Looking for a pair of trousers to wear when riding? Jodhpurs are tailor-made for sitting in the saddle; they are designed to maximise comfort. Of course, you also want to look stylish when horse-riding so let us help you.
Since they were introduced in the UK, they have undergone changes to make them comfier and to introduce them into the fashion world. Splashed across the pages of high fashion magazines, equestrian style always comes back around every few years.
But if you are instead a keen rider, you will be able to look equally as fashion-forward and you’ll be sporting a practical outfit at the same time.
In this article, we’ll tell you about the history of jodhpurs and jodhpur boots and help you style your choices too. There are some practical tips to help you choose the best trousers and footwear for you as there can be too many choices!
The history of jodhpurs and Jodhpur boots
Originally Indian heritage, they were a traditional style of trouser worn in the city of Jodhpur. Son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Sir Pratap Singh, visited England when he was invited to play polo by Queen Victoria in 1897.
With his entire team wearing this new style of trouser, the UK audience were intrigued by these new riding clothes. Traditionally snug fitting from the knee down, it allows extra room at the hips to sit in the saddle. These full, ankle-length jodhpurs allowed the rider to wear less expensive, shorter boots as there is a snug fit around the ankle from the trousers.
In the UK, the full-length style was not taken up but instead ended at mid-calf to be worn with taller riding boots into the style we now know as breeches. However, with new technologies and an ever-changing industry, jodhpurs are now stretchier and have a tighter fit found in both mid-calf and full-length styles.
Jodhpur boots also travelled from India to the western world in the 1920s. They were secured to the foot using a strap and buckle, but modern styles have instead included an elasticated panel to help you get them on your feet properly!
In the truest sense of the term, jodhpur boots should always be ankle boots, more popularly known now as Chelsea boots, usually minus the straps.
Styles of jodhpurs, their features and which boots to wear them with
With so much choice out there on the market, there is no style that is preferred over another. Whether you choose jodhpurs or breeches, make you sure you pick the pair that you feel most comfortable in!
Pick a style that you know you’ll wear time and time again and choose a colour that will go with several outfit options.
Traditional: When they were first introduced in the UK, the classic jodhpur style was designed to be loose around the hips and thighs and tight from the knee down to the ankle.
This allows for comfort when riding but also protection for your calves and ankles. It also means that a shorter style boot is easier to wear with them because the tighter fit gives your legs all the support they need.
Modern: Now jodhpurs have moved from a loose fit around the hips to a tighter fit. Think of them as thicker leggings if you will, they are super flattering. Because of the material, it makes them very stretchy and comfortable to wear.
Our Ladies Jodhpurs are a twist on a traditional style. You can also buy pairs with stirrups in so they don’t ride up your leg. They are often ankle-length too so shorter boots tend to feel more comfortable. However, if you prefer the added protection of a taller boot, it will still look practical.
Breeches: Often confused with jodhpurs, breeches are a different style. Similar to the traditional Jodhpur in the fit but instead of finishing at the ankle, breeches tend to stop at mid-calf. The idea is to wear this style with a taller riding boot to give yourself protection to the lower half of your leg.
Breeches are considered to be a more formal option compared to jodhpurs, but it is mostly down to personal preference. Pairing them with long boots is a better option for experienced rider than newer ones as there is less flexibility and newcomers find they can be restricted in longer boots. Our Ladies Tweed Shooting Breeches look great with wellies too!
How to style them together
Both jodhpurs and their matching boots tend to come in neutral colours which makes them very easy to style. Our favourite Ladies style comes in a stylish beige shade which is super flattering and of course versatile.
Pairing them with either black or brown jodhpur boots will never go out of fashion. You could also opt for a taller boot, such as our Middleham Leather Riding Boots, if you prefer to cover your calves.
We also offer a small range of colours which should mean you can create almost any colour scheme incorporating our Jodhpurs. Our most modern style being the denim offering which you could easily get away with on a trip into town.
Other styling tips
Not sure what to wear on your upper body now we’ve got your trousers and shoes sorted? Our favourite look is a shirt and gilet: classic but still chic and perfect for riding.
By sticking to neutrals on your bottom half, it means you can spice it up with some colour if you want to on your top half. Colours such as pink, blue and purple all go well with beige jodhpurs and brown/black boots! A favourite in our office are our Tullymore II Leather Boots.
Look out for pairs of jodhpurs and breeches with extra padding around your knees and bottom; comfort is always key when riding so any extra support is helpful! Remember to go for the most comfortable pair when you’re sitting in the saddle, this will ultimately be the most important factor.
We do recommend sticking with jodhpurs and shorter boots for children; they tend to be cheaper to purchase too which is always a good idea with growing youngsters!