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Indian Fashion Blog / Driven Curiosity / Jodhpurs Queen Victorias Diamond Jubilee

The Royal Family Wearing Jodhpurs | Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
19 th Jun 2012

Jodhpurs originally were long pants, reaching to the ankle, snug from the calf to the ankle, with reinforced fabric protecting the inner calf and knee from rubbing. The thighs and hips were flared, a traditional oriental style possibly to help with bodily cooling in a hot climate, but which, in an era before the invention of stretch fabrics, also allowed free movement of the hip and thigh while riding.

They originate from an ancient style of Indian trouser called the Churidar, which is tight around the calf and baggy at the hips, still worn at traditional Jodhpury weddings. This is a special traditional style of clothing in Northern India, especially in what is today the modern state of Rajasthan, which has its capital at the city of Jaipur. Sir Pratap Singh, a younger son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, popularised in England the style of riding-trousers worn in Jodhpur, a design that he apparently improved and perfected by himself and first tailored in India about 1890.


Singh was an avid polo player, and when he visited Queen Victoria in England during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 1897, bringing with him his entire polo team, they caused a sensation among the fashionable circles of the United Kingdom, with their reputation enhanced by the fact that they won many polo matches.

His jodhpur style with flared thighs and hip was quickly taken up by the British polo playing community. Adapted it to existing designs of English breeches that ended at mid-calf, it was naturally paired with tall riding boots.

This British version was soon being produced by Savile Row tailors in London. The use of the Indian-style, ankle-length Jodhpurs avoided the need for tall, expensive riding boots, as the calf of the leg was protected by the reinforced design and snug lower fit of the longer trouser leg which kept the rider's calf from rubbing against a horse's sides and against the stirrup leathers.

Throughout time Jodphurs have been adapted for men and women within fashion in the western world. Be it the more recent fashion inspiration of American fashion house Ralph Lauren Polo, presented in an exhibition in the Met, New York called ‘Man and the Horse’. Or saddle riding women of the 1920's including Coco (Gabriel) Chanel herself, inspired to copy the breeches worn by a friend’s groom.

Adapted and re-invented, Abraham & Thakore brings them to back to Indian Styling with this Overblown Graphic Salwar Kameez.


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