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Why The Safari Jacket Is 2024’s Most Stylish And Practical Menswear Item

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It’s the badass outerwear of choice for style icons like Ernest Hemingway and Clint Eastwood, one that historically was less about dressing for dinner, rather about catching it. And yet, the safari jacket still divides.

That’s because get it right, and you look straight-from-the-fridge cool. But get it wrong, and you look the part of the Great White Hunter. Get it right, and you look Burt Reynolds-level macho. Get it wrong, and you just look plain awkward. But, ask any menswear expert, and they’ll soon tell you it’s worth the risk.

Never mind the practical benefits – room to carry your stuff; light enough to wear all summer. The safari jacket is a design classic, whether you’re in the real thing or one of fashion’s many interpretations, and it may just be the only cool jacket you need for the balmier months.

What Is A Safari Jacket?

Take the practicality of the military style field jacket – a tough cotton or cotton-blend fabric formed into a loose-fitting, mid-length garment with four bellows pockets at the chest and hip. Now do it in a more general purpose shade of beige, in a lighter-weight, breathable fabric like linen or cotton drill and add details such as an open neck, epaulettes and a belt to keep everything pulled together and in order.

There you have it: the safari jacket – a kind of field-meets-shooting jacket, substantial enough to wear a layer underneath, insubstantial enough to wear next to the skin or for the sleeves to be easily rolled ready to go hunting in, even if that’s just for the next bar.

Why You Need A Safari Jacket Today

Saint Laurent, which is credited with thrusting the style into the mainstream, famously still offers one, of course. But there’s a good reason why designers including Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, and brands like Abercrombie and Barbour have versions too. It just works. When it’s too hot for a proper jacket, but the event calls for something smarter than just a shirt, the safari jacket – functional in the outback, smart in a more urban jungle setting – works.

“The safari jacket is bittersweet – it can look like you’re wearing a costume, but the fact is that it’s great for the summer,” says Gieves & Hawkes creative director John Harrison. “They make quite a statement, but they really do the job.”

What’s more, it’s not a capital ‘F’ fashion piece either. That doesn’t mean a good quality example won’t be wearable for years to come. Just think khaki, cotton, classic. Its versatility is well documented, and it’s the ideal accompaniment to selvedge denim or, when the occasion calls, sharp tailoring. In short, it’s the ultimate trophy piece.

Safari Jacket Style Tips

Don’t overdo it.

The safari jacket is designed to be the star of the show, so allow it to take over, and avoid wearing anything else that attempts to compete with it for attention. If in doubt, muted basics are the order of the day, so throw it over a simple T-shirt and foot with dark denim and minimalist sneakers.

Aim High or Low

Much like other pieces in the menswear hall of fame, it’s possible to dress the safari jacket both up and down. Whether you wear it over a shirt, knitted tie and dark flannel trousers to appear smart or with white jeans and deck shoes for a Riviera feel, try leaving the jacket open but tying the belt across the middle for a nonchalant look.

Re-appropriate It

Unless en route to a fancy dress a party, don’t attempt the all-out utility look. If you’re wearing a safari jacket, avoid also wearing khakis, combat pants, or bush hat. It’s important to re-appropriate the safari jacket from its original setting as an upscale piece to avoid looking like someone who’s lost his shotgun.

Play Around With Fabric

The safari jacket is made by its pattern, but different materials can provide different effects. Linen ages well, making for a jacket that will take on a timeworn look; suede has more of an eveningwear feel, so works well for guys with a smarter wardrobe; while options in leather offer added insulation during colder months.

Leave The Bag At Home

In its infancy, the pocket on a safari jacket would be used to carry ammo, batteries for the GPS, a flask and likely a pipe. Though most modern men have little need for these in everyday life, it’s still possible to use the jacket as intended and leave the backpack at home.

5 Key Safari Jackets

Private white v.c..

Known for its robust outerwear, British brand Private White V.C. specialises in stylish yet functional designs. This prime example is a minimalistic take on the safari jacket. Gone are the shoulder epaulettes and belt; replaced by pared-down pockets with discrete poppers, a shorter length and a hidden placket, giving it a smarter overall feel.

Anderson & Sheppard

Given that it occupies a space on Savile Row , Anderson & Sheppard is best known for its exemplary tailoring. However, the heritage firm also produces a fine take on the safari jacket. Made from military-esque cotton drill and coming with 15 pockets as standard – including two iPad-sized interior pockets – it’s perhaps the handiest garment you could own. Forget luggage, just get yourself one of these.

Saint Laurent

Sure, because of its butter-soft lambskin construction and silk lining, the all-leather ‘Saharienne’ jacket by Saint Laurent would be useless in an actual safari – but just look at it. An ultra luxurious take on the design Yves himself backed in the 1960s, this is the French label at its best: classic, louche and incredibly desirable.

Marks & Spencer

Trust Marks & Spencer to come up with a safari jacket that both ticks all the design boxes and doesn’t offend your wallet. The British high street retailer has put its own spin on the classic piece, choosing to forgo the belt and instead add a couple of buttoned rear vents. So, whether you mount a horse in the desert or a motorcycle in the city, your jacket won’t scrunch up when you sit down.

Sitting somewhere in between Barbour’s signature waxed outerwear and the British brand’s motorcycle styles, this four pocket cotton design is an ideal modern update on the safari jacket. The drawstring waist provides a customisable fit, while a zip-and-button closure, coupled with a buttoned throat latch ensure that when the weather turns sour, it’ll be a useful ally.

The History Of The Safari Jacket

Picture the late 19th-century British soldiers of the Boer War, tramping across the plains of South Africa, unable to find their enemy – engaged as they were in this new, ungentlemanly form of warfare known as ‘guerilla’. Of course, it didn’t help that the British soldiers wore tunics in red, and the Afrikaners – appreciating the advantage of blending into the landscape – wore khaki.

Officers in British high command thought they were on to something – and shortly after came the first British military dress to make a step towards the palette of beiges, dun browns, and olive drabs still used today. The resulting attire – a four-pocket field jacket in khaki – would by turns be adopted by hunters, who likewise needed to be less visible to their prey.

Indeed, the so-called safari jacket was born, and it would remain a specialist item – worn by hunters and trackers including diehard-killers-of-anything-that-moved Ernest Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt. Although versions of the safari jacket were re-adopted for both the British and German forces fighting in Africa during World War Two, it was typically only worn on safari and would have looked mightily out of place anywhere else up until the mid-1950s.

This was an idea underscored by Hollywood. From the 1930s, the film machine decided the perceived exoticism of the Great Continent was ripe for the next spate of romantic, action-packed movies, with the likes of Clark Gable donning safari jackets on screen. Out came The Road to Zanzibar (1941), Mogambo (1953), Safari (1956), Hatari! (1962), onwards to the likes of Clint Eastwood in White Hunter Black Heart (1990) – by which time the safari jacket had arguably lapsed into ‘central casting’ territory.

Clark Gable wearing a safari jacket

But not before making its forays into fashion. In the movies – especially during that busy run of the 1960s – the safari jacket was typically worn with plenty of dust and sweat, perhaps a rakish neckerchief, baggy shorts, and maybe a pith helmet. Take away the perspiration, however, and the safari jacket was recognized for its practicality for city life.

In India – inspired by the climate again – it became the local answer to the business suit. This was in part why Roger Moore wore a safari jacket in Octopussy (1983), partly set as it is in India. But then Moore, as James Bond, also wore one for the scenes of the private island of The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Moonraker (1979).

But then Moore, or his wardrobe team, was ahead of the times: he wore a safari jacket in ‘The Saint’. This wasn’t just before Bond, it was before the other Saint too. It was the designers Ted Lapidus and Yves Saint Laurent who really gave the safari jacket a fashion overhaul.

The former introduced his take on the jacket in the mid-1960s, while the latter seemingly stole all the glory – or just got the timing right – after first showing his take on it in 1967, though it was a one-off made for a Vogue story on him the following year that made it a cult item for the times. And it’s never looked back since.

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Safari Suit Styles For Men

A suit that balances the line between casual and formal is the safari suit styles for men. You can wear it with a tee shirt or a structured shirt and tie; either ways, you’d still look elegant.

The cost of suits in Nigeria and even in most countries is somewhat outrageous. Because of the effort that goes into styling a suit and the amount you would be spending on the attire, you wouldn’t want to go for just any suit style. That is why we bring to you the Safari Suit styles for men.

Safari Suit, also referred to as Leisure Suit

Safari suit or political suit or leisure suit is a casual suit designed from a light-weight material such as linen or cotton usually worn in hot weather.

The beautiful thing about safari suits is that you can make them with any fabric or material that feels convenient and comfortable to you.

personalized safari suits for men

A safari suit works in a formal setting and even when you’re out of the workplace. Depending on how you like to wear your suits in different weathers, you can pair your safari suit with shorts or long trousers.

The first Safari Jacket was created by Yves Saint Laurent and was introduced in his 1967 runway shows. The design was made for a photo-essay for Vogue (Paris) the following year (1968), giving so much fame to the design and quickly turned it into a classic.

Safari suit ideas | mens outfits, safari jacket,

Added to Ebuka BBN’s radical suits , here are some lovely styles that are currently making waves on Instagram. You’d definitely want to style these looks after going through them

Safari Suit Styles For Men: Pictures

Men's Safari suit

Instead of an a shawl lapel suit, a classic tuxedo or even the jacquard suit, how about you go for this monochrome ivory white suit set featuring a safari jacket and pant trousers.

Mens Safari Suits Linen Summer Suit Hunting Jacket Mens Slim

Who said you can’t wear a suit when it’s hot outside. Opt for this breathable safari suit and you’d always look spectacle not only under the sun, but also when it’s freezing outside.

Safari Suit Nigeria

Before you leave elegance to the tailor, choose this lava grey French safari suit. The neck stud added to it was only a spice of variety to create a unique ensemble.

Safari suit design

A safari custom piece made in the African prints fabric of the Togolese. This safari suit is amazing and unconventional; definitely a style that has come to stay

Safari Suit Styles For Men

This suit describes what ‘making colors work for you’ is all about. When you don’t want to go monochrome wear this floral traditional safari suit of the Indians.

Safari Suit Styles For Men

Why we love this tomato red French safari suit is that it is fully reloaded. From the safari jacket and pant trousers to the square pocket with a touch of red and the glistening gold adornments, we’re not taking our eyes off it.

Safari Suit, also referred to as Leisure Suit

What do you think of a safari turtle neck suit? The designer really gave all kinds of drip with this piece.

Safari suit ideas | mens outfits, safari jacket,

You can wear this Bronx Safari Jacket when in the country or city

mens safari suit

A well tailored safari suit never goes out of fashion. You’re sure to have a well fitted look when you try on this custom made ensemble

Mens Safari Suits Linen Summer Suit Hunting Jacket Mens Slim

Looking for a safari suit for the Urban jungle? You’ve got one over here. Try this safari suit set with a denim shirt and neckerchief just like in the picture above.

Safari suit Styles

B&P Safari suit for any guy that wants to turn heads at any event he is present at.

Safari suit design

Hemmingway safari suit with every elegance that great details brings with it

double breasted safari suit

This long sleeve French safari suit and pant trousers has everything we love in a piece. The French double breasted safari suit is made with charcoal black jorgecali merino wool (clergyman), pearl horn buttons, bishop neck shirt with a silver Swarovski button, and WW2 medals of honor to accessorize the fit.

Safari Suit for Men

Here’s your cool safari suit style

safari suits for men

This awesome makeup is a full olive herringbone merino wool safari suit

Safari suit

Cotton canvas safari suit for when the safari temperatures are coming up

Safari Suit Styles For Men

This gray and brown palette is one of the season’s favourite

personalized safari suits for men.

Eucarl Wears is an online fashion hub and Lifestyle apparel brand store that provides fashion quality fashion guides & tips with top-designer quality apparel.

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SafarisAfricana

Safari Suits

The a-z of safari suits… and the best safari suits to buy.

Looking for a safari suit? Going on a safari is a fun experience, it allows you to explore a vast range of new locations, and it can be incredibly interesting too. The safari experience is fun, rewarding and you will find it very immersive. With that in mind, having the right safari suit is very important. It helps you avoid standing out to protect against predators, and it also makes it easy to stay away from the unwanted heat.

What is a safari suit?

At its core, this is a suit that will help you protect yourself against any potential challenges during a trip in the savanna. It’s a very good idea to have a safari suit because it protects you against any problems. You can pair a safari jacket with dedicated shorts or trousers and it will become a safari suit.

The main idea here is to have a suit that offers protection against many of the challenges that appear in the wilderness. There can be insect bites , predators attacking and so on. The safari suit is designed to be inconspicuous, so you can explore the region at your own pace without worrying about any possible problems that can appear.

roger moore in 1970's safari suit

Roger Moore shows off his safari suit style

What makes a great safari suit?

As we mentioned earlier, the best safari suit is the one that will not make you stand out. The main colors for this tend to be beige, brown, tan or khaki, although you can find some white safari suits too. The idea here is that you want to avoid any impact on the wildlife, instead you want to be camouflaged and experience the wildlife in its most natural format.

Bright colors will most likely make you stand out in the environment. When that happens, you end up scaring the animals, and that’s definitely something you must take into consideration as much as you can. If you would have safari suits that are blue for example or very dark, these will attract a lot of insects that carry yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria, among many others. That’s why specific coloring is very important because it will help you stay safe.

What kinds of safari suits are there?

You can have the standard safari jacket which has the traditional length, it comes with multiple pockets and it should fit perfectly. You also have the mid-length jacket which is shorter and that can be a bit easier to wear. If you want to traverse challenging territories, the bush jacket is very handy.

This one has a belt around the waist and it can have either a similar length or it can be longer when compared to other jackets.

Lastly, you have safari bomber jackets that are made out of polyester fabric. Most of these tend to have 4 path pockets, zippered front and an inside pocket. They are the most durable and dependable, but also the most expensive.

You can also get a safari vest if you want, this one is designed to offer the extra warmth and protection you may need. It also delivers extra pockets too, which is something you need to take into consideration as much as you can.

What to wear with a safari suit?

The upper garments would usually include a shirt under the jacket. Some people want a sleeveless option because it can get very hot. There’s also the option for long sleeves, depending on your own needs and requirements.

For the lower garments, you want to have either shorts or khaki trousers. Women can go for leggings if they want to. Long skirts can be a good idea too, since they offer added protection. When it comes to what footwear you need, you do want safari boots or hiking shoes. Slip on or closed shoes are ok too, but it’s better to go with boots or something that delivers an even better protection.

How to wear a safari suit?

Ideally, you want to use the safari suit when you go in a safari trip with a designated guide. You want to have a shirt, a jacket on top of it, safari trousers and proper shoes. You can adapt everything according to your own needs, and the results can be very interesting once you go down this route. You will be incredibly impressed with the value and results, and the experience is amazing because of it.

Do you need a safari hat?

Yes, normally you do, because there can be all kinds of hazards in the wilderness. A good safari hat needs to be waterproof, to provide you with proper coverage and it should help you fight against the UV rays. Obviously it needs to be comfortable and when it comes to material it can be cotton based, rubber or leather based.

Think about where you are going, this might require some changes to the safari suit

It’s important to know where and also when you are going on a safari. This will make it easy to identify the proper equipment you need. If you visit during the dry season, then the equipment above will do just fine. However, if you visit during the wet season, then you need to think about additional items that offer waterproofing and added protection. However, the colors need to stay the same for the most part, even if you visit during the rainy season.

The safari suits didn’t change that much over the past century. People have always been very excited to explore the wilderness, and the structure of a safari suit was very well prepared from the start. Granted, nowadays we are using different materials and the designs are a bit more modern, but the regular safari suits always had a thick jacket, durable pants, and high-quality shoes. It’s important to have the right equipment when you’re going into the jungle, so using the right tips and tricks will help you more than you imagine. Give these a try and remember to take all the little details into consideration as they can help save your life!

And that’s our take on safari suits. What do you think – any important information missing? Or perhaps you have a few safari suit tips of your own. Please let us know in the comments section below!

Top countries for safaris

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Faint-banded sea snake

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‘Revolutionary’ Suit Trend Shows The Epicentre Of Men’s Fashion Is Shifting For The Better

Europe, pay attention.

‘Revolutionary’ Suit Trend Shows The Epicentre Of Men’s Fashion Is Shifting For The Better

It used to be that any conversation about high fashion naturally gravitated towards Europe: the grand couturiers of France, the storied luxury houses of Italy, tailors on London’s Savile Row…

Europe might still be a fashion powerhouse, but it’s no longer the only word in men’s style. DMARGE recently conducted a reader survey about changing perceptions of luxury, and a whopping 80% of you agree that luxury doesn’t have to come from Europe. Just as we recognise that Europe’s not the sole domain of the finer things in life, so too do we observe that the hottest style trends are increasingly coming from places outside of the ‘Old World’.

One men’s style trend that’s being led by designers and snappy dressers outside of Europe is the revival of the leisure suit. While the first leisure suits originated in the 1930s on the US’ West Coast, it was in the 1960s and 1970s that leisure suits became particularly popular, and emerged the form we recognise them as today.

Taking on design cues from the utilitarian safari jacket, safari suits became fashionable thanks to French designers like Ted Lapidus and Yves Saint Laurent championing the look. The style was also picked up by the mod subculture in the UK, as well as by quintessential British men’s style icons of the era such as Roger Moore and the Prince of Wales. In recent years, it’s become somewhat kitsch; a shorthand for sleaze.

safari suit design latest

But the modern safari suit has far more salubrious and less European origins. Because leisure suits are an eminently practical, rather smart warm-weather option, well-dressed gents in Africa and South Asia have long championed the safari suit, further refining the style and transforming it from something to be mocked to a respectable smart-casual option. Now, Australians are paying attention – and Europe should, too.

Take Australian-founded, South-Africa based tailoring outfit Button Brothers’ leisure suit, which is “inspired by the powerful leaders of the Front Line States who fought for the liberty of many in Africa,” taking design cues from military fatigues worn by revolutionary freedom fighters whilst incorporating soft, breathable cotton.

Another Australian tailor that’s reinvigorating the leisure suit is Patrick Johnson . His take incorporates beautifully-textured linen and nods to the sorts of mountain jackets explorers in the Himalayas would regularly don during mountain expeditions – turning adventure gear into haute couture.

RELATED: Menswear Experts Explain What Will Happen To Australia’s Suit Culture If We Don’t Go Back To Work

For a different take on the leisure suit, one only has to look to US-based tailoring service Hangrr , whose leisure suits throwback to peak American preppy style: small pockets, slim tailoring and a double vent for maximum warm-weather comfort.

The revival of the leisure suit proves something that Australian luxury consumers have known intuitively for many years: that fashion’s epicentre is slowly shifting from Europe and expanding elsewhere. Keep an eye on this trend – and keep your eye out for other men’s style trends emerging outside of Europe.

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The best men's safari jackets for outgoing, explorative style

By Harvey James

A jacket for explorers and fashion-forward wardrobes alike, the safari jacket is back. A pin-up of utilitarian style, the safari jacket has been highlighted in designer collections and high-street stores alike of late. Here's GQ 's pick of the best safari jackets out there

When it comes to the origins of the safari jacket, the clue is in the name. With its roots in the military, the style was adopted throughout the 20th century to suit wranglers, conservationists, and prairie keepers alike thanks to its lightweight and highly-practical design. Similar in length to the chore jacket but imbued with military motifs, the humble safari jacket is raising more eyebrows than ever as utilitarian styles continue to gain popularity. Put simply, this multi-functional silhouette is no longer reserved for the likes of Nigel Thornberry.

Gaining celeb supporters in the shape of Ernest Hemingway, Charles and Diana during their visit to Uluru, as well as our beloved James Bond (see Roger Moore swanning around in a beige safari jacket in The Man With The Golden Gun ), the safari jacket has a well-established and historic allure. More recently, however, the style has been deployed on the scorched sands of Fashion Weeks, stalking down runways at Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Dior AW22, where predators lurk in the form of judgy editors, opinionated acquaintances, and savage Instagram comments. 

And so, since cargo pants have seen a recent resurgence, it makes sense that its top-half cousin is also growing in the public consciousness. And with warmer months just around the corner in Britain, never has there been a better time to bridge this transitional period with a highly practical and moreover classy safari jacket. From Hackett to Louis Vuitton, here are our top picks.

Turnbull  Asser

Turnbull & Asser

This khaki green jacket by Turnbull & Asser is made from a lightweight, yet durable natural material blend of one-third linen and two-thirds cotton, making it a perfect springtime jacket. Formality is attended by the pleated lines that guide the shape, plus, the buttoned pockets that stand proud. We especially love the almost gable-like curve that decorates the chest pocket flaps. It’s that sort of attention to detail that makes this piece irresistible.

Nanushka

This Nanushka safari jacket is fresh as can be. The boxy shape drapes with a lax elegance. Pair that with the hidden poppers, the roomy four-pockets, the drawstring waist cinch and you have a seriously versatile silhouette. And as if that weren't enough, the 100 per cent beige cotton-twill outer construction has a luxurious sheen to it and is guaranteed to last a long, long time.

Hackett

The beauty of modern fashion is in its creativity. The traditional safari jacket is present here in its spacious pleated pockets, short lapel, dark and rich buttons, and wrap-around belt tie. However, the introduction of a cream-toned corduroy just points in a modern, stylish, and more playful direction. A safari jacket that doesn’t take itself too seriously – big win.

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli brings a minimalist frame to the safari jacket and constructs it from a sumptuous suede material. The pockets are slimmed down, making them more suitable for urban wear, whilst the cinched waist is complementary to the natural lines of your body. In short, this jacket blends practicality and modernity with panache.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

For a couture approach, Louis Vuitton injects a healthy dose of fashionable sensibility to the humble safari jacket. Notice the clean-cut silhouette, the linear pockets and construction lines through the arms and back, but also, the jacket has a little trick up its sleeve – it’s reversible. While the front side has a soft blue shade, the reverse side brings some swagger with a purple and black pattern. It’s 99 per cent wool constructed (breathable, biodegradable, flame-retardant and water wicking) and is infused with 1 per cent silk for a final comforting, luxurious touch.

Stone Island

Stone Island

While a conventional wrangler or conservationist might chuckle at the thought of wearing a pastel pink jacket, for the less safari-inclined, this is a stylish piece of kit. The military-style Stone Island badge attached to the left arm, combined with the technical quick-drying fabric and bulky pockets root this firmly in the utilitarian camp, just with a bit more verve, that’s all.

Tods

This field jacket comes in the traditional warm hues of burnt orange reminiscent of the sandy earth of a desert. The jacket features formal epaulettes, nodding to the military heritage of the silhouette, and comes with a drawstring tightening through the waist and hem to achieve a bespoke fit for the wearer.

The best summer suits for showing the heatwave who's boss

By Heidi Quill

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The khaki green of this Aspesi jacket, in tandem with the large chest pockets and the proud epaulettes on the shoulders, make no mistake about its military-cum-safari inspiration. Note the lightweight cotton-canvas construction in a bulky shape, making it easy to move around in and of a highly durable nature. Most of all: it looks chic as can be.

MP Massimo Piombo

MP Massimo Piombo

This MP Massimo Piombo piece channels safari-lite. It has trimmed the fat off the traditionally large pockets, favouring pockets that look ripe for slim digital devices and contactless credit cards. The cotton-drill material, small epaulettes and zip-stored hood mean that this jacket still ticks all the same safari boxes, plus, the “Tobacco” hue means you’d still merge with a dusty, sandy backdrop if you so which.

Umit Benan B

Umit Benan B+

This gorgeous Umit Benan B+ jacket adheres to all the safari jacket tropes. From the pomp of the epaulettes to the sculpting of the belted waist, to the maximal pockets, and the pleated backside. That stricture makes it a thing of beauty. Its brown linen construction is lightweight, breathable, and of more sustainable natural materials, which then combines with sumptuous cream-brown buttons. It has poise, style and frankly, is fabulous.

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10 Safari Suits To Solve Your Workwear Conundrum

By Ellie Pithers

Femininity meets all-out practicality with this season’s safari suiting silhouette. How so? Balance a nipped-in waist with plenty of pockets and you’ve clocked up the best of both worlds. From Prada’s resort 2020 styles to Low Classic’s refined minimal offerings, welcome an easy-chic skirt or trousers suit into your wardrobe for January – and consider your workwear woes solved.

LVIR safari jacket and trousers

Cotton-canvas jacket, £310, cropped straight-leg pants, £175, both available at Net-A-Porter.com .

CO leather safari suit

Belted leather jacket, £2,420, available at Net-A-Porter.com ; leather straight skirt, £1,470, available at Modaoperandi.com .

Kilometre Paris safari suit

Kilometre Paris

Embroidered cotton-twill jacket, £525, embroidered slim cotton trousers, £195, both available at Matchesfashion.com .

Chlo printed safari suit

Logo-jacquard cotton jacket, £1,510, logo-jacquard cotton jackets, £940, both available at Matchesfashion.com .

Fendi blue safari suit

Belted wool-gabardine jacket, £2,790, top-stitched wool-gabardine trousers, £850, both available at Matchesfashion.com .

Prada black utility suit

Belted utility jacket, £1,704, available at Farfetch.com , gabardine skirt, £1,250, available at Prada.com .

Low Classic skirt suit

Low Classic

Faux leather jacket, £270, pleated faux leather skirt, £200, both available at Brownsfashion.com .

Jil Sander Safari suit

Double-breasted cotton jacket, £1,150, high-rise wool-twill trousers, £600, both available at Matchesfashion.com .

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Want to look sharp for an event? if so, our Safari suits are the  Perfect fit. They are unmatched in sophistication and style. these are made of high-grade material that is  not only sleek and shiny but also breathable and comfortable.

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The “Bridgeton” 24 VS 4 suit

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The “Chandalier” Suit.

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The Pope 2 Suit.

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Carpenters Chinos Safari Suit

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An Emerald Green Safari Suit With Mixed Swarovski Stones Detailing

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A floral midnight blue “wakanda” with L metallic embroidery, trench jacquard safari suit, hat & pant Trouser

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A navy blue, “wakanda” embroidery square patterned metallic jacquard safari suit & pant Trouser

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A “Combat” Navy Blue Corduroy, 3 Button Safari Suit

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A Charcoal black “summer” vintage long sleeve safari suit & pant Trouser.

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A Navy blue Soaked Italian velvet, long sleeve with woven tread taping safari suit, hand embrodery metal wire badge detailing & pant trousers.

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A reloaded Dark Aegean blue vintage “Havana” French safari suit

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A Charcoal black, hand “Ide” silver metal wire embrodery, right-hand sache safari suit

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A Royal Navy blue, white and red splashed Mandarin Jacquard safari tuxedo royal suit

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An azure blue, long sleeve safari suit, hand embroidery metal wire badge detailing & pant trousers.

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A charcoal black Soaked Italian velvet, long sleeve with woven white tread taping safari suit

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An Ivory white, long sleeve safari suit, interwoven floral embroidery pattern detailing

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A Charcoal Black, Hand “Ide” Gold Metal Wire Embrodery, Right Hand Sache Safari Suit

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An ivory white, slide cut, navy blue dispersed safari suit with clustered Swarovski stone detailing

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A Skye blue and Navy blue Mandarin Jacquard safari tuxedo royal suit & pant trousers

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An Olympic blue mandarin floral safari suit with navy blue Chinese buttons detailing, double breasted waist coat & matching plain trouser

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A Gold and blue “Mandarin” jacquard floral safari suit and navy blue jacquard pant trousers.

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A Light Denim Blue Vintage “Havana” French Safari Suit

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A Maya and steel blue windowpane check “preacher” double breasted safari suit

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Safari Suits

May 25 2023 – Matt Beddows

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ASOS DESIGN safari suit in khaki

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Safari Suits

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The origins of the safari suit can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it emerged as the attire of choice for those venturing into uncharted territories. Its lightweight and breathable fabric, often cotton or linen, ensured comfort in the heat of exotic landscapes. The ample pockets and relaxed fit provided storage and ease of movement, essential for those navigating unfamiliar terrain.

Yet, despite its utilitarian beginnings, the safari suit carries an air of timeless elegance. The tailored silhouette, with its structured yet unrestrictive cut, highlights the wearer’s stature while maintaining a sense of rugged refinement. The neutral color palette, often reminiscent of the savannah and natural surroundings, reflects a connection with nature and a respect for the environment.

The safari suit embodies adaptability. Its design has evolved over time, with modern interpretations catering to a range of occasions – from casual outings to semi-formal events. The addition of fine details such as epaulets, belt loops, and adjustable cuffs adds a touch of sophistication, ensuring that the suit remains relevant in various settings

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Safari Clothing For Men

Men's outdoor & safari clothing which is lightweight, strong, cool and feature-filled. Rigorously tested on safari in Africa to be effective no matter where your outdoor adventures or safari travels take you. Authentic, classical safari styling for the modern man.

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Mens Safari Shirts Read our Mens Safari Shirts Advice Guide

The advice below is a summary . If you are looking for more information & expert advice then please click here for our full safari shirt advice guide .

  • Pack men's safari shirts which are made from neutral, natural tones such as shades of khaki, green, and brown.
  • We suggest you pack more men's safari shirts which are long-sleeved safari shirts with roll-up sleeve tabs over short-sleeved shirts - simply as you are able to roll your sleeves up and down when you need to stay cool, keep warm, or to avoid sunburn on your arms.
  • Pack men's safari shirts which offer a combination of effective wicking, sun protection (SPF50+ is best), and proven insect defence.
  • As a general rule, men's safari shirts made from man-made fibres (e.g. polyamide) are superior to natural fibres such as cotton as they wick moisture away from the skin much faster than cotton shirts. Faster wicking means faster cooling. This is particularly important for any long-sleeved or collared shirt.
  • Pack men's safari shirts which have a collar to protect your neck from the sun.

Number of men's safari shirts to pack: Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 4; Up to 12-day safari: x 6

Men's Explorer BUGTech Anti-Insect Safari Shirt in Katavi Khaki

Men's explorer bugtech anti-insect safari shirt in khaki olive, men's explorer bugtech anti-insect safari shirt in baobab khaki, men's explorer bugtech anti-insect safari shirt in dark olive, men's explorer safaritech shirt in katavi khaki, men's bugtech anti-insect everything safari shirt in safari willow, men's bugtech anti-insect everything safari shirt in baobab khaki, men's bugtech anti-insect everything safari shirt in katavi khaki, men's everyday safari shirt, bugtech in katavi khaki, men's everyday safari shirt, bugtech in safari willow, men's savute safari t-shirt in desert olive, men's savute safari t-shirt in desert olive (new fit), men's adventure anti-insect safari shirt in dark khaki, men's kiwi safari shirt in safari pebble, mens safari jackets & fleeces read our mens safari jackets & fleeces advice guide.

  • You absolutely do need a men's safari jacket or men's safari fleece on any safari - whether you opt for a long-sleeved safari fleece or jacket or a safari fleece vest - as it does get cold on safari.
  • The reasons for the cold include: African winters, wind chill on safaris in open 4x4s (dipping into valleys and drainage lines also adds an extra bite of cold), early morning starts and late evening finishes for safari activities, land-locked countries, and many safari areas being high above sea level. The Maasai Mara & Serengeti (and most of East Africa) are the height of some ski resorts at 1,400 meters above sea level. Botswana, parts of Zambia, and Namibia are also more or less 1,000 meters above sea level.
  • Think of the safari experience as a desert trip where it starts off cold in the mornings and becomes cold again in the evenings, but heating up by midday to warm or hot. Keep in mind that the hotter the temperatures are at midday, the earlier you will go on safari, which means the cooler it will be. Again, you should definitely pack a men's safari fleece or men's safari jacket for your safari. We have given this advice to clients who have ignored it and returned from an October safari in Botswana to tell us that, yes, they did indeed get cold despite the midday heat.
  • For the African winter, opt for a long-sleeved safari jacket or safari fleece and, for the summer, either a safari vest jacket or fleece, but then wear a long-sleeved safari shirt underneath so that the sleeves help to keep you warm.
  • Colour is still key when choosing the correct safari fleece or safari jacket. Opt for neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown.
  • For safari travel over the rainy season, pack a high quality, waterproof safari jacket which is proven to actually work. For East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda), the rains generally occur in two parts: the longer monsoon in April and May and then the shorter rains around November. Higher safari areas such as the Ngorongoro Crater catch the wind from the sea and it may rain at any time of the year. Southern Tanzania differs from this and is similar to the rainy season in Zambia, Botswana, and northern Mozambique - and falls between late November and late March, often extending into April. As a general rule, if one had to ask "when is Africa always dry?" - the answer would be May to October, with regional rains still possible in some parts. Please also note that the South African rainy season is split down the middle of the country, with the east receiving rain through summer and the west a winter rainfall area. That winter rainfall can push through in cold fronts to the east of the country too.
  • Having lived in Africa through the rains we are also able to advise that the daytime temperature goes from very hot before the rains start, to much cooler once the rains have settled in. The difference may be as much as 10 to 15 degrees celsius below the average temperatures and so again we advise that a fleece or jacket is packed to keep you warm.

Number of men's safari jackets or safari fleeces to pack for your safari: 1 x safari fleece or jacket; 1 x waterproof safari jacket should you be travelling over the rainy season.

Men's SafariElite Bonded Safari Fleece in Safari Sage

Men's explorer safari jacket with micro-fleece lining & bugtech in katavi khaki, men's explorer safari jacket with micro-fleece lining & bugtech in dark olive, ultimate safari hoodie in safari khaki, waterproof packaway safari jacket (unisex) in khaki, rufiji™ maratech™ multi-pocket safari gilet (unisex) in wild sage, essential waterproof safari poncho in khaki, mens safari shoes & boots read our mens safari shoes & boots advice guide.

  • If you are going on a classic game drive type of safari, then pack comfortable men's safari shoes to wear on game drive but which are able to double as good walking shoes for a walk in the bush - an activity we highly recommend. Note that if you do not have walking shoes with you on game drive then your guide may decide against a quick impromptu walk in the bush
  • Also take a pair of men's safari shoes to wear around the camp. These may be the same pair as your select for the above, but it may also be a pair of cooler sandals or open shoes.
  • For full-on walking safaris make sure you take men's safari shoes which are made for longer hikes - and ensure that you walk them in properly before you go on safari. You may prefer low rise canvas trail shoes or leather higher rise boots - the preference is purely personal.
  • If you are going on a walking safari in sandy areas (check with the walking safari company you have booked with) then we suggest that you pack higher rise boots with a built in tongue - such as our Rufiji™ APU Safari Combat Boots - as this will minimise the amount of sand which goes into the shoe which will cause discomfort.
  • We would still take a a pair of cooler men's shoes or sandals for before and after walks when around the camp.
  • Safari tip: always check your shoes for small snakes, scorpions, spiders and insects before putting them on.

Rufiji™ Explorer Safari Veldskoen Shoes in Ruaha Rust

Rufiji™ explorer safari veldskoen shoes in kalahari khaki, rufiji™ apu combat safari boots in wildebeest brown, the buffalo boot in buffalo brown, veldskoen desert safari boots in khaki, mens safari hats read our mens safari hats advice guide.

The advice below is a summary . If you are looking for more information & expert advice then please click here for our full safari hat advice guide .

  • To prevent having your face and neck burnt by the sun during your safari activities, you will need a wide-brimmed men's safari hat.
  • With mean high temperatures reaching mid-20 to mid-30 degrees Celsius on most safaris and with safari areas in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia high above sea level, the effects of the sun will be pronounced and the risk of being burnt by the sun will be high. As a wide-brimmed men's safari hat sits on your head, it is literally your first line of defence against a hot midday African sun.
  • Another benefit of wide-brimmed men's safari hats which most people don't think about is the shelter they provide when it rains. We find that a wide-brimmed safari hat definitely makes it slightly less uncomfortable when you are caught out on a walk or game drive by a sudden thunderstorm or tropical shower, as at least your face - or most of it - remains dry.
  • Colour is key when choosing a men's safari hat - with neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown the best. Your safari hat will often be the most conspicuous part of you as you hide behind a bush while viewing wildlife on a walk.
  • Modern wide-brimmed men's safari hats are conveniently packable too and so do not lose their shape when you take them out of your luggage. If they have lost a bit of shape, you are usually easily able to manipulate them back into shape. However, never crush your safari hat under a hard object - such as shoes or binoculars - when packing.

Number of wide-brimmed men's safari hats to pack for your safari: 1 x wide-brimmed safari hat per person. *Pack a safari beanie for the African winter too.

Men's Explorer Canvas Safari Hat (Adjustable) in Meerkat

Men's explorer canvas safari hat (adjustable) in khaki, men's explorer leather safari hat (adjustable) in driftwood, adventurer hat in khaki, adventurer hat in olive, removable, adjustable chin strap for hats in olive, men's panama safari hat (adjustable) in tawny, squashy leather oiled safari hat in dark brown, foldaway leather suede safari hat in hickory, foldaway bronco full grain leather safari hat in dark brown, barmah hats waterproofing and conditioning spray – 150ml pump spray (suitable for leather & suede), mens safari trousers & shorts read our mens safari trousers & shorts advice guide.

  • Pack men's safari trousers which are made in safari-suitable colours. These are ideally shades of khaki, brown, and green.
  • The men's safari trousers go-to product will always be zip-off or convertible men's safari trousers and pants. These are designed for maximum versatility no matter the conditions on safari: trousers when cool, shorts when hot - and they save on valuable packing space by being two garments in one. The leg sections also give added protection from the sun and defence from most biting insects - especially when treated with built-in SPF and anti-insect treatment. For walking safaris, having separate waterproof leg sections for your men's safari pants which provide insect defence work the best.
  • Should you prefer to also pack separate men's safari trousers and men's safari shorts, then make sure you work out the duration of your activity and wear either trousers or the shorts depending on the weather during that activity. There is no use starting off warm with men's safari trousers when its cold in the morning only to be boiling hot later on in the day. Another option if you prefer separate safari trousers and safari shorts would be to take shorts or trousers with you on the safari activity in a satchel or daypack and change while on the activity.
  • The ideal men's safari trousers and shorts are lightweight, strong, provide a high level of sun protection (SPF50+ is recommended), and have an anti-insect finish. Wicking is less important from a sweat and cooling point of view, as your legs don't sweat as much as your upper body, but wicking would be important in ensuring that, should your safari trousers get wet from the rain or a water-based activity - or even just the morning dew while walking - that they dry very quickly.
  • Men's safari trousers which are made from man-made fibres (such as polyamide) are preferable to those made from natural fibres (such as cotton) for their moisture wicking properties, ensuring that you stay cool and dry on safari.

Number of men's safari trousers and shorts to pack for your safari: Up to 4-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 8-day safari: x 3 (2+1); Up to 12-day safari: x 4 (2+2) We have shown the number of men's safari trouser zip-offs/convertibles as the first number - "x 3"- and the men's safari trousers plus men's safari shorts combination in brackets - e.g. (2+1). Always make sure that you pack the total number whether you opt for safari zip-offs, safari trousers, or safari shorts, but always have a combination of safari shorts and trousers. As an example, for an 8-day safari, you could take one pair of zip-offs, one pair of trousers, and one pair of shorts - or 3 pairs of zip-offs, or two pairs of shorts and one pair of trousers - or vice versa.

Men’s Explorer BUGTech Anti-insect Cargo Zip-Off Safari Trousers in Katavi Khaki (32-inch leg)

Men’s explorer bugtech anti-insect cargo zip-off safari trousers in khaki olive (32-inch leg), men’s explorer bugtech anti-insect cargo zip-off safari trousers in katavi khaki (34-inch leg), men’s explorer bugtech anti-insect cargo zip-off safari trousers in katavi khaki (30-inch leg), men's adventurer all-day-longs, bugtech cargo trousers in katavi khaki (32-inch leg), men’s savute safari cargo trousers with stretch in forest, men’s savute safari cargo trousers with stretch in kalahari, men’s savute safari cargo trousers with stretch in forest (32-inch), men’s savute safari cargo shorts with stretch in kalahari, men’s savute safari cargo shorts with stretch in forest, men's nosilife ii anti-insect zip-off safari trousers in safari pebble (33 inch leg), men's birdseye safari shorts in safari bark, men's mara&meru™ everything trousers in safari beige, waterproof packaway over trousers (unisex) in khaki, mens safari socks & ankle gaiters read our mens safari socks & ankle gaiters advice guide.

  • Walking in the bush while on safari is the quintessential experience. We recommend it to all who go to Africa.
  • Whether you go for a short nature walk with your guide or a multi-day walking safari, please ensure that you pack safari-coloured safari socks which offer a double layer for blister protection. Bad blisters ruin good walks.
  • Pack ankle gaiters if you prefer further protection for your ankles and socks.

Number of blister-proof socks to pack for your safari: Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 3; Up to 12-day safari: x 4.

Mara&Meru Ultimate Anti-Blister Socks (Active, Everyday, Safari) in Olive Green

Safari canvas gaiters, rufiji™ safari canvas gaiters (unisex) in safari tan, rufiji™ safari suede gaiters (unisex), mens safari belts, rufiji™ leather safari belt in batoka brown, rufiji™ leather safari belt in wild chestnut, mens safari beanies & scarves read our mens safari beanies & scarves advice guide.

  • Pack a multi-functional Head&Neck scarf for just about all outdoor adventures, including safari. Head&Neck Scarves keep your neck and head out of the sun when it is hot, and provide an element of warmth too when it starts to get cold. They offer maximum versatility.
  • Following on from our advice for safari fleeces and safari jackets, you need to pack garments and accessories for your safari which keep you warm. Therefore, woollen men's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves should be considered a packing essential over the African winter - and for some mornings through summer in Africa too. For more details on when and why Africa gets cold, please view the men's safari jacket and fleeces page.
  • At the very least we recommend packing a safari beanie on any safari as they are so small and light to carry in your luggage, yet have a big effect on how warm you are should you get cold. Keep your safari beanie in the bag you take on game drives - you may well get some envious stares from others who have not had the foresight to pack a safari beanie.
  • Further to the point above, for the African summer pack a men's safari beanie just in case. For the most part your men's wide-brimmed safari hat should keep you warm enough, but why take the risk? Please do take note too of the altitude of the area in which you are going on safari. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, as an example, is over 2000 metres above sea level and most camps are on the rim of the crater and so may have cold temperatures (morning and evenings in particular) and precipitation throughout the year and we would recommend taking warmer safari accessories just in case.
  • Pack safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves in safari colours.

Number of men's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves to pack for your safari: 1 x men's safari scarf; 1 x men's safari beanie; 1 x men's safari gloves - although you should be fine tucking your hands into your men's safari jacket or fleece to keep them warm.

Vintage Print Tubular Head&Neck Scarf in Giraffe

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From the African Bushes to Indian Bureaucracy: The Long Journey of the Safari Suit

In the series ‘Icons of India’ , we take a look at the iconic objects that collectively defined the Indian experience over the past 68 years. From things that brought the world to our living rooms to tasty treats, take a nostalgic journey down memory lane!

M y late grandfather was a simple man. He grew up in Rajasthan and helped his elder brother farm.

Upon realising that the older sibling was taking advantage of him—minimal rations for food, some scraps for cloth and no money—the elders intervened, and my grandfather moved to Hyderabad to eke out a living for his wife, and their five children.

With help from family, he set up a small business, selling edible oil. It did well enough to meet their basic needs—“ mota khana, mota pehnna, mast rehna ,”—my grandmother often says, recalling the times.

It simply meant that coarse cloth and wholesome food was all they needed for a good life.

The lady of the house made do with a handful of sarees , while younger kids used books passed down from the older ones. Cloth bought from the wholesale market sufficed for all their clothing needs.

As the years went by, the business took off, and the family’s fortunes turned. This began to reflect in Bapu ’s style as well—well-oiled hair, jutis and a safari suit.

Come hail, storm, or the 500 days of Hyderabad’s summer, if my Bapu stepped out of home, this was his attire. (While Bapu means ‘father’, I used it for my grandfather.)

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At approximately Rs 40 per metre, the safari cloth was a luxury. Along with the tailoring cost of Rs 45-50, this safari suit, once made, would last years.

You would be lucky if you could get basic tailoring mends done at that rate today, forget getting a fully-stitched safari suit for an adult man.

While it appealed to the masses, it certainly wasn’t an affordable piece of clothing.

The appeal of the safari suit

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It was the cultural elite of the society—the educated middle or upper-middle class—whose acceptance of the outfit adorned it with qualities not necessarily intended.

Many of them still entertained a hangover of its colonial past, so those who held positions of power—like businessmen and bureaucrats—were considered by themselves and others—to be a class apart.

When a sarkari babu (government officer) or baniya ( Marwari businessman) stepped out of his home in a safari suit, the sheen of the outfit accorded him a sense of respectability and sincerity.

Geeta Khanna agrees. She says, “Post-independence, the British ‘hangover’ has unfortunately lingered on way too long, and the safari suit was an acceptable formal/official outfit for the ‘summer’ of India. It also spelled prosperity and an anglicised mindset that was considered superior.”

She is the principal director of the Hirumchi Styling Company , which provides creative and design solutions in India and abroad.

From the African bushes to Indian bureaucracy—the long journey of the safari suit

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Ted Lapidus and Yves St Laurent , designers from the style heaven, France, are credited with designing the two-piece safari suit.

Initially intended for safari tours in Africa, variations of the suit can also be traced to the uniforms of the British Army stationed in South Africa during the Second Boer War.

The soldiers needed light and breathable clothing to be active in the heat. For this, their uniforms had to be made of cotton to keep them cool. The button-down shirt would have four large pockets on the chest and waist areas so that they could carry bullets, weapons, and binoculars, perhaps a bottle of water. The shirt had a large collar and a belt at the waist, which kept everything together; and the pants too would come with pockets.

In the book Fashion and Masculinities in Popular Culture , Adam Geczy and Vicky Karaminas explore how popular culture aided the general acceptance of the outfit.

The tailored suit gained popularity during the 1930s and continued to be fashionable attire for men up until the seventies when the unisex safari suit became du jour. While the tailored suit is associated with the ‘Establishment,’ the safari suit made popular by Yves St Laurent, represented adventure and freedom from life’s constraints (like that offered by the hunt) and worn later by Roger Moore as James Bond. As Sarah Gillian suggests, the suit initially signified ‘sobriety, simplicity, conformity and restraint’, the man’s tailored suit functions to construct an image of an idealized male body.’ The 007 fandom in the western world and that of the ‘angry young man’ in Indian cinema caused people to imitate their styles. Young employees of corporate organisations and bureaucrats wore them to the workplace as Little Master Sunil Gavaskar modelled them in advertisements, while actors Rajesh Khanna and Vinod Khanna wore them on the screen in dazzling colours .

Politician and bureaucrat Kunwar Natwar Singh was commonly seen in the outfit. As a young diplomat in Indira Gandhi’s secretariat in 1966, he was part of a group of six, of varied ages, from different backgrounds and mother tongues. But they all shared a similarity.

“Seven out of seven of us wore safari suits,” said Mr Singh. “That’s how common they were.”

Another politician, SMI Asseer, told the India Today magazine that he had as many as 25 safari suits in his wardrobe. Similarly, renowned industrialist Rahul Bajaj seemingly had an inexhaustible wardrobe of the suits.

They seemed to be everywhere—synced with people’s aspirations and their fashion sensibilities.

Rishabh Khandelwal feels that the shirt-like comfort, combined with the suit-like “sophistication” made the safari suit a popular choice for people, ideal for Indian weather.

He is the co-founder and managing director of Hangrr , a custom clothing brand for men. He points out how the “unlined, unstructured” safari suit jackets are similar to military uniforms in style and design.

Rishabh says, “It became easier and inexpensive to produce. Considering the socio-economic landscape of the time, it found the perfect fodder to reach mass popularity.”

Raymond, Vimal and DCM Textiles became some of the foremost suppliers in the country. However, around the same time, the 80s, he notes how the outfit began to lose its relevance in the west.

“With a slimmer silhouette governing the world of fashion, the safari suit started losing its dominance.”

The relic of a bygone era

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The liberalisation of the 90s opened up India’s economy to a host of western products. It also marked a shift in the country’s geopolitical landscape at the turn of the century. We could bid adieu to the pains of colonialism and move away from the uncertainty of post-colonialism, and finally herald a new kind of modernity.

One such change was in the representation of ideals through clothing.

Khadi , for instance, was a symbol of nationalism during the struggle for Indian independence, when one was not simply accepting a piece of cloth made from a particular yarn—the crucial point was the rejection of foreign fabric.

When viewed in the “objective” light of the present, far from the yoke of colonialism, khadi was losing its sheen.

Dipesh Chakrabarty explains this change in his paper Clothing the political man: A reading of the use of khadi/white in Indian public life .

Khadi, once described by Nehru as ‘the livery of freedom’ and by Susan Bean (to whom I owe this quote from Nehru) as the ‘fabric of Indian independence’, now stands unambiguously for the reverse of its nationalist definition.

I have therefore read it as the site of the desire for alternative modernity, a desire made possible by the contingencies of British colonial rule, now impossible under the conditions of capitalism and yet circulating insistently within an everyday object of Indian public life, the (male) politician’s uniform. I do not think that khadi convinces anybody any longer of the Gandhian convictions of the wearer but if my reading of it has any point to it, then its disappearance, were it to happen, would signify the demise of a deeper structure of desire and would signal India’s complete integration into the circuits of global capital. Although  khadi and the safari suit are less common today, they have not yet been rendered irrelevant. Whether for the sake of nostalgia or as experiments of retro fashion, these icons have been etched in the patchwork of Indianness.

Rishabh notes that there has been an increased demand for safari suits over the past few years, with the attempts to “bridge the gap between the old and the new, and provide safari suits with a modern fit and cut”.

He tells me about designing clothes for a recent beach wedding, where the party was dressed in light blue and beige safari suits, which were “structured, sweat-resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics”.

He adds, “They were slim-cut like modern suits and remained airy for a perfect beach wedding.”

Apart from his team at Hangrr, he tells me that designers across the world are incorporating similar designs into their clothing lines. Some examples are four-buttoned military jackets with shorts and safari-style shirts and jackets.

Also Read: #IconsOfIndia: How an Idea, an Ad & Some Italians Got us the Auto Rickshaw!

He concludes, “The traditional colours, patterns, cuts and designs might no longer be relevant, but innovation and modern techniques will keep safari suits trendy for quite some time. And, like everything else, personalisation plays a great role in getting it right—we must make the safari suit relevant to the person’s style, taste and need. This has helped us keep this timeless outfit relevant and desirable, not only in India but across the world.”

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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