Safari Style Exposed

It’s an iconic staple that has me wondering if trendsetters take time to test the functionality of the rugged theme before they send it down the runways.

by Rachael Crawley Sigsbee

Those who think that safari-goers actually sport the garb that’s gracing the pages of fashion magazines should take trip to the Serengeti to see how unlikely it is one might choose to wear a tan Missoni short suit on safari. Yes, safari-inspired fashion is rustic and adventurous and evokes a feeling of nostalgia from an old Hollywood movie that paints a romantic picture of the African bush. (Think Katharine Hepburn in “The African Queen.” Classic!)

Case in point: Keira Knightly in a 2007 Vogue spread shot by Arthur Elgort. (courtesy)

But I’ve been on a safari and I seriously doubt the 6-inch nude sandal bootie or the army green blazer belted with a wide leather bustier would be the best getup for exploring the African terrain. Sure, every travelista has the keen ability to be able to rock the heck out of whatever attire is suitable for their current destination. But the reality is that a safari isn’t all as glamorous as the glossies make it out to be. On my trip the daily wardrobe was a mix of high-top hiking boots, tanks, military jackets and wide-brimmed hats that helped endure the long, hot, dusty days spent riding in the back of a crowded Land Cruiser.

Me, also in 2007, posing next to a safari truck at the entrance to the Serengeti. Same truck, same landscape, same Maasai man in the background, very different attire.

Bottom line: Save the safari fashion for your next shopping trip on Rodeo ladies. I’m pretty sure the hungry lion chasing you down on the plains of Africa wouldn’t stop to consider that you’re sporting the embroidered military vest from Ralph Lauren’s fall collection before biting off your Burberry boot. This could be one of the only times choosing comfort over looks could be a lifesaver.

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