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The Nehru Collar in Popular Culture

The Origin

The Nehru collar has an intriguing story indeed, and it is believed that the first one evolved sometime during the 10th century. But the name ‘Nehru’ wasn’t coined until the mid-20th century, after the style’s popularity with India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharal Nehru. The style of the Nehru jacket was first designed in India and quickly became associated with gentlemen of a high stature.

Despite its popularity over the years, the iconic look of the Nehru jacket has remained the same; a classic hip-length tailored coat with a mandarin collar design. Whilst in the early years the jacket was made out of Khadi, an Indian homespun cotton cloth, the Nehru jackets of today are most often made from fabrics like linen, cotton and silk. This includes our very own Nehru jackets that are carefully crafted from top notch, premium quality surplus materials, like the 100% wool blend of our Brunel and Turing Nehru jackets.

Who else loved the Nehru style?

Over the years, the Nehru collar has been favoured by many a celebrity, from popular music artists, to TV show and film characters. Worn by an array of iconic figures, the Nehru has remained a valued garment in both vintage and modern culture. Here are just a few of the famous faces that have been spotted in one.

The Beatles - Inspiration

The Beatles

In 1965 the Beatles, regarded as the greatest and most influential rock band of the era, sported pale-hued Nehru jackets with prominent breast pockets for their famous performance in New York’s Shea Stadium, on the Indian Independence Day (August 15th).

Sean Connery - Inspiration

Sean Connery

James Bond’s Nehru jacket follows the iconic Asian influenced style, and this brown silk Nehru jacket worn by Sean Connery is arguably one of 007’s most stylish garments. Bond’s Nehru jacket features 5 buttons down the front with curved side pockets, a welted breast pocket, and is complete with a white linen pocket square as a quintessential finishing touch.

Christopher Waltz - Inspiration

Christopher Waltz

Another Bond film, another outfit inspired by the Nehru collar – this time in the brand new and highly anticipated Spectre! In the latest film, however, it’s not Bond but Franz Obershauser, played by Christopher Waltz, who is spotted in this classic style. Cool, calm baddie Obershauser wears a simplistic, clean cut, navy Nehru jacket.

The Chinese President (Xi Jinping) - Inspiration

The Chinese President (Xi Jinping)

The Chinese president is also a fan of the Nehru collar. He was photographed wearing a charcoal black jacket during his recent visit to the Buckingham Palace State Banquet, with Princess Kate, in October this year.

Harry Styles - Inspiration

Harry Styles

Proving that the Nehru style looks good on men of all ages, the young pop star wore a unique jacket embellished with intricate gold embroidery for his stage performance with One Direction at the 42nd annual American Music Awards in 2014, in Los Angeles.

Game of Thrones - Inspiration

Game of Thrones

The influence of the Nehru jacket can even be seen on the hugely popular Game of Thrones TV series. Petyr Baelish, nicknamed Littlefinger, is the Game of Thrones character we just can’t quite make up our minds on. Is he the good guy or the bad guy? Then there’s Joffery Baratheon, the evil Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Both characters may be wicked, but they don’t half rock their Nehru-inspired jackets. In the show, the classic Nehru gets reimagined with a touch of medieval fantasy using rich, dark tones, covered with grand embroidery and, of course, featuring the recognisable mandarin collar.

The style of the Nehru jacket has been an iconic garment throughout history, adored by a range of influential figures and characters of all ages. It’s a style that we at Sir Plus find extremely versatile and is still completely wearable today. If there’s a Nehru missing from your wardrobe then take a look at our very own Nehru Jackets and Nehru Waistcoats, made for a true gentleman. They’ll instantly add a touch of class to any outfit.

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