Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Look at Some Vintage Jodhpurs

Today I would like to share a pair of vintage jodhpurs. I'm not entirely sure of their date. Could be anywhere from the 20's to the 50's. Likely, they are somewhere in the middle. It's unlikely that they are more recent than that, because as stretch fabrics came in to play, they eliminated the need for those roomy hips, which allowed the rider ease of movement. Those roomy hips are the jodhpur pant's most recognizable trait.

When I was little, I called them "director pants." Just throwing that out there :)

In short, jodhpur pants start in India and trickle on down to western sportswear and uniforms. They are primarily riding pants, but are seen worn as general sportswear through the early 20th century. Much like the riding habits of the 18th century, which weren't necessarily worn only for riding. Jodhs also are seen in uniforms. Aviators, motorcycle police, Dudley Do-Right, directors...

For a really detailed look at their history, check out this great article by V is for Vintage. It's full of lots of awesome pictures, too.

My pants, however, I do believe were actual riding pants. The seams are felled, and the crotch has an interesting patch that covers where the seams cross, which would make them more comfortable when in the saddle. They are also made of whipcord, a durable twill weave often seen in vintage equestrian clothing.

So, on to the pants...

Fun fact. These breeches were for riding astride, as opposed to side saddle. Breeches for side saddle riding have buttons on the outside calf of one leg, and inside the other, so they do not chafe as your outer calf rests against the saddle.

The leather knee patches help the rider two ways. They add grip and cushion your leg from the seam.

There is a crotch gusset, directed toward the rear seat, that I'm assuming adds some ease.

The waistband is interfaced with a woven material that feels like a cotton netting. By the way, I'm pretty darn sure these were home made. The stitches are a bit on the messy side, but who knows. Also, just a point of interest, the side seams were taken in at some point. I love to see alterations on old garments.

Inside out, you can see the crotch patch. Not too pretty, but I would want to sit on those seams either!

I love the waistband closure!

Unfortunately, these are too roomy in the waist for me, but when I get the time, I plan to draft a pattern from them. I love vintage sportswear.

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!


  1. very interesting, thanks for sharing, loved the details about providing more comfort in the, er, seat area :)

    1. You're welcome. It's always the weird details that are interesting :)

  2. Wow……what a classy pant. It is perfect for riding & design of pant is really wonderful. The detail you provide about jodhpurs is very interesting and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing this great post.

  3. Thank you for posting these detailed pictures! It is so interesting to see what construction decisions were made on functional vintage items like this.