Structural studies of a series of laterally attached side chain liquid crystalline polysiloxanes have been made by X-ray diffraction. All but one exhibit a nematic phase with SC-like short range ordering. The diffraction has been interpreted in terms of a model in which the mesogenic units form a ‘jacket’ around the polymer backbone. The backbone conformation has been studied by small angle X-ray scattering from oriented samples of mesomorphic solutions and by infrared dichroism measurements on oriented samples of the polymers. In both cases the results were consistent with the mesogens being oriented parallel to the backbone which is consistent with the ‘mesogen jacket’ model.