Jodhpurs vs Breeches: Are They The Same?
Jodhpurs and riding breeches – aren’t they just the same thing? One might believe that both refer to a type of riding pant, and you would be correct. However, there are differences between the two types of garments – differences that are useful to know before you purchase a pair of one or the other or both!
What are Jodhpurs?
Jodhpur was the name of a city located in northwestern India that was founded in the 1200s.
The original jodhpur, designed in the 1890s in India and brought to England, became popular in England as it eliminated the need for wearing expensive tall black leather riding boots. Unlike today’s riding clothes, the fabric originally used to make jodhpurs was a bit stiff and unforgiving, making them challenging to ride in. As a result, jodhpurs were made wider in the seat with tailored legs that hugged a rider’s calves and ankles. Extra fabric was used to reinforce the lower leg of the garment, making it more durable and longer lasting. The legs of a pair of jodhpurs end around the ankle, so most riders will wear paddock boots and half-chaps. Child riders will typically wear jodhpurs with garters that go just below the knee. Jodhpurs come in many colours, but the most popular shades are of brown or grey.
What are Breeches?
In comparison, today’s riding pants are referred to as breeches.
Breeches come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes and are worn in English-style riding, as opposed to the western style of riding where one wears jeans and sometimes leather chaps and cowboy boots. Some breeches have belt loops; some do not. The legs of a pair of breeches end mid-calf and most have a Velcro closure bringing the fabric tight to the leg so that tall boots can be worn over the clothing. Full-seat breeches have suede or leather sewn into them, providing better grip with the saddle when riding. Breeches without the full-seat will have leather knee patches sewn in to provide a level of grip. Technology used in making fabric today has allowed manufacturers to make breeches in breathable durable fabric that moves with you when you ride. Many styles also allow you to wash them, instead of sending them out to be dry-cleaned.
Most riders will have several pairs of breeches that meet different riding needs. Having a few pairs of breeches in dark colours that tend not to show dirt are a great idea for daily riding or schooling. Pull-on breeches and jodhpurs that are more like sturdy tights are perfect for everyday use, too. Breeches and jodhpurs made from heavier fabric, such as four-way stretch fleece, will keep you warm during cold weather.
Today’s colour options for children and young adult riders in particular range from pink and green to all colours in between. Shades of brown and grey can be worn in hunter competition and on the hunt field. White breeches are worn for dressage, eventing, and show jumping competition. Professional riders can be seen wearing sponsor ads on their breeches and show coats.
Whether you are interested in purchasing a pair of breeches or jodhpurs, one thing is for sure – you will have numerous styles, colours, and fabrics to choose from! Note, too, that sizes of breeches and jodhpurs vary from vendor to vendor. A size that may fit you in one style or make of breech or jodhpur may be too large or too small in another type. It is recommended that you try different types as well as to measure yourself accurately prior to purchasing a pair of either. Once they find a pair that fits, most riders will stay with that make and style, purchasing breeches or jodhpurs in different colours. Our online catalog is complete with almost every style and colour of breech or jodhpur available in the market today. Choose and order your favorite jodhpurs and/or breeches now and we will have them shipped to you right away!