Wearing pants in France? You’re breaking the law, ladies.

Several months ago, French prez Nicholas Sarkozy knocked around the idea of banning the burka. Today The Telegraph points out another item to add to the ever-increasing list of dumb laws: in France it is still against the law for women to wear pants. The law reportedly has been on the books since 1800 and has survived multiple attempts to repeal it, although its application has been narrowed somewhat.

In 1892, an exception was made to the law that allowed women to wear pants “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse.” (Sounds like something Borat might propose.) A 1909 modification to the law allowed women on bicycles to wear pants.

Though the law has obviously not been enforced in many years, the French government has little interest in overturning it. A 2003 request to repeal the law was denied by a government official who said, “Disuse is sometimes more efficient than (state) intervention in adapting the law to changing mores.”

More here.