A self-styled defender of public decency in St. Petersburg has called for the wearing of hot-pants to be made an administrative offence.
The representative of the Romanov Family Association says hot-pants go against the cultural status of Russia’s northern capital.
An appropriate dress-code is currently being debated at a conference by the St. Petersburg public and members of the local cultural elite.
They are worried about the growing number of residents wearing revealing clothes in front of major historical sites. The oppressive, they believe, summer heat does not excuse this way of dressing.
Legal experts say it is very unlikely that the authorities will introduce penalties for wearing items such as hot-pants in the city.
This is not the first time officials have been offered the chance to re-consider their dressing habits.
In March 2011, a member of the legislative assembly in St. Petersburg, Elena Babich, suggested that all deputies wear similar clothes during parliamentary sessions. The dress code, Babich claimed, could help deputies think about their work rather than other things.
The dress code was introduced for personnel of the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma. In particular, staff members are urged not to smoke in the building and wear business-style clothes. Mini-skirts are discouraged.
In January 2011, a high-profile Orthodox Church official called for the introduction of a national dress code which should regulate the way men and women dress in public, excluding “in strip clubs and brothels.”
The priest’s suggestion caused outrage across the country. An online petition was launched asking Russia’s Patriarch to protect the dignity of women.