If you're anything like us, this is your favorite time of year. Boot season is in full force! We can't get enough wingtip, Chelsea, and combat boots. This article, though, is going to touch on one you may not be as familiar with: the Jodhpur.
Below, we're going to take you though the history of the boot, its characteristics, and offer a few ways to wear it.
What's a Jodhpur?
A jodhpur boot is a mid-to-low calf height boot. It has a slight heel to it (perhaps up to an inch). Like its cousin, the Chelsea boot, the upper comes in two parts- front vamp and rear quarter. Each of these are made from a single piece of leather.
The Jodhpur is distinguished from the Chelsea, though, by the leather strap that wraps around the shaft of the boot and is secured by a buckle at the front vamp and a loop at the ankle, as you see below.
True Jodhpur boots also do not have a rubberized, elastic band across the shaft the way a Chelsea does.
Many of the best Jodhpurs are also Goodyear welted. Here at Idrese, we offer only Goodyear welted shoes and boots. If you'd like to learn more about why this is a superior construction method, we've got a great piece for you here.
History of the Jodhpur
The full history of the Jodhpur is murky, at best.
First, the boot has a riding heritage, although whether it was specifically designed for riding is up for debate.
See, traditional riding boots often come very far of up the calf and toward the knee. This is designed to prevent chafing and rubbing on the rider. The Jodhpur boot has a much lower shaft, of course. So, why would a boot like this be designed for hard riding?
Second, there's also a little "chicken or egg" question or whether boots were designed to match Jodhpur-style riding pants or if pants were designed to match the boots. We're inclined to believe the pants came first.
Third, do Jodhpur boots come from Johdpur, India? It's certainly possible. We know boots are made there today, but it's still unclear just how much the name and location of this city had on the boot.
We can surmise the boot has its origins in horse and riding culture. It may have been used for walking around paddocks or other facilities associated with riding, polo, and similar activities. When it came time to ride, though, the person would simply change into a boot with a taller shaft.
As the decades passed, though, the boot became more popular on the street. A Vogue article from 1927 noted the Jodhpur was "appropriate for all the summer shows" and should be paired with a "swagger" stick and canary gloves. (We don't know what a swagger stick is...but it sounds awesome!)
So, now that we know what the boot is-and isn't- and a little of the history, how should you wear Jodhpur boots?
Jodhpur Boot Style
Dress It Up
Boots and suits are definitely acceptable in most of today's work environments. If going suited with Johdpurs, we'd suggest a more casual option. Perhaps a grey flannel or a mid-navy hopsack number with patch pockets. Or, you can feel free to play with some pattern. Windowpanes work well here, but pinstripes or chalk stripes may be a little too loud to go with the boots.
Because it's a boot, it also works beautifully with contemporary business casual. Navy blazer. Grey Flannel Pants. Blue Oxford Cloth Button Down. Brown leather Jodhpurs? Sure! It's the "menswear uniform" with a twist.
Or, you can try stone chinos, a medium-to-light wash denim Button-down shirt, and a brown and grey gun check blazer. Add some brown suede Jodhpurs and you've got a winner for a date.
Of course, both of these boots can be customized in our shop here.
Dress It Down
While we believe it's harder to dress down a boot like this, they will work very well with slim (read: not skinny) dark wash denim or casual chinos and a favorite fitted T.
Also, you can consider light wash denim, a flannel, and some dark suede boots.
We would, though, suggest avoiding shorts.
A Note on Trouser Fit and Jodhpur Boots
We'd like to emphasize against going with a "skinny" pair of pants with a slim leg opening here. While there may be an urge to show off the leather straps, trouser hems tucked into Jodhpurs look especially awkward.
Instead, consider a slim pair with a moderate taper or even a straight-fit pair of pants when you're rocking some Jodhpurs
To sum up, the history of Jodhpur boots is interesting- but complicated. They were likely developed for horse culture, but have made their way onto the city streets.
Even with an equestrian heritage, they still have their place in today's business and casual work. Consider them with casual suits or patterned blazers. Or, pair them with some fitted denim on the weekend.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you found this helpful!
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