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The Safari Jacket: Hit the urban jungle with a timeless classic.

It’s one of the most versatile pieces you can own.

As the summer months draw near, you might find yourself ditching the layers and going for something more comfortable. Still, even as the temperature rises, there are some pieces you can get away with. A lightweight safari jacket can help keep you in style without feeling (or looking) close to the point of heat exhaustion.

Originally created for actual safaris, the safari jacket has since become a classic piece of menswear. Its enduring appeal owes quite a bit of thanks to Roger Moore’s James Bond, Clint Eastwood, and Ernest Hemingway, who even designed his own “bush jacket” with American outfitter Willis & Geiger for his treks among the Masai.

While you can certainly take it on trips to the savanna, the practically of the safari jacket (and its generous pockets) have found a lot of use in the urban jungle. From glasses to notebooks, and power banks to hip flasks, you can basically leave the bag behind and go on a tour of the urban wild.

It’s versatile enough that you can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion. Still, what we’re going for is a balance between utility and style, not an all-out survival outfit for the apocalypse. If you’re thinking about getting one for the coming summer, here are a few looks you might want to try out.

Smart Classic: Tobacco safari jacket, Ring Jacket; Belper shirt long sleeve in camel, John Smedley; cotton beige trousers, Ambrosi Napoli; Sagan dark brown museum calf penny, Baudoin and Lange; sunglasses, The Bespoke Dudes.

Dressing primarily in neutrals gives you a more unified, streamlined look. It’s fairly simple, requiring very little effort to pull off. You’ll find that with classic looks like these, it’s really the wearer’s personality that brings the entire thing to life. Try it on if you want to communicate an unhurried attitude matched with perhaps a hint of adventure.

Mostly Business: Beige safari jacket, Ring Jacket; white oxford shirt, Luca Avitabile; knitted tie, Liverano and Liverano; trousers, Ambrosi Napoli; croc loafer, Rubinacci; sunglasses, The Bespoke Dudes.

The safari jacket can easily be dressed up with a shirt and tie. Though you’ll probably look out of place in the board room, most everything outside of it is fair game. A lighter jacket brightens up the mood considerably, as well as similarly light trousers. A croc loafer adds a touch of personality and mixes in a little pleasure with the business. The look works best for casual meetings, and perhaps a quick coffee run in the after hours.

Casual Weekender: Olive linen safari jacket, Ring Jacket; one-piece collar Friday polo, Luca Avitabile; tan tassel loafer, Saint Crispin’s; 66 cut indigo jeans; Boncoura.

Even denim is a good pairing for a safari jacket, and this ensemble is one of the ways you can dress it down while still being quite ahead of a basic polo and jeans combination. Something like this would set you up for a weekend drive or a laid-back afternoon with friends.

The Explorer
Blue safari jacket, Ring Jacket; madras shirt, Drake’s; shorts, Nigel Cabourn; unlined chukka boot, Alden; bandanna, Boncoura; vintage safari hat, Prizmic & Brill; vintage riding crop, Swaine.

For something a little more uncommon, you can even wear a safari jacket with shorts, creating a look that would be at home in a sweltering city or at the beach. Match it with a statement hat and a few accessories to suit the place you want to wear it in. Shown here a few pieces that might have seen use at an actual safari. Still, how you wear your safari jacket is up to you, and it is this versatility that has turned it into an icon.

Acknowledgement: Signet, Shangri-La at the Fort, 3rd Avenue. 1634, Taguig, Philippines