Know Your Terms: Nehru

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well.

Jawaharlal Nehru in his eponymous jacket

Named for Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, who wore them as a daily uniform, the Nehru jacket is a fitted, waist-length jacket that buttons from the belt to the “mandarin collar” (subsequently referred to as a Nehru collar) at the neck. A hybrid of the knee-length achkan, the customary dress for Indian royalty, and a Western-style suit jacket, the Nehru, like its namesake, was a mid-century bridge between two cultures. Adopted by the Beatles and their mod-ish disciples in the late ’60’s, the Nehru temporarily caught fire, and photos like this one can’t help but make us feel it’s due for a sartorial revival.

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