Laws of Fashion

So this morning on KFOG they were talking about how in Virginia Algie T. Howell, a Democrat legistlator from Norfolk, proposed a $50 fine for anyone who “exposes his below-waist undergarments in an offensive manner.” And it looks like it’s going through.

This is too funny. At first I was a bit shocked that a state could actually pass a law dictating how people can wear their clothes. How naïve of me. I really should know better. Someone gets annoyed or offended, so the obvious solution is to pass a law prohibiting the offensive behavior.

So out of curiosity, I did a quick search to see what other laws are on the law books out there that legislate fashion. Here’s what I found:


  • Norfolk (Home of Mr. Alfie Howell)- Women must wear a corsette after sundown and be in the company of male chaperone.


  • Connelsville – One’s pants may be worn no lower than five inches below the waist. (did this give him the idea?)


  • A woman isn’t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.(this is just wrong)

    New Mexico

  • Carrizozo – It’s forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public (includes legs and face). (not fashion exactly, but it’s weird)


  • “No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club.” An amendment to the above legislation: “The provisions of this statuate shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to female horses.” (sad state of affairs when you need to write a law like this)


  • Statewide – Women may not drive in a house coat.
  • Blythe – You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.
  • Carmel – Women may not wear high heels while in the city limits.
  • Los Angeles – Zoot suits are prohibited.
  • San Francisco – Persons classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street. (okay this isn’t fashion, but I had to put it in here as I know there are offenses of this everyday)
  • Walnut – Males may not dress as a female unless a special permit is obtained from the sheriff.


  • It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.

    North Dakota

  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

    New Jersey

  • Caldwell – You may not dance or wear shorts on the main avenue. (I know I’ve broken this law)
  • Elizabeth – It is forbidden for a woman, on a Sunday, to walk down Broad Street without wearing a petticoat. (and this one)
  • Haddon – Cross-dressing is illegal

    New York

  • NYC – It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing.” (broke this one too)


  • Anniston -You may not wear blue jeans down Noble Street.
  • Mobile – It is unlawful to wear women’s pumps with sharp, high heels.


  • 1 thought on “Laws of Fashion”

    1. Brevard County Florida Law

      Fully opaque bathing suits required. I know for I was convicted by Judge Freidland. Florida v. Moll

      Conviction was upheld on appeal.

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