What is a Nehru collar, and why should you be wearing one?
Steeped in style history, the pinnacle of statement fashion and versatile to the extreme, the Nehru collar is a must-have addition to the modern gentleman’s wardrobe
The Nehru collar was a lost form of fashion. That is until, several years ago, a handful of menswear manufacturers decided to resurrect the style and reintroduce it into our wardrobes.
But what is a Nehru collar? And how does it differ from a band collar, a standing collar, or a choker collar? The answer is simple. Taking its inspiration and name from the clothing of former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the collar stands straight up from your shirt or jacket, has slightly rounded edges and doesn’t quite meet when fastened together.
Today, brands from Sir Plus to Darzi have introduced the style into their own collections, offering shirts, waistcoats and light jackets featuring the collar. So, to stand out from the sartorial crowd, and bring a touch of the traditional into your wardrobe, here are the best to buy…
Nehru shirts are a step up from grandad collars
Everyone should own a couple of grandad collar shirts. But, if you level up this casual classic with a Nehru collar, you’ll have the perfect go-to smart-casual garment. Slip it on before you sidle down to the beach, or wear it to a summer dinner with a blazer and chinos — you can’t go wrong.
And that goes double if you invest in Beaufort & Blake’s Lambton shirt; Crisply cut and clean coloured in a bold navy. Loro Piana, too, are reliably stylish — offering up a garment-dyed shirt in army green. Or, if you’re looking to edge towards the formal end of the style spectrum, Thom Sweeney’s Nehru shirt is subtly tailored in a striped cotton twill.
Beaufort & Blake Lambton Nehru Shirt
Loro Piana Alvin Cotton Shirt
Thom Sweeney Nehru Striped Shirt
Reinvent the waistcoat with a twist on the traditional collar
The humble waistcoat has been enjoying something of a renaissance itself lately, but why not make even more of a style statement by choosing one of these layering formalwear staples with a Nehru collar? For a striking look, and a welcome twist on the traditional, there are few styles better for summer.
Sir Plus are the gold standard of the Nehru waistcoat. With either mother of pearl or coconut buttons, and crafted from velvet or linen, the two we’ve picked out here show the versatility of the waistcoat. Or, for a more country look, The Darzi Clothing Company offer gilets tailored from the finest 100% mid-weight Shetland Tweed.
Sir Plus Ivy Green Velvet Waistcoat
Darzi Deep Camel Wool Gilet
Sir Plus Navy Linen Nehru Waistcoat
The Nehru jacket is a versatile piece of outerwear
The Nehru jacket is the garment made famous by Jawaharlal Nehru himself. And, while the former Indian Prime Minister always wore a jacket that fell below his knees, we think you’d be better off with a shorter jacket — while still honouring the dignitary’s choice in collar, of course.
From Sir Plus, again, there is a spectacular range of options. This navy linen jacket is ideal for weddings and summer parties, and looks great with a shirt — whereas the olive hemp ‘Chore’ jacket option is a rougher, tougher garment. The Darzi Clothing Company also offer a jacket in tweed, trimmed with supple Somerset cowhide and perfect for the unstable weather of the Great British summer.
Sir Plus Navy Linen Nehru Jacket
Darzi Jacket Brown Weave
Sir Plus Olive Hemp Chore Jacket
Looking for another summer style upgrade? Here’s why silk-cashmere should be on your radar…
Gentlemen's Journal is happy to partner with The Prince’s Trust RISE campaign, which is working to create a network of young adults aged between 21-45, who are passionate about social mobility. You can become a Prince’s Trust Riser by donating just £20 per month to the scheme.