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In the long history of fashion, men’s dressing styles have always sought inspiration from European cities like Paris, Milan and London. But sometime during the 19th century, thanks to the likes of French couturier Paul Poiret, Eastern culture and its designs would forever change the course of fashion. And though it's true that Eastern design philosophies have gone under the radar over the decades, 2019 sees the industry shifting and embracing these influences for the better – looking especially to India and its plethora of crafts for innovation. As such, sensational styles like the Nehru and the Bandhgala are enjoying a fresh new revival in popularity both on and off the runway. For those looking to understand the appeal, here is the dapper man's beginner's guide on everything you need to know about the iconic Nehru and Bandhgala jacket.
NEHRU JACKET: A brief history | The Nehru jacket is named after India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and it is a fusion of design that merges western cuts with traditional Indian clothing (the achkan or sherwani). And although the Nehru is named after the Prime Minister, it is worth noting that he has never worn this garment. Nonetheless, the Nehru has become a staple piece of clothing in every modern Indian man's wardrobe since its creation back in the 1940s.
Features | The Nehru style closely resembles the suit jacket but features a distinct stand up mandarin collar (usually 1-2" or 2-5cm tall) with no lapels, giving it a stricter and more military appeal to its design. This jacket is also more fitted and shorter in length in comparison to a standard suit jacket.
Styling tips | The Nehru looks best when it is worn with collarless or mandarin shirts but can also be paired with a turndown collared shirt.
BANDHGALA JACKET: A brief history | The Bandhgala jacket, also sometimes known as the Jodhpuri jacket, originated from the princely state of Jodhpur. It was during the British Raj Era when the Bandhgala style achieved cult status as it perfectly merged the western structured styles with the traditional Indian angarkhas. This highly coveted menswear style is a hit amongst sartorialists of today and is often known as the 'Eastern tuxedo' thanks to its elegant silhouettes.
Features | The Bandhgala style features a standing, closed collar and comes with a highly structured cut that follows the curves of the body. Bandhgalas are distinctly masculine, regal and must be custom-made to perfection.
Styling tips | Rathore recommends wearing the Bandhgala suit or jacket with tailored bandhgala shirts, complete with either cravats, scarves or pocket squares as accessories. And in true #RathoreMen style, the top two buttons of the Bandhgala must be undone.