So, what is the modern gentleman to do in its stead — sartorially speaking — while glamping?
Seeing this predicament, I decided to bring it upon myself to imagine what — if I were to go glamping — would I wear, of what kind of capsule collection that I would purposefully curate. Initially what first came to mind was the style of the English country hunting gentlemen of the late 19th and 20th centuries; in my mind they personify the quintessential sartorial gentleman who comfortably sauntered though the countryside with style and grace. They were both posh and primp, frolicking through the woods — and within the walls — of their countryside estates with proper distinction and nary a thread out of place, always stylish yet inherently practical in both purpose and intent. However, it is summer and the style of the British sportsman would not translate well (tweeds...) to the season. So, what next arose within my imagination was the look of the traditional upper-class gent who has partaken in African hunting excursions. Appropriately, it is their classic aesthetic from which I have decided to take my glamping style inspiration from.
Ergo, here is the sartorial glamping piece-de-resistance! It is a look that pays homage to the stylish pedigree that I believe goes hand-in-hand with the glamping experience. And in choosing to highlight just one specific adventure — the African Safari — I decided to put in the extra effort to curate a look that a modern gentleman can seemlessly sport while on a safari as well as in their everyday lives; providing an ideal style template that is both utilitarian and surprisingly modern, one in which side-steps the costume gimmicks often associated with such an often referenced and universally known look. Alternatively, this collection of pieces opts towards embracing the sartorial — and not pop culture saturated — history behind the safari experience by updating it (keeping it fresh) with modern detailing: slim-cuts, proper fits, and practical (suitable) fabrication; on focusing on the quality construction and complimentary unification of each individual signature piece.
Without further or due, here's how to nail the safari glamping look in a way that would leave the royalty of the past gleaming with sartorial pride while likewise providing you with a collection of versatile wardrobe pieces that can thereafter be incorporated into your daily style rotation:
The looks defining signature piece, the aptly named safari jacket (made with 100% breathable cotton) is an almost non-negotiable necessity (but a lightweight tan blazer could also fill in) that helps define the sartorial safari experience. With an overabundance of pockets to stash seemingly anything you so desire, and with a hardiness and rugged masculinity to match, the safari jacket is a true glamping style winner.
/ LIGHTWEIGHT CREWNECK SWEATER /
Lightweight is the key component, it must be of 100% cotton/poplin (or a mixture of either with linen) in order for you not to lose your own bodyweight in perspiration on a daily basis. A grey t-shirt or white linen button-down could also work, but neither offer BOTH the breathability and coverage your skin demands from the harsh desert elements (sand, sun, and wind). And if you ever feel uncomfortably warm, simply roll both the safari jacket and sweater sleeves up in unison to your elbows — problem solved (or remove the top layer, the jacket). The marled look of the sweater also earns you some modern style points.
/ WHITE LINEN TROUSERS /
These are (I believe) labelled as a linen-cotton chino hybrid, which makes them much studier and practical in the desert then a 100% linen pair of (dress) trousers ever could be. Ventilation and fabric strength are prerequisites when discussing adventure trousers, and these ones from River Island provide the strength and durability to handle a tumble or two (unlike pure linen, which is susceptible to ripping in the process) while also being quite airy in the process. Naturally, they will withstand the elements and keep you looking good in the process.
/ BROWN SUEDE DESERT BOOTS /
The name says it all, they were purposefully created by marauding European armies (cues taken from the Dutch and adopted by the English) to combat the harsh African desert conditions. Durable, hard-wearing, and comfortable, they allowed soldiers to operate and move without fuss or complication throughout the trying desert environment. Moreover, the suede of the boots will age gracefully over time like a fine wine, adding character to the finish — and a story to accompany it.
/ MULTI-TONED BRAIDED BELT /
Adds character and dimension to the look, drawing the eye to the waist by matching the two dominant colours of the outfit together; it also brings with it a subtle playful and adventurous tone that is otherwise purposefully absent from the rest of the muted look.
/ STRAW SAFARI HAT /
It will be hot and your head will need coverage, so opt for the traditional safari hat. Reach for straw instead of raw-hide/leather so that your head can truly breathe while still being afforded the protection it needs.
/ LEATHER SATCHEL /
I can’t help but imagine Indiana Jones — one of my childhood idols — when I see aged leather satchels (I’ve reluctantly omitted the whip here though for obvious reasons). To me, a leather satchel is the quintessential safari bag, being recommended over the more refined styles like weekenders and holdalls. Why? It is slimmer, can be worn over your shoulder with ease and unburdened comfort, and can carry your essential needs: water, cellphone, camera, you name it while still being accommodating and not restricting your movements. In essence, it integrates smoothly into your physique, simply feeling like another limb instead of a tacked on accessory.
/ LINEN SCARF /
Not purely for decorative purposes, this lightweight scarf from Scotch & Soda can help protect you from the sun as well as earning top double-billing as a wrap around mask for your neck and face during sand storms…and it does look aesthetically pleasing.
/ NIKON D3200 /
The introductionary DSLR camera model for budding photography enthusiasts (as well as the option I opted for), this is an essential item to have on any vacation, let alone one predicated on photographic documentation like an African safari. Take vivid photos in action and capture video moments to cherish for a lifetime with this affordable, highly regarded, sturdy and dependable camera.
Glamping is simply an experience in pure luxury…and there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting a little R&R while also getting everything out of the great outdoors that you initially intended; in not wanting to aimlessly scramble about for nourishment or in being concerned with sudden storms or leaky tents; and in not concerning yourself with the notion of whether or not you are going to be accosted by an unwanted visitor in the dead of the night. Nope. Nah. And nada! Your every concern and desire is handled for you so that you can truly enjoy what is waiting for you outside the door — the true adventure!
Naturally, there are many guides out there to tell you how to glamp, so I won’t bore you with the details. But for the sake of experiencing an authentic glamping excursion, here are the three industry wide prerequisite elements of a glamp site: it must have a unique structure; immediate access to the outdoors upon leaving said structure (i.e.. no lobbies); and it must provide the comfort and amenities of a concierge type hotel (including gourmet meals and accommodations).
From city dweller to seasoned outdoorsman, these looks — and the adventures — will suit all because glamping is an experience anyone (most) would take pleasure in. So don't let your premeditated assumptions and stereotypes of what camping should be tell you otherwise because at the end of the day the natural experiences are the same whether camping or glamping — you don't have to torture yourself to be a real camper or to openly enjoy the bountiful buffet that natures provides. Being comfortable, stylish, and afforded the veritable camping experience while having the assurance that the basics are handled is certainly not something to scoff at. So embrace the fact that it is okay not roughing it every chance you get. Why? Because it is supposed to be a vacation — stress and chore free. And because true gentlemen understand that roughing it just for the sake of fulfilling an absurdly singular definition of camping is an exercise in futility.
In the end, think about glamping — of its style and the accommodation of comfort — as being different from your average vacation. It's an experiential travel opportunity, which when stripped to its core, is what camping is definitively about. But, whatever road you so choose to take, attack it with panache and style!
Glamping, its an adventure wrought in tradition, style (no flip-flops here), and romance!!!
~ Lyle Eero ~
Are you attracted to the stylish pedigree of glamping? Would you take your significant other on such a vacation?