The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a mandarin collar, and with its front modelled on the Indian achkan or sherwani, a garment worn by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964.
The Nehru jacket's history can be traced back to the Mughal years when the courtier's choga became the garment of the rich and the powerful. In its later avatars, it became the north Indian male's idea of formal wear — sherwani, achkan, the bandhgala and finally the bandi. The apparel was created in India in the 1940s as Band Gale Ka Coat (English: "Closed Neck Coat") and has been popular on the Indian subcontinent ever since, especially as the top half of a suit worn on formal occasions.
The jacket began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in 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 Beatles and subsequently the Monkees.
Several villains in the James Bond film series, including Dr. No, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Karl Stromberg and Kamal Khan, appear wearing a Nehru jacket. The Master, the arch-enemy of The Doctor in Doctor Who is also seen wearing one in his first and sixth incarnations.
- "Nehru Jacket, which we know today had undergone alterations from its basic Achkin or Sherwani model over the years even during the lifetime of Nehru. The main difference between the popular Nehru Jacket and the original Achkan is the length. Achkans go below the knees whereas Nehru Jacket hardly reaches hips. It was only after 1940s the term 'Nehru Jacket' was started using widely. Till then it was known as 'band gale Ica coat', which means 'closed neck coat.' The strangest part of the story is that Nehru had never worn the popular, modified ones named after him, but always preferred the traditional models more akin to Ackhan or Sherwani."
- Gentlemen's Gazette
- Aramam, Ajmal (16 January 2016). "Nehru's style statement: Achkan the knee-length coat made iconic by Nehru is still being worn with pride". Tehelka. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- "Nehru jacket – Everything2.com". Everything2.com. 27 July 2001. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- John Lennon's suit found