The Season of the Nehru jacket

The Season of the Nehru jacket

Velvet is often a fabric that many people equate with the winter, but what if we told you that they were wrong, and that actually velvet is a year-round fabric, suitable for all but the hottest of days? Use see cotton velvet might have a plush pile, but actually it is incredibly lightweight. We think that the transitional period from later summer through autumn and then early winter is the perfect time for velvet. Ansd while we love formal velvet jackets, there is one silhouette that we feel is woefully underused for smart casual events, and that is the Nehru jacket. 

When it comes to a formal evening occasion, one's options tend to be quite simple depending on the type of event. For an invitation to a hosted dinner with a good number of guests, a smoking jacket or velvet dinner jacket is always a great option, being both sartorial and extravagant. For even more formal occasions, the classic dinner jacket is typically the best choice, while events with a touch of glamour can be great opportunities for Favourbrook's more avant garde dinner jackets. But at the more casual end of the spectrum, the decision is often a little more difficult. One doesn't want to appear over-dressed on the one hand, but being the least smart person at a party is not an accolade you want either.

This conundrum can be skilfully navigated with the Nehru jacket. At Favourbrook, we have created a number of velvet Nehru jackets which we think make for excellent day-to-eveningwear options when the dress code is that tricky in-between. The omission of classic shawl or peak lapels certainly gives the Nehru jacket a less formal appeal, but it is undoubtedly still a smart jacket. What's more, we created them in a variety of autumnal tones such as rust, burgundy and olive green to give them a little more personality and flamboyance.

 

 
 
 

The Nehru is a variation of the Jodhpuri which is in itself an evolution from the Angarkha, a type of three-quarter length wrap commonly worn in India. The jacket of course gets its name from Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first independent Prime Minister, but it's something of a red herring. Nehru the man never wore Nehru the jacket. He always favoured the longer and more traditional version called an 'achkan'. Ostensibly the same other than the length, Western culture preferred the short version and so pinned the style on Nehru. The name stuck.The jacket began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in Europe and America in the mid 1960s, with its popularity catalysed by the likes of the Beatles  who took to wearing it during their respective 'looking East' period. 

Back to today, we think it's a marvellous garment and a fantastic option for evenings when smart and casual lines are blurred. It feels dressed up, but can easily be dressed down with a pair of jeans. Worn with a crisp white shirt, it becomes formal, but add a silk neckerchief and it changes once again into something you could wear during the day. If you've never tried on a Nehru jacket, we'd thoroughly recommend you drop into our Pall Mall store and try one on. You might just find it becomes your favourite jacket of all.

Shop Nehru Jackets

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