India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru has become a political and now global fashion icon. Time magazine has added him to the “top ten global political fashion list” thanks to his popularization of the “Nehru” jacket. The classic jacket is influenced by the northern Indian achkan which is a closed neck coat style garment often worn as court dress for Indian nobility. The former Prime Minister gets credit for popularizing this style during his time as leader where he wore it out countless times for public appearances. The look greatly influenced the west and hence became known as the “Nehru” jacket. The jacket came in at seventh spot on the Time list.
First becoming a trend influenced by Nehru during the 1940’s and 1950’s, the jacket then became a top fashion choice by men of all age groups in India . It is often spotted on both Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities including Samuel L. Jackson (pictured below). Time noted that the jacket was also worn by the Beatles while performing in New York at the Shea Stadium as well as Sammy Davis Jr. who was said to have owned more than two hundred of the jackets. The classic look of the jacket is a nice alternative to wearing a formal shirt and tie.