To Paris With Love and Without My Trousers

Paris may be known for high fashion, but, if you’re a woman, don’t get caught with your pants on, in the French capital. Strange but true, the Telegraph reports that an age-old Parisian law, instated over 200 years ago, actually bans women from dressing like men, ie. wearing pants or trousers.

Parisienne Woman In Trousers - But Not For Long!

Parisienne Woman In Trousers - But Not For Long!

There have been a variety of amendments to the law, including…

  • 1800 – A woman who wished to dress like a man in Paris much first obtain permission by the police department.
  • 1892 – Women are permitted to wear trousers in Paris as long as they are holding the reins of a horse.
  • 1909 – Women are permitted to wear trousers in Paris as long as they are riding a bike or holding the handlebars

Furthermore, French officials have even tried to overturn the law on several occasions, but to no avail. Apparently, it is much easier for city officials to have everyone ignore the law than it is to go through all of the red tape to change it. 

This might sound like the silliest and most backwards law to Americans. But wait – there’s more! Europe is full of strange and backward laws, which, at the time they were made, were probably not that strange at all. Check out a few of my favorites taken from the Europe Travel Guide:

  • Scotland: If someone knocks on your door to use the loo, you must let them! Bistro Chic Amendment: As long as my husband is home and the bathroom has been cleaned.
  • Denmark: A person may not be charged for food by an Inn, unless that person, by his/her own opinion, is full. Bistro Chic Amendment: A woman is never full.
  • Germany: Every office must have a view of the sky, no matter how small. Bistro Chic Amendment: Every office must have a view of an attractive coworker.
  • France: No pig may be named Napoleon by its owner. Bistro Chic Amendment: Pigs may not be named Napoleon unless their last name is Dynamite. 
  • Switzerland: It is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 PM. Bistro Chic Amendment: OK, that’s just sick!

If you know of any other strange European laws, let me know and I’ll add them to my list! In the meantime, if you are traveling to Scotland anytime soon, keep it mind that it is illegal to be drunk while in possession of a cow.


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