37

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).


Image Source (broken)

movie poster for 'Patton'
Image Source

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    We need a "poofy pants" tag. – sealz Feb 17 '12 at 4:43
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    If WWII=="medium level violence" , what does the MPAA consider high levels of violence? – none Feb 18 '12 at 0:02
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    I shouldn't really need to note that Patton was NOT a Nazi. – MichaelF Feb 18 '12 at 12:12
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    "Hey, I kinda like poofs." - British viewers are going to get a good giggle out of that. – canadiancreed Feb 18 '12 at 16:32
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    @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
65

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.

1

Believe or not but this sort of pants were designed for cavalry in Poland by company Colmex in 1920. Just before Polish - Russian war in 1921. This company still exist in Poland but now is making ge pyjamas . Accidently, few years ago when taking about this topic with grand son ( J. Bonczar)of the creator on this company , he mention that buffing was done for three reason: 1) Mainly because that normal narrow trousers if inserted to high boots were restricting somehow wearer's movement. 2) Also if wearer chose to not insert normal pants into boots then his contact with the horse sides were not as good . 3) Solders like deep and large pockets which buffing allowed.

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    Do you mean that this style of pants was invented by Colmex or that they simply produced a particular variety of them? – Steve Bird Mar 9 at 10:57
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    Welcome to History:SE. Sources to support your assertions would greatly improve this answer. – sempaiscuba Mar 9 at 11:14
-4

The style became associated with the cavalry and as cavalry meant elite, everyone wanted to wear the flares.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 3
    What does this add that is not already included in the answer by @jfrankcarr? – Pieter Geerkens Jan 9 at 19:45

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