Styling For Spring
Spring is arguably the toughest time of year to dress with any great confidence. You can leave the house under thick grey clouds and a wall of drizzle, only to find yourself enjoying your lunch on a sunlit terrace, and making your way back home in the bracing cold come evening.
Luckily, there are plenty of outer layers that are bound to make your life considerably easier over the coming months. Here we break down our top five spring jackets, from relaxed to buttoned-up, subtle to statement-making…
The Safari Jacket
Based on the British khaki drill military jacket, the safari jacket has traditionally been a four-pocket lightweight cotton silhouette designed specifically for hot climates, hence the name. It conjures up images of early 20th century British archaeologists digging away in Egypt, or Roger Moore’s James Bond in Moonraker – neither of which is immediately suggestive of a style classic, but allow us to elaborate.
The safari jacket has been popular to varying extents in virtually every decade since the turn of the 20th century because of its casual versatility. These days, it’s managed to shed the strict khaki association, coming in a slew of different colours that have lifted it from its original context.
Turning our attention to this season’s runways, safari was a key influence at Richard James’ spring/summer 2015 show, with the jacket playing a starring role. The designer paired a heavy olive version with white slacks, a printed shirt and desert boots, while a lightweight safari suit came in bright pink. Our favourite, however, was a tightly tailored version in pistachio green, which was layered over a buttoned-up embroidered green shirt and again finished with white trousers and suede desert boots.
Others have taken the template of the original safari jacket and run with it, perhaps no better than Belstaff whose belted four-pocket wax-cotton Gardiner design is a stylish and contemporary interpretation that packs plenty of functionality. Being lightweight, it’s a perfect layering piece to throw over a simple T-shirt, button-down shirt, lightweight knit or sweatshirt.
Classic khaki safari jackets often look best combined with other dusty or earthy neutrals such as off-white, beige, brown, cream and military green.
Try throwing one over a lightweight shirt and slim chinos combination for an effortless smart-casual springtime look: