WTF? Women In Paris Can Now Wear Pants Without Breaking The Law
5:30 pm, February 4th | by Meredith Lepore
Coco Chanel, a trailblazer for women’s fashion (particularly in the pants department), has even more street cred now. Up until now, if you ever saw a woman in Paris wearing pants, she was technically breaking the law. France‘s Minister of Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem officially revoked a 200-year-old law that forbid pants in public.
According to The Telegraph, the law came about because French Revolutionary rebels in the capital declared that they wore trousers, as opposed to the knee-breeches or “culottes,” of the bourgeoisie, in what was coined the “sans-culottes” movement. Women rebels in the movement demanded the right to wear trousers as well, but were forbidden to do so.
“This law is incompatible with the principles of equality between men and women which is laid out in the Constitution and in France’s Europeancommitments,” Vallaud-Belkacem said, according to Le Parisien. The law was passed on Nov. 7, 1799.
Parisian women have been wearing pants for years but they technically could have been arrested at any time. To be fair, at the turn of the 17th century, the law was amended: a woman would not get arrested while wearing pants, “if [she was] holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse.” But if she was just holding a baguette? Out of luck.
It’s definitely good to know women in Paris can now legally wear trousers. If they couldn’t, who knows what would happen at the next Fashion Week? The local jails would be filled with models!