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You can trace the roots of the safari jacket back to the Boer War of the early 1900s, when British soldiers needed lightweight, breathable fabrics that worked in the heat. Slide into one today and you instantly feel special.
Constructed from cotton drill and linen, with bellow pockets, epaulettes and a belted waist, this is an item as practical as it’s stylish.
Team the jacket with a natty cravat and a pair of khaki linen shorts and suddenly you’re Ernest Hemingway, beating your way across the African bush, taking out big game on your way.
Or maybe you’re Gregory Peck in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Sir Roger Moore’s Bond, or Clark Gable in Mogambo.
More likely, you’re just trying to tame the urban jungle. If so, you’ll stand out on the city street, as a raffish explorer rather than a tired commuter.
At Senszio, we construct our safari jackets with a buttoned-closure to increase breathability. This contrasts with the zipped closure of field jackets, which tend to be built for autumn/winter.
But style is nothing without practicality: we’ve added bellow pockets on the chest and waist to increase carrying capacity tenfold. This is more for wallets, phones, Kindles, keys, and sunglasses, rather than a Bowie knife. But we’re not judging.
There’s a wide collar spread across the chest, to help with cooling, and an internal drawstring that tapers your silhouette across the waist, to help you look cool. An inverted back pleat increases ease of movement.
The safari jacket comes semi-constructed without shoulder pads or a canvas in a light half-lined back that makes it ideal for casual spring/summer wear.
Safari jackets are traditionally constructed from pure cotton or pure linen. Which one you choose will depend on your purpose. If you’re looking for structure, opt for cotton. If it’s breathability you need, ask for linen.
As an alternative, try a wool, silk, and linen (WSL) blend to make the hand-feel of the fabric softer while retaining the breathability characteristics of linen.
You’d wear a field jacket on top of a suit jacket or sport coat, but safari jackets are a stylish alternative to traditional blazers. Wear them over a t-shirt, polo or linen shirt and pair with jeans or chinos.
Wear your safari jacket smartly over a shirt, with a knitted tie and dark wool or flannel trousers. Or go for white jeans and deck shoes for that Cote d’Azur look. Whichever you opt for, leave the jacket open and tie the belt across the middle. You’ll be nonchalantly, effortlessly casual.