POLO BEFORE THE MODERN POLO PANTS
23 November 2017
Polo pants as we know them today have a history that goes way back in time. These pants that are so well suited to the game of polo had a different look back when the game was introduced to the west.
Polo pants, a lovechild of the western pants and the jodhpurs are the perfect pants for a polo player, or any other horse rider. But had it not been for the jodhpurs, the modern day polo pants wouldn’t have come in to the picture.
Jodhpurs originated from the town and former kingdom of Jodhpur, India, were donned primarily by the kings, from where the world took inspiration and by way of horse-riding, cemented their position in the western fashion industry as well as the rest of India. They were an inspiration for Coco Chanel as well as the other leading fashion brands.
As there weren’t many stretchable fabrics back in time, Jodhpurs allowed the wearer to have a free movement from the hips to the knees, which is needed while riding a horse, and Jodhpurs served the purpose.
Jodhpurs were adapted to suit the needs of the rider and were soon adopted by the armed forces which further became a part of the dress code for competitive equestrian sports such as Polo.
The British army fell in love with the sport once they were introduced to it, and they even wore the same while playing polo along with the royals.
Polo and Jodhpurs was a match made in heaven, as it suited the needs of the rider in every aspect of horse riding.
But what was Polo like before ‘Jodhpurs’? How did the players manage riding and playing before these comfortable pants? The answer lies in the word ‘inspiration’. Like any other invention, these pants were also inspired from something.
That something as we know is a traditional trouser which has been worn in India for centuries, called the ‘Churidars’.
Churidars served the purpose before Jodhpurs as they are wide around the hip and gathered in tight folds at the calf.
Worn by both men and women, this type of trouser was the perfect clothing for the tropical climate, as it allowed ventilation and flexibility while riding the horses - which is why it was used in polo.
Polo wouldn’t have evolved so much had it not been for Churidars - Jodhpur’s godfather.