Evolution of Safari Wear
Safari wear is anything that was designed for the purpose of going
on safari in the African bush, however its origins reside in
military uniforms. In fact, the safari jacket is based on certain
drill military uniforms
worn in India since 1848.You can pair it with trousers, turning it
into a safari suit! A safari jacket is commonly a lightweight
cotton drill or lighter poplin jacket,
traditionally khaki in colour, with a self-belt, often with
epaulette style shoulder straps called passants, with four or more
expandable bellows pockets.
The practicality of Safari wear makes it hugely appealing. Pockets and compartments mean that bags are basically unnecessary, so a big bonus for those who need to be on the move. The lightweight fabric means it can be perfect in hot weather, and of course the light colours of the fabric will reflect the suns rays in hotter climates.
Khaki is a loanword incorporated from Hindustani ख़ाकी (meaning "soil-colored") and is originally derived from the Persian: خاک (Khâk, literally meaning "soil"), which came to English from British India via the British Indian Army. Khaki has been used by many armies around the world for uniforms, including camouflage.
Safari wear became popular when Hollywood stars started wearing them in the 50s, becoming more mainstream. The 'safari look' became popular with non-safari goers with the advent of the film industry interest in Africa. The films of Ernest Hemingway's books 'The Macomber Affair' and 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' followed by 'King Solomon's Mines' and 'Mogambo' firmly planted the safari image in the minds of the public. Safari style jackets were the 'in thing' to wear as casual attire in an effort to emulate the debonair looks of Clark Gable and Stewart Granger in these movies.