Police in Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in Africa and an incredibly conservative nation, have resurrected an archaic colonial criminal act from 1889 to stop women wearing clothes that expose their body.
But semi-naked dances for all-powerful king are exempt from colonial-era law.
Swazi police were responding to a march in the second city of Manzini last month by young women, some wearing miniskirts, who were seeking equal rights and safety.
In Swaziland women are legal minors and two-thirds of teenage girls have been victims of sexual assault, according to the South African Independent Online.
Police spokesperson Wendy Hleta warned: 'They will be arrested.
'The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women.
'We do not encourage that women should be harmed, but at the same time people should note acceptable conduct of behaviour,' she said.
The ban also applies to low-slung jeans and tank tops. However, the 'indlamu' costume, a tiny beaded belt worn when young women dance for King Mswati topless and with their buttocks fully exposed, is permissible, authorities declared.