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

Posted Oct 1st 2010 12:36 PMUpdated Oct 1st 2010 01:00 PM


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"It is fundamentally outdated and clearly wrong that this odd rule is still in place," says Left-wing MP Gerard Charasse, who is leading the fight.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
Filed Under: News

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Why waste time and money to deal with something as ridicules as this. Who do they think they are, America? This is the kind of idiotic stuff that American Politicians would do so they could say they "did something".

October 08 2010 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am tall and it is very hard to find pants long enough so I wear skirts and it seems women look at me just as much as men.

October 06 2010 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have visited Paris on tours over ten times over the years. I tend to wear pants (not jeans) on trips and have never had a problem being served in nice restaurants when wearing them. I find this so strange, because it would seem I would have experienced a problem at some point over this issue. Anyway, I love Paris and have always been treasted well while there. So, when I hear about the rude French I have never found that to be true.

October 06 2010 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Pinky, are you pondering what i'm pondering, then again, don't answer. You always get it wrong anyway. If all the women in the world wore dresses and act feminine instead of acting like men with long hair, the men will be distracted and I can take over the world!

October 06 2010 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ranger- Abn Infantry

Why do we have to wear clothes at all ? Let it all hang out and if you don't like it, don't look. Lets all dress according to the weather & comfort. In thirty days we can find something else to bitch about. TALK TO ME!!

October 06 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How do men crap stooping over one of those shitholes if they are wearing pants and underwear? It must be just as hard as a woman who does.

October 05 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many of the commentors on here are forgetting that the traditional role of dresses and skirts were to hide a woman's sex - similar to the purpose of a burqa, without the obvious stigma. Pants on women were considered lewd because they outlined the anatomy. We haven't even hit the 100 year anniversary of skirts rising enough to show ankles! The insinuation of pants into a woman's wardrobe came about because of the very real need for woment to take up labor roles that were generally considered to be for men only. It was a safety issue that soon became style. There is greater freedom in wearing a pair of jeans or slacks that fit (by which I mean are not too loose or tight) than in a cumbersome or limiting skirt. Any woman can be just as alluring and feminine in a beautiful pair of slacks (or a good old pair of well worn jeans) as she can in a dress - it's in the carriage, not the decor.

October 05 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How many of y'all clicked on this story because you thought the real Paris had something to say? :)

October 05 2010 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I dunno - some of those French women who don't shave their legs?.......... I say LET THEM WEAR PANTS!!!!

October 03 2010 at 6:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LMFAO at some of you. I love how women think everything is about them, thinking we live in a womans world, thinking equality is awesome (until the bills come lol). If gender roles exist for men, then they exist for women. If you want to be treated like a lady, then act like one. If you want men to act like men, then you act like women.

All men agree, they just wont say it because thats "not what girls want to hear". So these bfs and husbands who dont care if their women shave; trust me, they care! Theyre just keeping their mouths shut.

Why is it okay for girls to be manly and call themselves tomboys? Can you imagine what a girl would say if a guy said "im a bit of a girly guy" lmfao. Everything is a double standard to women these days. They dont realize that the old fashioned ways of life and dating actually worked!!

October 03 2010 at 5:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply