The enduring appeal of the safari shirt

The enduring appeal of the safari shirt

No matter what decade you were born in, you'll have somehow, somewhere, come across the safari shirt or its cousin the safari jacket. These two titans of classic menswear have the great honour of being in that revered canon of garments that have hardly changed since their inception to mainstream style, proving that class is permanent. 

The classic safari jacket and shirt can easily be recognised by their four front flap pockets and epaulettes, although the latter detail seems to going the way of the dodo these days, with the demand for the traditional military style on the wane. Nevertheless, we have the military to thank for both garments, ever since the War Office commissioned new khaki drill uniform for officers stationed in Africa during the Boar War. While the jacket is more often than not belted, the four-pocket shirt wears more like a modern overshirt, layered over a t-shirt for example, whereas the two-pocket styles can be worn as per a typical shirt. 

KHAKI KIRTLING LINEN SAFARI SHIRT

KHAKI KIRTLING LINEN
SAFARI SHIRT

NAVY ETHAN LINEN SAFARI SHIRT

NAVY ETHAN LINEN
SAFARI SHIRT

COBALT EVERING LINEN SAFARI SHIRT

COBALT EVERING LINEN
SAFARI SHIRT

Cinema gives us our most memorable references, with the likes of Clark Gable in Mogambo wearing any number of different shirts and bush jackets. Then there's Roger Moore, whose version of Ian Fleming's infamous spy was never far from a wide-lapel safari number. Bryan Ferry, frontman of Roxy Music was a fan of the safari shirt, no more or less than HRH Prince Charles who would often sport a belted jacket or shirt on his Royal duties in far-flung climes.

But what of the safari shirt's role in the 2021 men's wardrobe? We're glad you asked! At Favourbrook, our military shirts have been designed to easily assimilate into a smart-casual summer wardrobe. Hence we've removed the epaulettes and switched out the military style bellow pockets in favour of a more modern patch pocket style. Given it's unlikely that you'll actually be going on safari/hunting big game/enacting James Bond fantasies, we've taken a luxury approach to the fabric, opting for a beautifully soft Irish linen rather than the traditional, heavier cotton drill. Three layers of stitching on the cuff and hem adds detail while the shirt is elegantly finished with horn buttons. 

What's truly great about the safari shirt is it's versatility, since it deftly straddles smart and casual. One can wear it with a pair of jeans or chinos, layered over a t-shirt, or conversely use it to add a casual element to smart pleated trousers and a blazer. Either way, it's a must-have for the modern wardrobe and something that you'll keep coming back to season after season. 

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