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In 1938, L.A. woman went to jail for wearing slacks in courtroom

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 23, 2014

  

 

California Retrospective

Kindergarten teacher Helen Hulick made Los Angeles court history — and struck a blow for women's fashion — in 1938.

 

Hulick arrived in downtown L.A. court to testify against two burglary suspects. But the courtroom drama immediately shifted to the slacks she was wearing. Judge Arthur S. Guerin rescheduled her testimony and ordered her to wear a dress next time.

 

Hulick was quoted in the Nov. 10, 1938, Los Angeles Times saying, "You tell the judge I will stand on my rights. If he orders me to change into a dress I won't do it. I like slacks. They're comfortable."

 

She returned to court five days later — in slacks — infuriating the judge. The Times reported:

 

In a scathing denunciation of slacks — which he prosaically termed pants — as courtroom attire for women, Guerin yesterday again forbade Helen Hulick, 28, kindergarten teacher, to testify as a witness while dressed in a green and orange leisure attire.

 

Read the whole story at LA Times


 

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