clause was added to allow women in trousers on condition they were “on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars”.
The Telegraph also correctly notes that the French law passed in 1946 that declares men and women to be equal (wow, America, way to be totally behind on that one!) pretty much supersedes the “no pants for the ladies” law, but now getting it permanently repealed will be a nice PR gesture.
I hope Carine Roitfeld puts a bunch of hot models in pants on the cover of French Vogue as soon as this silly old law is finally voided for good.