3 Ways to Look Chic in a Safari Dress

A Safari dress is a classic summer staple that resurfaces every few years, and I never tire of it. If you are like me, you’ve probably owned at least one. (In fact, I’ve owned several!)

safari style dress

How do you take something we consider utility fashion, so basic and practical, and make it look updated? Here are a few ideas for how to style safari dresses to look modern.

1. Layer Your Safari Dress

You can wear your Safari dress as is, or if you like, layer a cute scoop neck tank underneath and unbutton three or so buttons to show it off. For example, an olive-green safari dress with a tan or black tank peeking out from underneath gives a sporty, layered look.


2. Add Leggings or Jeans

A Safari style dress is a shirt dress, which tends to be on the short side. A tan or khaki safari dress with black leggings or white jeans can look sharp if you prefer not to show so much leg. This way, you can wear a higher heel.

3. Wear a Safari Dress as a Vest

If you want to make your safari dress looks more like a long vest, wear one color head to toe underneath, such as a scoop-neck white top and white jean, and then wear your safari dress unbuttoned over the top. This works best with sleeveless Safari dresses. You can hang the belt or knot it loosely at the back of your dress.

Other things to think about when styling Safari dresses

What are the Best Shoes for Safari Dresses

  • Low wedges, platforms, or low-block heels are more hearty than a skinny stiletto and go well with the look and feel of a dress like this.
  • A natural wedge or flatform in rope or cork is a natural fit for Safari Style.
  • Chunky slingback, open-toe sandals look modern and cool.
  • Strappy sandals with chunky high heels work with the jungle adventure vibe.
  • Suede or any other kind of textured shoe or bootie is excellent.
  • Gladiator sandals ( tall and newest) in brown, tan, or gold are also perfect.

Safari dresses have a natural feel, so avoid shoes that are too city-chic. For example, high gloss patent leather pumps would be all wrong. It would help if you had a more earthy shoe.

safari dress

The Best Jewelry for Safari Dresses

A touch of natural-looking or tribal jewelry can go a long way to glam up this look. Go for:

  • Statement necklaces with  big, irregular stones
  • Jewelry with rough, metallic finishes
  • Colorful beading
  • Textured leathers, braiding
  • Dangly earrings with imperfect, attractive beads and hammered metals
  • Chunky and ethnic-style metal cuffs and rope bracelets

Olive Sleeveless Dress


Which Bag for a Safari Dress?

The Safari look is comfortable and relaxed. Your bag should be, too. You can go for a soft-looking bag.

  • Nothing formal, soft, and slouchy or rounded edges suit a casual, sporty tote.
  • A cross-shoulder strap bag like a messenger bag also works well
  • Leather or canvas looks suitable with this jungle adventure style

Dresses like the ones I’m showing you here are just one type of safari clothing for women. The chic Safari look includes safari jackets, cargo pants, and utilitarian-style skirts. Have a look at how these 40+ bloggers style safari.

Do you like Safari dresses? Have you ever owned one?

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6 thoughts on “3 Ways to Look Chic in a Safari Dress

  1. Any of those dresses shown, as well as what you are sporting, looks good on you! This style can be smart or casual. I would wear any of those to work and look better dressed than most teams during summer. What happens to people’s brains during the summer months? Flip flops, halter necks, or shorts in a professional environment……are you serious?

    1. Hi Lesley,
      Good point. Casual work dress is one thing, but some women dress like they are going to the beach instead of working in the summer. It’s essential to maintain a professional appearance throughout the year. First impressions do count when you are meeting clients or in contact with the public, and the way you dress also affects your attitude and productivity. Cheers, Deborah

  2. I bought a safari-style olive green vest that I thought I’d love, but I’m having trouble working it into an outfit. A simple white tank might be good, but I’ll have to buy one as I never seem to wear simple white tanks. It’s so hot here most of the year that I don’t layer much (which is why I thought maybe a vest would work). I do own white t-shirts (fitted). And I might wear it in fall with a long sleeve white or black T – but any other suggestions for a hot weather outfit featuring the vest?

    1. Hi Kelly,
      I want a photo of the vest to see the style. Is it a little bit boxy? That might be why it is hard to put something with it.
      Send in a photo, and I will give you some ideas!

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