The Nehru Jacket gets its name from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He remains one of India’s most memorable politicians who played a significant role in her Independence, in 1947 and went on to become India’s first Prime Minister. He sported this coat on most occasions along with an Indian gulab (rose) in the front upper pocket.


The look, to say the least, has become iconic. So much so that many Indian politicians have worn the jacket or its variations, till date, including India’s present Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The garment is a hip-length, tailored coat for men, with a mandarin collar. Its front is fashioned after an Indian sherwani, achkan or bandhgala.

Depending on the occasion, the Nehru jacket is worn both, with or without sleeves. 


In many ways, this jacket is quite similar to the regular suit jacket. It can have single or double vents and can be fully buttoned down or a few buttons can be left open for a relaxed look.

The shirt, worn underneath cannot be seen, except at the cuffs and a little at the collar, so a collarless shirt would be preferable. The collar of the jacket is fastened with a discreet hook, giving it a clean feel.

The Nehru jacket has become a prominent part of ethnic wear and Indian formal attire. Whether you wear the coat on its own or with matching trousers, making it a complete suit, you are sure to make quite a statement. 

A classic colour like royal blue, jet black or burgundy coat paired with a plain white shirt and neutral pants with leather sandals or tie-up leather shoes will be a striking ensemble.

James Bond was styled in a Nehru jacket in the 70’s. It also made an appearance on the Bond villain Christoph Waltz Spectre, in 2015. Clearly the coat is associated with power, suaveness and intimidation, all at the same time.

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