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From Mandarin to Nehru - a History

Posted on 10 May 2019

The Nehru collar as we know it today is the result of an amalgamation of influences and styles from around the globe. Originally sported by the rulers and noblemen of the Qing dynasty in Imperial China and then later gaining popularity across the entirety of the mainland, the Mandarin collar was subsequently adopted by the British army.

Clothing - From Mandarin to Nehru - a History

From here the Mandarin travelled from across to the Indian Subcontinent where it became a firm favourite of the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–1964) thus resulting in the rebranding of the mandarin collar to the Nehru collar. A new style of jacket was born known as Band Gale Ka Coat (English: "Closed Neck Coat"). 

Person - From Mandarin to Nehru - a History

There is however evidence of the Mandarin collar existing in India before this time. Paintings and illustrations of Mughal emperors such as Jahangir, show the rulers wearing heavily embellished and bejewelled jackets with the same shape of collar. Various incarnations of this style such as the sherwaniachkan, bandhgala and the bandi can often be seen on catwalks and formal functions across the subcontinent.

Art - From Mandarin to Nehru - a History

Whether originally from the Orient or the Occident, the Nehru collar as we know it today is hugely popular as an alternative to the regular collar or button down styles. Easily dressed up with a tuxedo or suit jacket as a bold alternative for formal functions or made uber casual with a pair of jeans for a modern Bohemian feel, this is a shirt style with versatility.

Clothing - From Mandarin to Nehru - a History


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  • Nikhil: September 09, 2015
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  • stiffblog: September 09, 2015
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