A man in a suit a Safari suit

A man in a suit a Safari suit

Love it or hate it the Safari suit has made an impression on fashion and is here to stay. Why is the Safari suit such a hit amongst the men and almost impossible to find in the vintage and retro stores?

To answer these questions lets take it back to the start and dive into the history books. Safari suits were patterned from military dress uniforms to be worn in either hot or cold climates. The suit consisted of trousers with either a short or long- sleeved jacket with patch pockets of light suiting fabrics of linen and cotton in beige, pastel blue or green.  Typically the shirts were mostly designed with an open neck that could occasionally be worn with a tie to up style the look. The suits originated around the 19th century and were worn by African safari hunters and visitors, whilst hunting in the African Savannah.

The Safari suit was later re-introduced by the fabulous YSL (Yves Saint Laurent) in the late 60’s early 70’s.  In Australian fashion the Safari suit was made popular by politicians with the most famous being South Australia’s premier Don Dunstan. However sadly, as quickly as it was made popular in the 70’s by the 80’s the craze quickly ended with the suits dropping out of fashion.

black and white safari image

Caption: Rave Gauche rocking his Safari suit

john howard sufari suit

Caption: John Howard trendy as can be early in his political career 

Now days you often only see the Safari suits making appearances around the pubs and clubs by men partaking in bucks or retro vintage parties.  There is something that screams swagger and style when watching a man dressed in a safari suit with his confidence shinning and ego bursting at the seams. The likes of John Travolta in Staying Alive, the Bee Gees and the unforgettable Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights spring to mind. For this reason and its costume popularity it has become almost impossible to find original Safari suits around the vintage circuit.


So whether you love the Safari Suit or hate it there is no denying it has most definitely stood the test of time and is here to stay.


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