Safari Dress Chic

A Safari dress is a classic summer staple that has been around for a long time and resurfaces every few years. If you are like me, you’ve probably owned at least one in your life. (In fact, I’ve owned several!)

How do you take something so basic and practical and make it look modern? Here are a few ideas for how to style safari dresses in 2017.
Safari dress for women 

Layer Your Safari Dress

You can wear your Safari dress, as is, or if you like, you can wear a cute scoop neck tank underneath and unbutton 3 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.


Wear Leggings or Jeans

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

Wear your Dress as a Vest

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

The Best Shoes for Safari Dresses

  • Low wedges, flatforms 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 great.
  • Gladiator sandals ( tall are newest) in brown, tan or gold are perfect too.

Safari dresses have a natural feel to them so stay away from shoes that are too city chic. For example, high gloss patent leather pumps would be all wrong. You need 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 interesting beads and hammered metals
  • Chunky and ethnic style metal cuffs and rope bracelets

Olive Sleeveless Dress


The Bag for a Safari Dress

The Safari look is comfortable and relaxed. Your bag should be too. Go for a soft looking bag.

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

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

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

Join the Conversation

6 thoughts on “Safari Dress Chic

  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 of the team during summer. What happens to people’s brain 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 in the summer some women dress like they are going to the beach instead of work. It’s important 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. I guess 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 think I might wear it in fall with a long sleeve white or black T – but any other suggestions for a very warm weather outfit featuring the vest?

    1. Hi Kelly,
      I would like to see a photo of the vest to see the style. Is it a little bit boxy? If so, 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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