Sumptuary Laws

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Sumptuary Laws

Rules made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance.

Sumptuary laws are designed to regulate habits, especially on moral or religious grounds. They are particularly directed against inordinate expenditures on apparel, drink, food, and luxury items.

These laws existed in Rome and were enacted in a variety of forms in England during the Middle Ages to regulate the ornateness of dress and to impose dietary restrictions. Sumptuary laws varied according to classes, with peasants being subjected to a different set of rules than the gentry. The primary purpose of the laws was to distinguish the different classes of people, and often, a person's social class could be determined by something as simple as the style or length of his or her coat.

Today sumptuary laws are ecclesiastical in nature and not part of the U.S. legal system.

SUMPTUARY LAWS. Those relating to expenses, and made to restrain excess in apparel.
     2. In the United States the expenses of every man are left to his own good judgment, and not regulated by Arbitrary laws.

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During the first part of the 15th century, these, these tunics were pleated and cinched at the waist with belts; their very full sleeves became the target of sumptuary laws.
Similarly, perre in a sentence from the 1363 English Sumptuary Law surely, in this context, refers specifically to gemstones: "ne quils ne usent .
The 1964 surgeon general's warning about the health consequences of cigarette smoking represented a sea change in political rhetoric that began justifying what some have called, perhaps inaptly, "modern sumptuary laws.
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Masquerading as a hunter, Juliane crosses both boundaries, gender and rank, two boundaries historically regulated through sumptuary laws.
He begins with a discussion of sumptuary laws that linked dress and social status, arguing that challenges to these laws made way for the rise of fashion.
The pro-life groups who supported the Bush administration's unconstitutional forays into areas reserved to the states, such as sumptuary laws, are now witnessing the inherent dangers of an Imperial Presidency when the pendulum swings the other way.
There were strict controls on who could hunt, and they amounted to sumptuary laws.
Cultural policy ensured revival of waning traditions, sumptuary laws, confraternities and charities, and softened anti-Savonarolan policy.
From the mid-fourteenth century onward, sumptuary laws in England tried to restrict the consumption of many goods, including clothing, and declared in specific, hierarchical social categories who could wear certain fabrics, furs, and jewelry.
The subject, treated as a royal progress--a magnificent parade--must have had a special appeal in a city that still considered itself an austere republic where sumptuary laws were rigorously enforced, and any ostentation of personal luxury and wealth much frowned upon.