When it comes to wearing a ‘Bandy or Koty’, new generation calls it a ‘Modi Jacket’ but in reality, it is well known as ‘Nehru Jacket’. Nehru jackets have made a huge comeback in menswear. They’re not as formal and cumbersome as blazers and they’re slightly dressier than regular jackets. They are also versatile and can be worn on multiple occasions.
The famous Nehru jacket comes from “the northern Indian achkan, a closed-neck, coat like garment usually considered a court dress for Indian nobility. It was when the jacket was marketed to Western audiences that it took the ‘Nehru’ title, the Prime Minister having popularised its style in public appearances during his tenure.
Famous designer Vinayak Rao of M N Rao Studio at Vile Parle says “Nehru jacket is a classic thing and it is our answer to the tuxedo. It’s just more elegant and sexier, It’s just not the Indian celebs who are in awe of it; the west is equally influenced by the trend. Almost every day we get customer who wants to get stitched Nehru Jacket”.
Vinayak adds “Nehru jacket is a popular global trend now. It provides the easiest and the most elegant solution to formal dressing by doing away with the shirt and tie. While the jacket was worn in neutrals like black and grey earlier, now, the younger generation is experimenting with it in various hues. The material includes silk, linen, woollen or any other fabric of individual’s choice”.
Vinayak further adds “The bandy can be worn on all occasions like wedding, sangeet ceremony, casual events of all sorts. Nehru jacket has re-emerged as latest trends among youngsters and all aged people. There are a lot ways you can wear this wardrobe staple. We are in the business from 1965 and leading celebrities are our clients and have customer based from all over the world.”
Indian Politicians and Bollywood personailities
The list of known and famous politicians includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Jyotiraditya Scindia – MP, Milind Deora –MP to name a few. Bollywood stars. Actors such as Sanjay Dutt, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have been spotted donning the outfit in the recent past.
Music band, The Beatles, wore Nehru jackets for their famous Shea Stadium performance in US in 1965. Renowned Hollywood actors Steven Seagal and Samuel L Jackson are some of the other personalities who are often noticed wearing it. The Chanel pre-fall 2012-Paris-Bombay Show which was held in Paris in 2012, designer Karl Lagerfeld showcased his interpretations of the Nehru jacket on both male and female models.
Some fashion styles suggestion from Designer Vinayak Rao:
For a totally formal look, which you can sport at wedding functions or fine dinners, you must make sure your jacket is well tailored. You should button it up and it should fit nicely. Pair with a shirt, formal pants, and dress shoes like loafers or brogues and you’re good to go!
For the ethnic look, you can simply don your jacket over a kurta – pyjama ensemble. The fabric or design is slightly towards the Indian side so that it doesn’t look mismatched. You can pick a material like khadi, or make sure the colour scheme is matching your Indian attire.
For a casual look, when it comes to sporting a Nehru jacket, pick one in a light fabric and wear it open over your clothes. Shirts are the go to item to wear under, but you can even pull off a formal t-shirt with dark pants. In fashion styles for men, this is a unique look.
Latest fashion trends dictate that Nehru jackets can now be worn with jeans as well. Pick one in a funky colour and move away from the dark tones and beiges, to amp up your street look. A contrasting shirt underneath would complete the look.
Author: Sitaram Mewati
Award winning journalist