The Wisdom of the Nehru Jacketby Tyler Woods on Jul. 27, 2010, under Life
I was looking at some old pictures of me when I was about 11 or 12 years-old and some of the outfits I had cracked me up a bit. I tried to follow some fads, and was torn between being the good little church going child and the young child hippy that I would sell my church going soul to fight against the establishment. Now remember, I did not know what that establishment was, but I was willing to fight it. Looking at the pictures I saw one in particular that brought back a great deal of memories and it got me thinking…
The 60s produced a great deal of clothing fads. We had mini skirts, hot pants, go-go boots, polyester pants suits, turtlenecks, jeans, bellbottoms, leather sandals, (we called them Roman sandals as kids) peasant skirts and shirts, bellbottom sleeves, hip huggers, Paisley shirts, velvet trousers, tie dye, brightly colored fabrics with unusual styles and patterns; long flared skirts, Halter tops and of course my very favorite, the Nehru shirts and jacket.
The Nehru was a very cool shirt or coat which did not have a collar and lapels and normally had a smooth and sleek front. If you had a flair for fashion and being hip, then you had one of these shirts or coats. This clothing fad got its name from Jawaharlal Nehru who at the time was the Prime Minister of independent India.
As I sat and looked at the picture with me and my home made Nehru outfit, I could not help but think what it meant to me as a kid. I believe in my mind, the Beatles made the Nehru jacket and outfits rather popular when they began wearing Eastern-inspired clothing. I wanted what they had. I was raised in a fundamentalist religion and was not allowed to even so much as look at Eastern philosophies but as a young hippy in the making, I knew this fashion meant you could get in touch with your inner self and be at peace with some sort of high spiritual power. It was the wisdom of the Nehru jacket. (come on I was an 11 –year-old)
If you wanted to tune in, chill out, mediate and get in touch with your inner self, then the Nehru style was one sure way to get there. If you were hip like The Doors, The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, Iron Butterfly, Procal Harum, and of course the Beatles, then you wore these groovy threads. Well, that is what I thought as a child. As an adult, I still think the fashion is wonderful, sheik, in style and we should bring it back. I believe I own a few collarless shirts somewhere in my closet as a reminder of the spiffy Nehru fashion of the 60s.
I think we all need to think about bringing some fun style back into our lives. What do you think?