Friday, March 4, 2011

Safari Chic

I don't know if it is the cold rainy weather that has me pining for some sun or if it was getting the new Eddie Bauer catalogue in the mail, but I've been a bit obsessed with safari clothing recently.  The Eddie Bauer catalogue has gorgeous beige, stone, and khaki-coloured safari jackets, dresses, pants, and shorts all paired with bolder orange, brick-red or navy shirts.   Often the look is accented with chunky ethnic-inspired patterned scarves or necklaces.  I love the whole collection and really could have gone wild when I was at the store on the weekend ... but I restrained myself and only bought a couple of summer shirts and sweaters.

When I think of safaris I think of moody lighting, dusty, dry landscapes, and wild animals. 

Hills of Africa Travel

I think of bush tents and portable wood furniture.

Bushtracks Expeditions

I think of rumpled cotton earth-toned clothing with many pockets and brown leather belts and boots. 

Burberry Safari dress (source)

I think of adventure and excitement and ... well a whole lot of fun.  Going on an African safari is definitely on my wish list.   Even though I've not been on a safari and am not going on one any time soon, I can still dress the part.

I've always loved safari-style clothing.  I think watching the phenomenally successful and influential 1985 movie Out of Africa started my affection for this style.   I remember seeing the movie when it first came out and wanting to move to Africa and dress like Meryl Streep does in the movie.  The costumes were created by the talented Milena Canonero (who also did the costumes for Marie Antoinette).  She worked closely with the production designer of the movie who provided her with paintings of the sets so she could harmonize the costumes with the mood and tone of each of the scenes in the movie.  The costumes are a wonderful mix of soft natural colours taken from the landscape contrasted with navy and white.  I love how the clothes are the perfect blending of flowing feminine styles and tailored masculine elements.   After the release of this film, the safari-look dominated the fashion industry.  You can read more about the Out of Africa costumes and see more photos here and here.

Dressed Cinema
Dressed Cinema

Dressed Cinema

Habitually Chic


Although the safari look is one that many designers turn to when the weather gets warmer, some are closely associated with the look. Ralph Lauren is a name that springs to mind when you think of designer safari wear - the master of the clean-cut tailored safari look.
Ralph Lauren (What2WearWhere)

The Louis Vuitton ads from last summer featured the model Dree Hemingway (great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway) in a dreamy African safari setting surrounded by tres chic and tres expensive luggage.  Once again you can see the soft earth-toned colours in a feminine flowered dress; in straight legged pants paired with a flowing white blouse; and in a muted khaki dress.

Style Mood Board

Of course, when you go on safari it would be great to take along the handsome specimen in the photo below  - the gorgeous folding table and chairs that is.

Trends Magazine
Even if you are just tackling the urban jungle this summer the safari style is a great look, don't you think? 

Linked to Inspiration Journey Linky Party at Modern Country Style


  1. Great post, Grace! I love the Eddie Bauer catalog too. I'm certainly not a fashionista but I love your inspiration photos. My favourite is the Ralph Lauren one. I can so easily see that look translating to a room design style (neutrals, brown leather, suede, linen and cotton, dark blue and white, some rustic buckles or hardware.) Gorgeous {sigh} both as fashion and design. I could so easily love to wear those items, too.

  2. Fantastic post Grace, you hit it all and I have to say I think Ralph does it best. I have the same fascination and always love it when it comes back into fashion. So glad, that I never let go of my favourite pieces.

    Now off to read your next post...British Colonial...sounds good :)

    Jeanne xx

  3. Those clothes would be perfect for your trip...I do love the style although I think I would need to be slimmer to carry off all those pockets....I also love the out of Africa costumes.

  4. WIll you be sporting this look on your big trip this summer? It travels well :D I love that your posts are always so unique and fun, Grace. ANd I am proud that you showed restraint in Eddie Bauer. I have not been in their new store yet (they moved into a different location in the mall). I will have to go check out this new collection!

    Have a great weekend!
    Ricki Jill

  5. Oh I love all these looks. They look like they'd pack well too. For your trip of course! Oh those RL boots are so beautiful!

  6. I love safari clothes, safari movies and your blog header too.

  7. I'm a fan of the look. Great pictures, makes me want to go right out and buy some of those pieces.

  8. I love this style! Probably why Ralph Lauren is my favourite designer!
    I love the movie out of Africa ...the clothes and interiors was worth watching the movie over!

  9. I love this post!! The image of the girl on Safari with her Louis Vuitton luggage is my favourite. So gorgeous!!


  10. Hi! Here is a man from Finland! Safari look is that kind of style which will never go out of mode! Safari look will live forever! Woman and safari clothes is that kind of combination which I can't explain rationally!! I like safari clothes too!!