If you met me, you wouldn’t think I am very fashionable. I write. I blog. I go Target. wear jeans and a t-shirt. I go to the theater or a concert every now and then, but LA isn’t a very dress-up type of town. I would be more fashion-conscious if I lived in New York. Walking around New York is a little bit of theater, and it is fun to costume yourself.
I like sportsjackets. I think I look good in them. Sadly, I never wear them. I like the jacket, but I hate wearing ties. Because of this, I am attracted to this jacket I saw online – the Nehru Jacket. I’m not sure what it is about this jacket, but it draws me in, telling me that I need to wear it.
via The Sartorialist
I’ve never seen a real live person wearing a Nehru jacket. OK, maybe some Indian guy wearing traditional white garb that is similar in style. To most people, the Nehru jacket is an outdated fad from the 1960’s.
The Nehru jacket has an interesting history:
The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a stand-up or “mandarin” collar, and modeled on the South Asian achkan or sherwani, an apparel worn by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964. However, unlike the achkan, which falls somewhere below the knees of the wearer, the Nehru jacket is not only shorter, but also, in all respects other than the collar, resembles the suit jacket.
The apparel was created in India in the 1940s as Band Gale Ka Coat (Hindi/Urdu: “Closed Neck Coat”) and has been popular on the subcontinent since, especially as the top half of a suit worn on formal occasions. It began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in the West 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.
Did you know that The Beatles wore Nehru jackets for their famous Shea Stadium performance of 1965?
Sammy Davis Jr. owned 200 Nehru jackets.
Alas, the popularity of the Nehru jacket lasted only a few years. By the late 1960s, the fad was over and the Nehru jacket fell into obscurity.
In the mid-1970s’s, Johnny Carson was commissioned to wear Nehru jackets on his show, in the hopes of making them popular again, but it was too late. Fashion had moved on. The disco years were here.
More recently, the fashion was mocked when it was worn by Dr. Evil in Austin Powers.
I think the Nehru jacket is pretty cool. Maybe I should try to find one in a vintage clothing store while I’m in New York. Chicks will dig it.