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A History of Jodhpur Pants

Often looked down upon by the most sartorial amongst us, these pants are seen as an outsider to men’s fashion. You may remember the demise of these pants back in the 80’s as MC Hammer adopted them as his own. Yes, the pant in question is referred to as Hammer pants, Jodphuri pants and Harem pants. 

It’s not a surprise that these pants are not for everyone, especially those that prefer their pants proportioned and appropriate. The Jodhpuri pants originated from Jodhpur, Rajasthan (India) in 1890 by a gentleman named Sir Pratap Singh who felt that he needed specifically engineered pants for his extensive Polo playing. His pants included leather reinforcement in the inner thighs and much tighter calves to make way for riding boots. 

The design of these pants were inspired by traditional pants worn by Indian grooms called "Churidars" (still worn today). Over time, they were made a part of the Polo uniform and are worn in professional Polo games, even today. 

The de-masculinization of these pants occurs when compared to their close sister, the Harem pants as they are quite similar in design. These pants are worn mostly by women as they originated from the days of belly dancing and “Harems”. They are quite deliberately baggier in the hips and often times tightened only at the ankle. 

Unfortunately, Aladin is seen wearing them in the popular Disney movie which confuses things even further. There are many pants that exist today that take cues from both style of pants, MC Hammer pants were more styled like Harem pants than Jodphuri pants due to their far out fabric, color and over the top bagginess. 

So next time you’re faced with this style of pant, characterized by the exaggerated dropped crotch, consider that the pant could be a very manly Jodhpuri styled pant rather than the outrageous Harem or Hammer insanity.


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