The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a mandarin collar, and with its front modeled on the South Asian achkan or sherwani, an apparel worn by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964. However, unlike the achkan, which falls somewhere below the knees of the wearer, the Nehru jacket is not only shorter, but also, in all respects other than the collar, resembles the suit jacket. Nehru, notably, never wore the Nehru jacket himself.
The apparel was created in India in the 1940s as Band Gale Ka Coat (Hindi/Urdu: "Closed Neck Coat") and has been popular on the Indian subcontinent since, especially as the top half of a suit worn on formal occasions. It began to be marketed as the Nehru jacket in the West in the mid-1960s; it was briefly popular there in the late 1960s and early 1970s, its popularity spurred by growing awareness of foreign cultures, by the minimalism of the Mod lifestyle, and, in particular, by the Monkees and the Beatles, who popularized the garment.
Several villains in the James Bond series of films, including Dr. No, Karl Stromberg and Kamal Khan appear wearing a Nehru jacket.