Breeches, and their sartorial cousin jodhpurs, are legwear traditionally worn by cavalry. Unlike standard trousers, breeches end just below the knee to allow the rider to wear tall riding boots. Mounted soldiers were traditionally an elite and even infantry officers would ride a horse while their men marched. This well-established link—between equestrianism and power—has imparted high status on breeches and tall boots which many fashion- (and status-) conscious people continue to exploit.
Reviewed 15 November 2023