The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a mandarin collar, and with its front modeled on the South Asian achkan or sherwani, an apparel worn by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964. Ironically, Nehru himself did not wear the jacket named after him, preferring the more traditional sherwani/achkan or Western-style suit and tie.
The apparel was created in India in the 1940s as Band Gale Ka Coat (Hindi "Closed Neck Coat") and has been popular on the Indian subcontinent since, especially as the top half of a suit worn on formal occasions.
Unlike the achkan, which falls somewhere below the knees of the wearer, the Nehru jacket is shorter, resembling a military-style jerkin.
It began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in the Europe and America in the mid-1960s; it was briefly popular there in the late 1960s and early 1970s, its popularity spurred by growing awareness of foreign cultures, by the minimalism of the Mod lifestyle, and, in particular, by the Monkees and the Beatles, who popularized the garment.
- "Nehru jacket - Everything2.com". Everything2.com. 2001-07-27. Retrieved 2010-01-11.