What does one wear to a safari?

by - Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ok, we are going to buy our plane tickets hopefully today or tomorrow, so I am pretty pumped about that. This is happening. And of course, now that we are buying plane tickets, the bigger issue emerges, namely what the heck do you wear to a safari? Because I am pretty sure it is not this:

from www.jcrew.com/
Yesterday, we went into REI to try to figure out what one wears when they do things outside. That store is intense, and there are apparently a million variations between tennis shoes and hiking boots (The Boy seems convinced i should get a pair of shoes with actual tred for this). Also, how many people actually get those pants where the legs zip off? Maybe this is the beginning of a new outdoorsy chapter for us, but based on the REI trip yesterday, I am going to guess this is a one-off, so spending 100 bucks on a pair of convertible pants (seriously??? seriously??? how hot do people's calves get???), so the trick is going to be getting stuff that fulfills the rules and we might actually wear again.

So with some research last night, this is what I learned:
 ~ You really should only wear greys, olives, and tans. Bright colors can attract the animals, white gets really dirty, and blacks and blues attract a particularly nasty brand of mosquito. Also, stay away from camoflauge, because it has army and political connotations.
~Everything should be light and breathable, because it is hot in the day and cold early in the morning. You should layer.
~The shoes really depend on if you are riding or walking, but you should have something that is water proof and relatively tough.
~ You are close to the equator, so you need to cover your eyes  and head- hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are very important.
~Sports bras. The Roads are rough. 

Ok, so other places also advise lots of pockets and vest and those convertible pants for your poor sweaty calves. They want you to look a bit more like this:

from www.johnnyjet.com
Now this is ok, but we went to REI, and this outfit probably cost her a bunch of money. And exactly where else in life can a cargo vest make an appearance? Seriously! So, I started looking around for some other options that might be useable in my actual life. It turns out that Safari style was in the last two years, so when you start poking around, you find some sparkly business like up above, LOTS of cheetah prints, and some business like this: 

from www.fashionbeans.com
So, we are looking for a happy medium here. These are some of the things I have found that I actually like so far. I am thinking a slightly more modern Kristen Scott Thomas from the English Patient with fewer clandestine affairs. Here are the contenders: 

from www.safarisafricana.com/what-to-wear-on-safari/
I am on board with most of this except, why would one need that bikini for a safari? How does that even make sense? Also, other than having the lady bits basically hanging out, this is a little masculine for my style. 


Ok, I could take or leave the lady outfit, but the yellow pants and blue neck scarf on the guy reminds me of Robin Williams in The Birdcage. Who knew there could be so much variation when you are only allowed to wear like 3 things?

from www.thesafaristore.co.uk/safari-clothing-what-to-wear
Nice. Where I got the idea for the Clarks shoe, though apparently this is for an urban explorer. I do like the shorts though. 

from www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/books/

from www.inmagine.com/searchterms/ava_gardner.html
Some old school inspiration, courtesy of Ernest Hemmingway, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner. 

from johanfrancoise.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_5157.html
This is exactly what I think would actually work on me, minus the jeans and the shoes I actually like. But I like the Andronak (sp??) jacket. 

from www.pinterest.com/susiewjones/safari/
I like this one too. Clearly, I have not solved this problem yet. Luckily, I have 2 months left to figure out what I actually need to buy. I am not a neutral or beige kind of girl, so that is the real challenge here, but I think you can probably either buy really cheap options or just get things I might actually wear again. I am working on it, but it is exciting to be browsing fashion and Safari camps and travel books and such. We are at it again!


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