French star Marion Cotillard wears pants at LAX
French star Marion Cotillard wears pants at LAX

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It is now legal for women to wear trousers in Paris, after a 200-year-old ban on women wearing pants was overturned recently.

The French Minister for women's rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, had the law successfully overturned after arguing that it was "incompatible with the principles of equality between women and men, which are listed in the Constitution, and in France's European commitments."

The law, which dated from November 1799, required women to obtain special permission from police to wear pants.

Amendments to the law over the years allowed ladies to don dungarees if their hands held either reins while riding a horse or bicycle handlebars.



Past attempts to quash the law had been ignored on the basis that it was unenforced in practice and therefore not a priority, which frankly surprises us. Surely the French should understand the importance of fashion!

The wearing of trousers has a colourful history in France.

Iconic French designer Coco Chanel was one of the first women to wear trousers in the 1920s, while during the French Revolution rebels wore trousers (sans-culottes) as a symbol of their opposition to the culotte-wearing bourgeoisie.

What's the silliest law you've ever heard of? Let us know at the Y!7 Lifestyle Facebook page.

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