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I've often wondered why do various uniforms have those "poofs" on the outsides of the legs just above the knee? Was there a particular purpose to this, or a practical reason, or was it just the result of uniform designers saying "Hey, I kinda like poofs."

I think it has also been seen in other areas as well. For example, on the poster/cover for the 1970 movie Patton you can see a similar design, though much more pronounced it seems (though that could just be Hollywood exaggeration).

nazi pants

movie poster

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We need a "poofy pants" tag. – sealz Feb 17 '12 at 4:43
If WWII=="medium level violence" , what does the MPAA consider high levels of violence? – none Feb 18 '12 at 0:02
I shouldn't really need to note that Patton was NOT a Nazi. – MichaelF Feb 18 '12 at 12:12
"Hey, I kinda like poofs." - British viewers are going to get a good giggle out of that. – canadiancreed Feb 18 '12 at 16:32
@Anixx - as a possible experiment - go into a bar in London, find someone with lively cheerful clothes like a football strip and tell them they look gay. – none Sep 15 '12 at 17:36
up vote 43 down vote accepted

These are jodhpurs, a style of pants developed primarily for horseback riding. Their intent was to allow flexibility in the hip and thigh while the more narrow lower portion worked well with riding boots and didn't get caught up in stirrups.

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