Miniskirts and hot pants may be worn at the library, a Central China university said on Saturday after revoking a regulation that had banned them.
"We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience brought by our recent work," read a Hunan Agricultural University statement posted on Sina Weibo on Saturday.
"We're determined to optimize management and improve service quality, creating a better reading environment. We welcome students to come to the library to study and be readers with good manners."
The university did not specifically offer a reason for the apology.
The canceled regulation had banned female students from wearing pants or skirts shorter than 50 centimeters after a complaint was filed by a male student alleging miniskirts were "harmful to the study atmosphere and are a form of sexual harassment," Tianjin-based news website enorth.com.cn reported on Saturday.
Calling miniskirts "sexual harassment" sparked immediate online controversy among students at the provincial capital city and on Chinese social media.
Some net users said that it is a person's right to decide what he or she could wear.
"Sexual harassment means that you need to make an unwelcome sexual invitation," a net user posted on Sina Weibo.
"Simply wearing clothes is not sending out a sexual implication or invitation. The reason does not stand."
It is now fine for students to wear fashionable clothes as long as they are not solely wearing panties or briefs, an unnamed staff member at the library of Hunan Agricultural University told enorth.com.cn on Saturday.
"The regulation was already revoked," he was quoted as saying.
Such a regulation was unnecessary "as long as dress doesn't affect studying and reading," Xie Zhiyong, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"But it was also not necessary to elevate this to the level of breaking the law or sexual discrimination."
People "should not read too much into cases like this" and create hot topics that harm the public opinion ecosystem, Xie warned.