A Western style cowboy suit decorated with rhinestones and embroidery, favored by country musicians. The suit gets its name from the designer who created them, Russian tailor Nudka "Nudie" Cohn (1902-1984).
While modern day Country artists will appear onstage with blue jeans, white t-shirt, and a very expensive black cowboy hat (for men), or extravagant evening gowns that look like they were designed for the Academy Awards (for women), there was a time in Country Music where sequins were in fashion, for both men and women, and the more sequins, the better. This was the direct result of one man, known in the business as "Nudie."
Cohn, who was designing Western wear in the 1940's for Tex Williams, wanted to add flash to the image of the dusty cowboy, beyond the embroidery that was coming into fashion. By embroidering suit lapels with the initials L and F in rhinestones, he convinced Lefty Frizzell to introduce his new style (which makes Lefty the first "rhinestone cowboy") in 1953. While artists like Hank Williams and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans began wearing them in the 1950s, by the 1960s, just about every country or western recording artist had to have one.
Nudie Suits are so associated with their country/western music roots, several are on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame. While not unexpected on Gene Autry, Porter Wagoner, and Buck Owens, Cohn's Hollywood shop soon began taking orders from celebrities such as Cher, John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Robert Mitchum, Michael Landon, Loni Anderson, Charleton Heston, Tony Curtis, and Yul Brenner.
The most infamous Nudie suit, one embroidered with marijuana leaves, pills, and naked women, that Gram Parsons wears on the cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin LP, was actually designed by Manuel Cuevas, head tailor at Nudie's shop in the 1960's (Cuevas stills designs Nudie suits today in Nashville). Original Nudie suits that don't get archived in museums are highly sought after by new generations of musicans (including Beck and Chris Isaak).