The Fashion Statement: Hoof It
Among those of us who've lived through harem pants back in the Eighties, some just can't go there again. We get it.
Thankfully, there's an alternative: jodhpurs. Much like harem pants, crotches on jodhpurs hang low, hips are full and pants are slim from knee to ankle-this is the pant silhouette for fall and is showing up on traditional trousers albeit to a lesser extreme-with the added bonus that you don't hear You Can't Touch This ringing in your head. Instead, enter images of Jackie O.
Belgian husband-and-wife team An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx of A.F. Vandevorst got all horsey on us. Like modern day centaurs, models trotted out in jodhpurs sporting platform boots that looked like hooves. The line includes horse-blanket striped blouses and body jewelry that resembles bridles (see above).
Brit bad boy Alexander McQueen was all about jodhpurs and riding jackets ripped straight from the English countryside in his pre-fall collection. He showed the looks with small top-hats and riding crops which, to the delight of McQueen fans, had a slight S&M effect.
Coming off a Middle Eastern theme last spring, Polo Ralph Lauren went back to its WASP-y, to-the-manor-born roots presenting velvet and tweed jodhpurs topped with proper vests (the label's classic trousers looked like something out of Horse and Hound). Or did it?
Gallery: The Fashion Statement: 09/10/09
As the story goes, the game reached Northern India where the noble and aristocratic Rajputs could afford the finest equine specimens and established the rules played in the game today. The town of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, became the polo-playing capital of the world and there, in the late 1800s, a guy named Maharaja Sir Pratap Singh started wearing riding pants flared out at the hip with leather patches between the knees. When they colonized India, the British went nuts for polo and referred to the pants as jodhpurs.
Where the well-heeled go, the style conscious will follow. Hop on the web today, and designers from Daryl K to Vince offer up versions of the jodhpurs, some with the suede patches, some without. Rest assured, this crop of jodhpurs have little similarity to the stirrup pants of the Eighties.