Jodhpurs Guide – History & Style of the Infamous Indian Pants Explained

Jodhpurs Guide The Jodhpur pants or Jodhpurs, as they are normally called in the western hemisphere, has like many classical men ’ south wear pieces, an equestrian root. Like many early garments they besides have made the passage into menswear and have become the amber standard for traditional dinner dress wear in India. It is besides seen as an option ( paired with the Nehru crown ) to the western dinner jacket in black tie events in India. Interestingly, they have not shed their equestrian roots to make a like transition into men ’ south wear in the stay of the world. Please note that I have specifically mentioned menswear as they have been successfully adapted into the women ’ mho wear collections of most major designers around the earth. In India, the Jodhpur pants have besides successfully made another transition from ball wear to informal wear and is gaining in popularity across the region. It remains to be seen whether the respite of the men ’ s fashion world will make function of this classical piece of invest in the near future .
Sir Pratap SinghSir Pratap Singh

History of the Jodhpurs

The Jodhpurs get their name from the capital city of the early princely department of state of Marwar. Situated in the modern day express of Rajasthan in western India, Jodhpur city was founded in 1495 by Rao Jodha who belonged to the Rathore kin of Rajputs. It ceased to exist when it merged with the newly independent express of India in 1947. The Rajputs belonged to the warrior class in India and took great pride in their equestrian skills. This pride manifested itself, in more peaceful times, in their command over the game of Polo which has indian origins .

In the late 1800s, Sir Pratap Singh, the Maharaja of Idar and the Regent of Jodhpur, who was an avid Polo musician, was dissatisfied with the prevailing style of breeches and embarked on a request to produce a garment more suit to the needs of the game. He chose as his template the ‘churidar which is a traditional amerind retentive pants. The Churidar extends from the waist to the ankle and is tight along the calf but loose or baggy at the hips and is worn by both men and women in the sub- continent. Sir Pratap retained the basic style, the rigorous burst from the calf to the ankle, but he increased the baggy view by flaring the dress along the thighs and hips. This allowed for their free drift while riding, a revolutionary invention in the era before the invention of stretch fabrics. In accession, he reinforced the fabric along the inner calf and knee to protect them from rubbing while riding. The first pair was tailored in Jodhpur in the year 1890 and was made from thick cotton twill fabric. The newfangled breeches were cursorily adopted by the other Polo teams in India. For more data about the Jodhpur you should take a look at this book.

Jodhpurs as part of military uniformsJodhpurs as part of military uniforms

Introduction to the west

In 1897, Queen Victoria, the Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Empress of India, celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. During that year several rulers of the Princely States in India traveled to England to participate in the celebrations. Sir Pratap Singh, as the Regent of Jodhpur besides traveled to England and took with him the Jodhpur Polo team. The team, besides winning most matches, besides caused a sense with their newly breeches. The british were agile to spot the advantages of the new purpose and quickly adopted them .
Young Princess Elizabeth in JodhpursYoung Princess Elizabeth in Jodhpurs There is a fib behind the name of these breeches. It seemed that Sir Pratap found himself in the need for a fresh copulate and was forced to visit a Savile Row cut where he had no option but to reveal their design. On being asked by the tailor what the garment he ordered were called, Sir Pratap, not being besides conversant with the english language, misunderstood the question and replied – Jodhpur. And the name stick. Their use promptly spread throughout the british Empire and tied crossed the Atlantic to the USA, where nowadays a form is called the Kentucky Jodhpur .
During the early contribution of the 20 thursday Century the Jodhpur pants was co-opted by the assorted armies in Europe particularly the cavalry units. From the cavalry they made the transition to the motorbike troops and were besides worn by the Officer Corps as cavalry units were considered the elect units. As common Hollywood was agile to follow and Hollywood directors started wearing them to the sets, possibly to instill fear, authority and respect !
Jodhpurs at the film setJodhpurs at the film set With the increasing popularity of sports and sporting activities, the Jodhpur pants started making an appearance on the tennis court, the ski slopes, and besides among air travel and motor car sports. During the 1920s when women began to ride astride saddleback, they chose the Jodhpur and Coco Chanel was reportedly the first gamey profile womanhood to wear them. Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson were the other celebrated women who donned Jodhpur pants and many young women of the times, no doubt inspired by them, began to wear Jodhpur pants as both fashion wear and sports wear including dancing ! Their popularity among women continued till the second World War where they were separate of the uniform of the Womens Land Army .
Couple in JodhpursCouple in Jodhpurs
In holocene times some designers have used Jodhpur pants in their collections to create an aura of upper berth course tradition and sportiness. With the invention of Lycra, the Jodhpur pant began to be more streamlined and finally even determine leggings and cheeseparing jeans where their features have been retained more as an element of style and fashion preferably than practicality .

Transition to Formal Wear in India

The Jodhpur pants lento made the transition from strictly utility clothing to formal wear. As most men rode horses to get around it made sense to incorporate the Jodhpur pant into their dally wardrobe. While making the transition a few changes were made. First they switched the fabric to a superior cotton twill framework and the reinforcements along the inner calf and second joint were watered down a sting and finally disappeared altogether when cars were introduced in India and men ceased to ride to get around. The Jodhpur pants, due to their royal inheritance, was by and large worn by the Royalty and Upper classes in India who were the style icons of their days. These days however they are going through a revival of sorts and most amerind gentlemen own a pair .
Rakish Yoshimi Yoshitsugu with Jodhpurs on one of the first motorcycles in Japan - 1930sRakish Yoshimi Yoshitsugu with Jodhpurs on one of the first motorcycles in Japan – 1930s – submitted by our reader Dave McDermott who found the picture in his wife’s family album

Difference Between Breeches & Jodhpurs

accession by our reader Alexander Cave :


Jodphurs ( and there is a curious way of pronouncing the news correctly, so as to give the hearer assurance you know what you are talking about ! ) are not the same as riding breeches, or breeks. despite similarities. Those not familiar with the differences frequently mean riding breeches when they say Jodphurs. Jods ’ are always the leggy Indian-origin garment rightly described, that have been adapted to suit european riding habits and preferences, and are always wear over close ankle-high jodphur boots, or paddock boots .


Riding breeches have a similar appearance above the knee, but these are a direct descendant of the riding legwear of previous generations, and owe about all their inheritance to the buttoned, buckled or lace breeches as wear with hose, butchers or jacks. Riding breeches are most normally seen in chummy 32oz Bedford cord or cavalry twill, although early materials are used according to intended use. The similarity to the modern ride jodphur is the run of the single seem, arranged therefore that it is placed on the outside of the stage to aid consolation when in the saddleback – the add leather or self-material knee-pads have the combine character of padding the knee against friction, and added lastingness.

Until later decades of the twentieth century, as all officers were expected to be accomplished horsemen, british army infantry officers wore riding breeches as function of the service dress, normally worn with strap and laced field-boots, or with puttees, and Highland officers had theirs made up in the allow tartan. military ride breeches have extra characteristics, normally omitted from their civilian random variable, so as to accommodate items such as the elaborately fastener regimental stable-belts. RCMP consistent is possibly the best-known exercise to consider .
Riding breeches fasten very snugly below the stifle, with the push button or lacing extending some five or six inches, and are made with methods of coupling to the boots worn – normally button and check, sometimes buckled straps. modern varieties now use Velcro-style fastenings for ease .
The genuine article is hush promptly available off the nail down from equestrian suppliers, and bespoke for those who prefer, and the choice of colors in commend Bedford cord or cavalry twill is varied adequate to suit most tastes. The garments produced by fashion houses are a inadequate alternate when seen adjacent to the genuine detail .

How to Wear Jodhpur Pants

In India, Jodhpur pants are typically paired with the Jodhpuri coating good known as the abruptly Nehru Jacket in the rest of the world. normally in contrasting colors, dark jacket ( normally blacken ) with brass buttons, white pants and dress shoes. Depending on the occasion it is worn with traditional indian headwear, however most people dispense with the headwear during not – traditional occasions. They can besides be worn with matching color jackets. All whiten is a popular alternative. Like western suits the jacket and pants are now made from the same fabric and the traditional cotton can be replaced by wool or silk or any framework of choice. Contrasting colors other than black and white are besides gaining in popularity .
In its less formal avatar, the Jodhpur pants are paired with a kurta ( a traditional amerind shirt ) and amerind footwear like Kolapuri Chappals, Jootees or sandals. In such cases the fabric is normally lightweight cotton or a cotton blend. A sleeveless jacket is besides wear when the upwind is a little cold .

Characteristics of Jodhpurs

  1. Traditionally made of cotton twill (cavalry twill surfaced in the late 1930s) but now made from an array of high quality materials.
  2. Flared along the thighs and hips, very full at the hip.
  3. Very Tight fitting along the calf (from knee to ankle) traditionally ending in a cuff with a strap under the instep but the cuff and strap missing in non riding Jodhpurs .
  4. Traditionally reinforced with additional material along the inner thigh and calf but this reinforcement is dispensed with in formal Jodhpur pants.
  5. Modern Jodhpur pants usually sport French Fly Fronts, belt loops and two front pockets. Most lack hip pockets.

Gaj Singh Maharaja of Jodhpur in white jodhpur pants formal wearGaj Singh Maharaja of Jodhpur in white jodhpur pants formal wear

Jodhpur Style Guide

For those audacious souls who have the ability to carry off anything they wear, the authoritative Jodhpuri Coat / Jodhpur pants combination can make them stand out in a sea of suits. It is recommended that you wear this combination only if you have the assurance to carry it off. Both contrasting and matching colors can be worn. It is advisable to follow the same guidelines ( for shoes and accessories ) as you would when wearing a western suit. A pocket square can be added for a bit of color. The brass buttons of the coat can be replaced with traditional suit buttons. solid colors are recommended or thin pin stripes at the most. Shirt cuffs are normally not displayed while wearing Jodhpuri Coats ; however the wearer can exercise his discretion .
The Jodhpur pants can be paired with a sports jacket and pit shirt. A Hacking Jacket is recommended for a more streamline formal look and a two buttoned sport jacket for a more casual look. A tie or scarf can besides be added, if sol command. Single vented jackets are recommended as they contribution alike equestrian roots and of course you can besides display a morsel of shirt manacle. desirable shoes for this combination include wing tip oxfords or anything that you would normally wear with a sports coating. A Norfolk jacket goes very well with Jodhpur pants arsenic well and overall the jackets can be patterned or solid colored but the Jodhpur pants themselves should never have any patterns .
Sports Coat in Tweed with JodphursSports Coat in Tweed with Jodphurs For those who prefer a less formal look, the Jodhpur pants can be worn with an Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt. For an even more casual look the shirt can be kept untucked and the sleeves folded up. Shirts with long tails and two spinal column pleats packed under the shoulders as in the british style are more become to this style though concentrate box pleats will besides do. The back shoulder pleats add to the drape of the shirt when careworn untucked. A military stylus shirt with a placket, large pockets with button flaps and shoulder straps go very well with Jodhpur pants to create a more outdoor front. In fact this look was very popular in pre – independent India among the cavalry officers at the time. Sandals, flip flops, short boots or gravy boat shoes can all be worn with this combination. For a even more casual look the shirt can be replaced with a Polo shirt or any casual T Shirt. In a nutshell if you let the Jodhpur Pants replace your trousers, whether they be formal, chinos or jeans is up to you but owning at least one copulate to combine with flannel jackets, could be a antic summation to your wardrobe .
Jodhpur pants worn with tall boots has been incorporated into the uniform of motorbike policemen all over the populace and this look can be modified to suit you if you like to ride motorcycles. Leather jackets go highly well with this combination.

Where to buy Jodhpurs?

unfortunately the Jodhpur pantw for men are not readily available in the western hemisphere although Ralph Lauren does make them for women. It seems like they can be bought immediately from India, though I have not ordered anything from there and the quality and dependability of the seller remains questionable. Most Made to Measure providers won ’ t have a desirable design available so your are pretty much stuck with bespoke versions because chances that you find jodhpurs for men of the rack are basically zero. Riding Jodhpurs seem to be widely available from versatile outlets. Again, I have not purchase these from any seller but a Google search yields a count of vendors who offer equestrian Jodhpur pants which are different from the original adaptation .
Jodhpur pants Raghavendra Rathore collectionJodhpur pants Raghavendra Rathore collection The best space to buy anything is normally from its stead of lineage and the Jodhpur pants seem to be no exception. Designer Raghavendra Rathore is a member of the Royal family of Jodhpur who combines his heritage with a dash of the contemporary fashion. He is a graduate from the Parsons School of Design and has worked for Oscar De la Renta and DKNY. Among his specialities is the modern Jodhpur jacket and pants. obviously, he ships products overseas but for far details about the serve, write to [ e-mail protected ]. Apart from that, if you play polo, these are credibly best and entirely cost $ 110 .

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