Penalties

Most sumptuary legislation provides penalties for lawbreakers that could include confiscation of the offending garment, fines (up to £200 in England), tax auditing, the pillory, or even jail. That legislators were themselves subject to (and breakers of) these statutes may help to explain both their lax enforcement and their frequent repeal. In England, at least, lack of compliance was so general that in 1406 Henry IV vainly requested that violators be excommunicated. In 1670, women who used dress and cosmetics to "betray into matrimony any of his majesty's subjects" (Geocities.com Web site) were to be punished as witches.

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