The Hat laws
After the Ottoman caliphate was abolished in 1924, secular reforms were instituted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of Turkey. Under Atatürk's leadership, thousands of new schools were built; primary education was made free and compulsory, and women were given equal civil and political rights. However, the Hat Law of 1925, (November 25) saw the wearing of the Fez outlawed and the veiling of women frowned upon. But, please, stifle that inclination to laugh, at the idea of banning the wearing of a certain type of hat: this was a serious business. A man named Atıf Hodja, who was a 50-year-old Islamic scholar, wrote a book called “The Brimmed Hat and the Imitation of Francs.” He called for the Turkish people to stop “imitating” Europeans and wear their own style of dress. Hodja, however, and a cleric named Ali Rıza, who was called his “collaborator,” were sentenced to death. On Feb. 4, 1926, both were hung. In 1936, another law related to the wearing of "Prohibited Garments". This law banned religion-based clothing, such as the veil and turban.
The Dress Act of 1746, was brought in by the English Hanoverian government, after quashing the Jacobite rebellions. The Jacobites, wanted to restore the Roman Catholic, Stuart King, James II of England and his heirs to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. However, Jacobitism was crushed and the Dress Act of 1746, was part of a plan to bring the warrior clans under government control. The wearing of tartan and Highland dress was prohibited and bagpipes were banned; as were other aspects of Gaelic culture.
Zoot Suits Banned
A series of riots broke out in Los Angeles, California, in 1943, called the Zoot Suit Riots. These riots, occurred between Anglo American sailors and Marines stationed in Los Angeles, and Latino youths, wearing zoot suits. The riots stemmed in part from the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial, which followed the mysterious death of a young Latino man. In an attempt to bring the riots under control, military personnel declared Los Angeles to be off-limits to all sailors, soldiers, and marines. And, The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution banning the wearing of zoot suits in public, punishable by a 50-day jail term.
Some T-shirt slogans have been made illegal for various reasons. In the United States, a 19 year old man was convicted of violating section 415 of the California Penal Code, for wearing a T-shirt with the words "F--- the Draft." You can fill in the spaces. Also, in the US, a high school junior in Dearborn, Michigan, was asked to remove his T-shirt, at school, which sported a picture of George Bush with the words "George W. Bush: International Terrorist"; supposedly, because it supported terrorism. Go figure. In Britain, however, various people were arrested for wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "Bollocks to Blair." So much for free speech.
Banned From Covering Breasts
The Indian Kingdom of Travancore had a rigid caste hierarchy and many rules for the lower castes. One of these strange rules was that females were not allowed to cover their breasts in front of the so called upper castes. However, there was a rebellion by Nadar climber women, who asserted their right to cover their own bosoms. In response, the upper castes in 1818 began attacking these women; with violence against the women reaching its peak in 1858. On 26 July, 1859, under pressure from the Madras Governor, the king of Travancore finally issued a proclamation giving the right to Nadar climber women to cover their breasts, but on condition that they did not imitate the clothing worn by upper caste women. Talk about inequality and patriarchy!
Rules For The Poor
The 1363 Act of Apparel came about after half the population of England, died from the Black Death in 1348. With half the population dead, those who remained became richer. And, soon, the poor were wearing similar clothing to the rich, and it was hard to tell the difference between the groups. The rich didn't like that. So, parliament issued an act, defining the colour, quality and cloth certain people could wear. Later acts, declared that no person under a Lord could wear cloth of gold, silver or sable. No one under the degree of knight of the garter could wear velvet, in the colours of crimson or blue.
Ban The Burqa
In 2010, France issued a law making it illegal to cover the face in public. Essentially, this law bans the wearing of balaclavas and hoods and also burqa's. This law was challenged by a 24-year-old French citizen who wore both a burqa and a niqab; only her eyes were visible. The case was taken to the European court of human rights (ECHR), where judges upheld France's burqa ban, and the argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together."