Finding new colour combinations I like makes me disproportionately happy.
I know this doesn’t apply to every menswear enthusiast, but for me the interrelationship of colours is one of the most enjoyable and creative aspects of dress.
Particularly in menswear, where colour is often so limited.
This combination made me happy: sage-green shirt, tobacco-brown safari jacket, and cream-cotton trousers.
Accessorised with brown shoes (suede, Baudoin & Lange Sagans) and a brown bag (leather, Frank Clegg x Michael Bastian tote).
The shirt we have referenced before, as one of the three linen pieces I had made by D’Avino.
I said then that it was hard to wear with anything but blue (including denim) and white/cream, and I stick by that – the shirt needs the off-white trousers here (from P Johnson, reviewed on Wednesday).
It’s an important point, for this shade of green often pops up among summer offerings by Italian brands, such as Fedeli.
However, once the shirt has an effective partner, I find all manner of jackets or blazers can be worn over it. A brown-suede blouson perhaps or – as here – a tobacco-linen safari jacket.
The jacket is from The Armoury, one of two shades it offered the Ascot Chang-collaboration in this year. (Only currently available in large; the navy is available in small and medium.)
It is made from very stiff linen, which means it holds a shape very well, even if it’s not as relaxed as overshirts from others such as Drake’s.
It can hold a mobile phone easily without distorting the cut; but you do feel you’re wearing something closer to a jacket than a shirt.
(The difference is clear if you compare this post with my post on Hollywood-top trousers, which features the Drake’s piece.)
Looking back, I think the combination appealed particularly because it was summery, but not as bright as many summer menswear outfits.
There is colour here – great colour – but it does not have the sugary pinks or acidic yellows that often characterise ‘resort’ collections.
Strong and summery, but organic and natural. Helped by all the browns elsewhere.
Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man
Sunglasses: ‘Starsky’ model from EB Meyrowitz
I like this outfit and color combination that fits perfectly into the italian city where the pictures were taken!
You seem to wear your B&L loafers quite often these days but which footwear do you choose to wear all day when on holiday?I say this because Belgian loafers or Italian mocs are not very comfortable outside for extended periods whilst taking in the local sights.
Depends a lot on the holiday, but actually Sagans are what I would wear sight seeing. I also take: common projects trainers, zabbatiglia espadrilles, and sandals
I was in Venice, Bologna, Modena and Florence this Summer.
I had with me my B&Ls, Common Projetcs, Gomminos and John Lobb Lopez in Suede and ended up wearing the Sagan all the time. They are so comfortable. And when they’re not in Suede also quite robust.
The Lopez is a fantastic shoe. Do you have it in brown suede?
Yes, I have it in Dark Brown Suede and Tobacco Suede. Very versaitle.
But not as comfortable as the Sagan. I wouldnt wear it for a whole day walking arround in the city (Blister)
This article particularly caught my eye as I have a shirt from Our Legacy in a near-identical colour and a very similar jacket from Private White in a completely identical colour. I have never worn them together but certainly will do now. Like you, I have struggled matching trousers to the shirt and have ended up wearing it exclusively with denim.
I’m out for a casual dinner this evening, so may try something very similar to the combo you’ve recommended above. Good timing, thanks!
Lovely colors! The photography is also really good to show off the color combo, even the beard’s color matches with the aesthetics in my humble opinion.
Would you be able to recommend any earthy tones for a business suit? Due to my complexion, I find that navy, black and greys jackets paired with a white shirt make me look pale and washed out. Having moved to London, it looks like those are the only colors acceptable for business wear unfortunately
Navy and grey are pretty much the business colours. But try a blue shirt instead of white, and a warm coloured tie
Luca Faloni also has a nice linen shirt in similar colour for those interested.
I can vouch for the service from Luca Faloni.
I had cause to return a faulty item in exchange for another and the manner in which the whole thing was handled was exceptional.
Seconded – they sent me a linen scarf instead of a linen towel. Before I’d spotted the problem they had sent out the towel and told me to keep the scarf.
Thanks all for the compliments.
WINOT – Hope you are enjoying the Scarf 🙂
Hi Simon, I realise it may sound a bit prosaic but it would be really helpful to see your pieces shot on a mannequin (or even the hangar). If you could produce some full length front and back images of all your clothes it would aid in comparing them, particularly with the advantage of consistent lighting rather than the (admittedly aesthetically lovely) lifestyle lighting you normally employ.
I suppose you might need a bespoke mannequin to get the full benefit of the fit though? Could be an interesting commission.
Yes, when I’ve shot pieces on mannequins (see the post on double breasteds compared) people do say they are better seen on me!
This is a truly great look and the colour combination is absolutely right for you.
Jason King would be proud of you albeit he may have suggested adding a PS neck square.
That said, given that this jacket is not available in the UK and seems to be sold out in the US, what would be the second choice ?
Bravo for geting back on track.
Perhaps the Anderson & Sheppard work jacket, which is a similar colour
It’s not the colour butr ather the style. This colour would not be right for me. It’s the style that’s interesting.
I already have an A&S work jacket – that is a great but slightly different proposition. It’s more casual.
My question is on the safari Jacket front ?
It’s different again, but have a look at the Private White safari jacket in tan
Chad Prom, or Bryceland’s x Ascot Chang?
Have you tried either in person Johnny? The issue I’ve had with all these versions of safari jackets is that the weight and feel of the linen can vary hugely (as mentioned, Drakes v Armoury, effectively shirt v jacket). Interested to know how those two compare.
I have the Brown from Chad Prom and I am quite satisfied.
It’s rather on the soft side tough. Bryceland has one in solaro and one in linen and they look like they hold up quite different. So as you say, fabric has a big impact.
Hi Simon – related question. I note that your shirt has a button collar but seemingly no placket. What are your thoughts on placket vs no placket when it comes to button downs? I actually have both but I was sneered at by a young iGent when ordering from Luca recently.
I realise this question is entirely vacuous.
Ha! Well, I guess it is but there are more vacuous things.
Plackets are less formal, but I have no problem having one with a button down.
Anyone that sneers at such things needs a little perspective.
FWIW I have never had plackets on any of my bespoke shirts.
Great color combo! Is it bad that those earthy tones are already getting me excited for fall colors and textures…?
Not at all!
Do you know anything more about English Cut / Thomas Mahon going bust? Is it only the MTM bit or the bespike part too?
Thanks Simon. Something you, with your vast netwirk in the industry, can find out more about?
I know of several customers of EC who have not heard anything and are now worried their commissions will not be completed and their deposits forfeit.
I will ask
There is a statement from Tom here :
It sounds like a sorry state of affairs.
They are private equity backed by investors in the US so it seems unlikely they are going to go bust? Interested to hear where you got that piece of information. They have been opening stores in Boston and recently Chiltern st London…
See here https://www.drapersonline.com/news/tailoring-brand-english-cut-up-for-sale-following-administration/7025155.article
As long as Thomas Mahon’s still taking bespoke clients, it’s no big loss to any of us out here.
I suppose poor Tom will have taken a bath, and will need somebody to bail him out before he can get back into business.
Honestly, I find this specific combination of colors very hard to fancy, to begin with. This is not at all the Pitti guy’s type of combo! It’s so unusual that I really wonder whereabout you did find your inspiration!
I completely agree with you on all that you wrote in this post!
A very convincing combination, this shirt makes it a lot more interesting than a blue one would, I think. Would you also wear this shirt and jacket with navy chinos?
Probably not, but it would be worth a try.
I am curious how you rate the Anderson & Sheppard linen ‘work jacket’ in this same tobacco colour? It is a little shorter, but has a nice weight and feel (currently sold out in most colours, but more coming)
I like it, though it is a little expensive. The weight and style also make it a bit more workwear-like
I think this whole Safari / Work Jacket evolution deserves a separate piece.
They represent a great alternative to more formal jackets but as well as the design, the fabric determines their wearability.
I bought a heavier linen a couple of years ago form Richard James and I bought the A&S in cord – both are fabulous and I rarely have them off my back.
That said, I also bought a linen from Drakes and it is so soft it really is right at the casual end of things and I really only wear it when it’s very hot or for the beach.
Thanks David, and yes that would make a good piece.
Great outfit as ever, Simon!
One question: do you have any recommendations for a smaller bag? The tote in the pictures does look fantastic, but one doesn’t always want to take such a big bag out, especially when there’s not much to bring. Thanks!
There have been many mentioned over the past year or so. Look up the ‘Bags’ category on the site and see if there’s anything there you like
Hey Simon, 2 questions:
1) what temperature range do you usually find yourself wearing a safari jacket?
2) not really a question per second. I always liked the functionality of the safari but find wearing one difficult especially one made in linen. In most of south east Asia (where I live) it is simply too hot and humid to wear any jacket. In other parts of the world when I travel, the cooler climate (often fall) allows a jacket but wearing a linen safari seems out of place by then. As such, Ive been holding off buying one although they appeal to me
I’d wear one like this in temperatures of 30 degrees plus, mostly. If you can’t wear any kind of jacket where you live, that’s frustrating, although a linen safari is going to be the thing that works if anything does.
And no, in cooler places it won’t be appropriate – it needs to be obviously functional, otherwise it’s too unusual
Hi Simon. On the topic of safari jackets and weather what do you think of the fall/winter versions of this garment? You seem to like the style but I have never seen you wearing other than linen pieces. I have seen some in tweed and wonder about their versatility. On a different topic may I suggest a post on the top 5 coats/casual jackets a man should own for a versatile capsule wardrobe?
Thank you and congrats on the blog’s 10th anniversary.
No you’re right, I don’t really wear A/W versions of them – it’s more when you want something lighter and easier than a jacket, normally when it’s hot.
Nice idea on the post
One of the things I notice here is how well the colors of your outfit play with the colors of the city around you. Do you take that into account when you dress? I often find myself thinking about the palette of the city I live in (Taipei) when I buy clothes.
To a certain extent, yes. You wouldn’t wear such a warm outfit in a very cold, grey city – but the weather is more important, ie a cold, grey day
Im wondering what shoes you would wear with shorts in a humid and hot country which rains…
Very tricky. Perhaps loafers, hidden socks, and thin rubber soles? Ideally in a material that could be sprayed to protect from rain, or one like cordovan that is quite resistant anyway
Simon, what size is the jacket? And would you say it might be too roomy for a rather skinny man with broad and high shoulders?
Perhaps, but one of the nice things about a shirt jacket is you could always have it taken in or darted. Just as easy as with a shirt
Hi Simon – what size is the safari jacket you’re wearing here? Thanks.
Hi Simon. Looks like The Armoury is now offering this safari jacket in three colors: navy, brown and oatmeal. Which one would you say is more versatile?
Probably navy. Oatmeal is versatile too, but has more colonial/old-fashioned associations perhaps
Would you ever use these type of jackets in the office? Say on a casual Friday in summer?
Yes I would, though in navy perhaps, and also perhaps a version with fewer pockets
Thank you Simon. You have mentioned elsewhere in the blog that you like the fact that your Drake’s navy overshirt has chest pockets but no hip pockets. Is that on account of formality or other reasons? I ask because the Armoury version has hip pockets and you seem fine with that one also.
Yes, good point. Generally I dislike it because it seems too redolent of a traditional safari jacket and too fussy. With the armoury one it’s a bit better because it’s so obviously a jacket and not an overshirt – partly due to the stiffness of the linen.
I note that you never sport the tote that you designed with Globetrotter.
Has this item ultimately disappointed you and if so, why?
No, not at all. I just never kept one myself, which I really regret.
That’s a shame because it would be great for you to re-visit these projects over time and comment on how they are ageing and wearing.
For me the PS tote is a big success and it is definitely my go to bag.
It is much commented on and the dimensions are perfect.
Only one issue, the side gussets seem to be ageing lighter than the front and back. A strange phenomena given that they are less exposed.
Maybe I need to pop into Globe-trotter and ask how they recommend I treat it ?
Thanks David, yes I know. We sold what we had and I forgot to add one for myself.
The gussets are made from a different, softer leather than the body, so I’m not surprised it’s ageing differently.
I am struggling a little bit to find out how long the arms of an Overshirt or Safari-Shirt should be. Especially in relation to the length of the Shirts arms. How do you wear yours, what are your thoughts about this? On the pictures it seams to be the same length as your shirts.
Yes, I would have them the same length as your shirts. It is nice if there is a little shirt cuff poking out, but I also wear mine with a short-sleeved layer underneath, in which case the overshirt sleeve would be too short. So I have them the same length as shirts
I have seen the D’Avino Safari jacket a couple of times “in the flesh” as it were but until I saw the latest iteration with the one piece collar had always held back. Now I can’t!
What are your thoughts on it? I am also inclined to follow better judgement and go for navy rather than tobacco; more flexible would you say?
That would definitely be more flexible, yes.
I went with Navy. I think it is such a remarkable looking piece of clothing. Hopefully it’s something you’ll review in the future.
What is the size of this jacket (it’s now being offered again by the armory)? I’m asking because you have two different answers (small and medium) in these comments.
Oh I’m sorry. It was Medium
Hello. What is the fabric make and code for the tobacco safari jacket ? Thanks
Hi. It is available RTW from The Armoury – not bespoke or MTM. So I don’t have the code. It might even be exclusive to the Armoury.
I wonder if you have views on the 3 pocket blouson in what looks like the same tobacco linen from the armoury (https://thearmoury.com/collections/coats-and-jackets/products/made-to-order-3-pocket-blouson?variant=17468448702535)? It looks to me more casual in style, which I would prefer, but wonder if this style of linen is too similar to linen-blend trousers/shorts to match well?
Love the colour but maybe the brown version is more versatile?
It’s much more casual, yes, more a waist-length jacket.
It would be as good with linen blend trousers/shorts as any other linen jacket or overshirt
Brown would definitely be more versatile though , yes.
Hi Simon, I saw a post on Instagram where you said that this color of linen safari jacket is not the most versatile. Would you mind expanding on why do you think so? I ask because I´m considering ordering one myself, and was drawn to this color, so your input would be very helpful given your experience. Do you think that the brown color (https://thearmoury.com/collections/coats-and-jackets/products/made-to-order-safari-jacket?variant=17468385886279) would be more useful? Thanks so much.
I think this colour isn’t that useful because:
– Tobacco is a strong colour, and very noticeable. You can’t wear it often without people noticing you’re wearing ‘that jacket’ again.
– You’re unlikely to have many safari jackets like this, compared to sports jackets. Like an overcoat, therefore, it needs to be able to go with almost anything. Navy and yes, that dark brown, would be more versatile, even though tobacco does go with a decent number of other colours
– Tobacco doesn’t go well with other strong colours. Menswear staples like white, grey, light blue are fine. But a dark green or navy underneath doesn’t look great.
What is the length of it when compared to your jackets? Would you choose the length to be the same as for the odd jacket or shorter? Why?
I’d have it slightly shorter – fitting more with the casual look and being more like a shirt.
As a guide, I’d say it should still be half that half way down your seat, but not completely cover it like a jacket would.
Thanks for answering my earlier question regarding the armoury 3-pocket blouson in this article. After considering the final cost (import duties, undoubted alterations as it won’t fit exactly as I like) and style issues (I don’t like the chest pocket), I’m beginning to think that it might be wiser to get something similar made that does fit me. I have read your article on having a safari jacket made at Budd Shirtmakers. Would you recommend them or an alternative shirtmaker that would happily make such an item, albeit even more casual than that jacket made at Budd?
I’m not sure to be honest – I haven’t seen them make something that is not so similar to a shirt, and more like a jacket style.
I would ask them, but only go with it if you can see and ideally try something they’ve already made in that style. I wouldn’t go to an artisan (who is not a designer) to make something so different from they normally do, for the first time.
Hi Simon, I was wondering whether you own or have tried The Armoury’s Safari 2 cotton jacket? If so, could I ask how is the jacket’s quality is? Also, the size compared to the Anderson & Sheppard travel jacket?
I don’t, but I did cover it here Jack. I’m afraid I didn’t try it so can’t compare the sizing
Great, that helped me much.
Simon, I love this look. Just a question, please!
I have a suede trucker jacket in a slightly lighter colour than your jacket here. I also have a darker green, almost pine but not quite pine, glen plaid shirt I wanted to pair with my jacket for an all season look (assuming this would work for all seasons).
My question is, do you think that it’s a better idea to go with a shirt color than is lighter than one’s jacket? Or would the shirt and jacket combo in this instance pair well with one another? Thank you so much!
It’s easier generally to have a shirt that’s lighter, but darker can work well too.
It’s hard to comment without being able to see the pieces in question (feel free to add pictures) but it sounds like a nice combination
Thank you so much Simon. Here are the photos in question:
I think that should be nice Marcus, but ideally I’d have the jacket darker or the shirt lighter. Also not so keen on checked shirts like that – nothing wrong with them, but I don’t think the check adds anything
Thank you so much Simon. Would you say that I could go a lighter green without it looking “too spring”? I find that I don’t pull off light blue too well and don’t really enjoy yellows or reds… Any suggestions are appreciated. Big respect.
Yes I think so. But if you’re in doubt, this green is fine too
Hi Simon do you think a navy hopsack & cream linen trouser would go well with the green linen shirt ? Or a more casual jacket would be required?
It could do, it would largely depend on the shade of green. Something very muted would be nice I’d imagine