For example, I have found, that in France, a law banning women from wearing trousers remains on the books.
This interesting piece of fashion trivia dates back to an edict of 1799, which warns that any woman who wishes to dress like a man, must obtain special permission from the police. It has never been repealed.
A report on 'news.com' report stated, however, that the rule has been watered down a couple of times in its history. In 1892, trousers were permitted as long as the woman was holding the reins of a horse. And in 1909 it was further relaxed to include those on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars.
It was looked at again in 1969 but nothing happened and it's being investigated once again in coming months when the French Government are taking a look at a host of old laws that might now be updated.
Women tourists in many parts of the world need to be circumspect in how they dress. Head scarves are the norm in strict Islamic countries; however they are banned from public institutions in some countries, such as Muslim Turkey and public schools in Catholic France.
For many years now, women travelling through the sub-continent and many Asian countries, have been advised not to wear tight fitting jeans or skimpy clothing of any type. However, what is regarded as 'modest' varies according to local customs and traditions.
Women wearing traditional saris show, to a European male, an amazing amount of bare midriff, even while sometimes covering their heads; some Asian silk and embroidered tunics are extremely form-fitting with side-slits.
I remember reading about one female reporter who was embarrassed when some Aboriginal women elders asked her to bare her breasts, so that they could paint them, in order for the reporter to join the local women in a traditional dance. In the end, she elected to wear a white t-shirt and they painted that. But the women elders had no inhibitions about proudly showing off their ancient traditions.
Nevertheless, my wife and I still have the important question in front of us, as to what we should pack when we go on holidays.
One of the sit-coms that many airlines have available on their video systems is the classic 'Mr Bean goes on holiday'.
The particular scene that I like is where Mr Bean is packing his suitcase and has to decide what attire to take. He realises he will need 'shorts' and that extra pair of long trousers will make his suitcase too full. So he takes a pair of scissors and cuts off the trouser legs only to find that the next item he has on the bed ready to pack is a pair of shorts.
One piece of advice from a newspaper article on travel, that I read many years ago, was to lay out everything you think you will need; then just take half the clothes and twice the money.
There are many issues to consider when deciding on clothing. You might have a 'one-off' formal event such as a graduation, wedding or seminar. Then there are the 'unknowns' for which you may need contingency clothes, such as the likely weather at your destination and also at any short stopovers along the way.
You may also need sturdy shoes for walking or hiking, or a beach-towel for swimming, as well as smart street-clothes. These things may require absolutely essential 'extras'.
You have to consider, too, how often you are likely to be near a washer and dryer. Knowing about these facilities could well allow you to 'halve' the number of everyday clothes you need.
Then of course, there may be opportunities for shopping during your holiday, and people often like to return with some mementos. These can be useful clothing items; but may have the disadvantage of needing to take an extra (empty) bag with you.
On a recent visit to Hawaii where the Baptist World Congress was held, I returned with a colourful short-sleeved Hawaii shirt which is well suited to the Tweed -Gold Coast region, where we live. My wife Delma was very pleased that I bought a new shirt as many men like me, tend to wear their clothes until they fall apart.
We are not given a great deal of 'fashion detail' in the Scriptures. The seamless item of clothing Jesus was wearing at the time of his arrest was of some fashion consequence as the guards threw dice to get a hold of it. The Apostle Paul and his Mission team was hosted by Lydia who was a highly respected and successful business woman in 'purple'. At that time, this colour signified wealth, because purple and blue dyes were very scarce, and took a lot of time and trouble to manufacture, and therefore were expensive to get hold of.
What we wear or don't wear at specific times and events may say something about our priorities and who we are. However there is one 'male fashion' exception, there is little likelihood in Australia of ascertaining a millionaire by what they wear; as everyone tends to wear the same suits for business, or the same type of casual gear everywhere else.
Perhaps there is a sentiment here that we come into this world as we leave it that resonates with the Australian egalitarian culture.
As a biblical historian, I also note two Jewish 'fashion' customs that are also part of the Christian heritage from the Old Testament, where everyone, rich and poor alike, is treated alike.
At a Jewish wedding, the wedding rings are only ever plain gold (or silver) bands with no adornments or patterns whatever – no matter how much money the groom was willing to spend; and at a Jewish funeral, the coffin is always plain, unadorned and painted matt-black because 'The Lord' does not distinguish people by their wealth.