By Nii B. Andrews.
If you are heading northwards in the coming weeks, then the dog days of summer await you.
An important question is are you able to keep things smart/elegant, simple and casual while discreetly separating yourself from the T-shirt and jeans or shorts; with sneakers/ trainers, haversack/ fannypack, baseball cap, speedy boarding crowd?
In the current geopolitical climate of Europe (aka fortress Europe) and the USA (make it great again), this may even have serious repercussions on your well being and safety if you are travelling with a green stopport- not passport(!) – for some officious gatekeeper is bound to stop you and ask silly questions…….as if…
It could all be quite straightforward if you decide to start with mid to high waisted cream or ivory pants in linen or cotton and a good quality knit cotton or linen polo in navy or off white; pastel colors are also suitable.
*****Teba jacket in oatmeal from Mkch Medina: worn here with white polo shirt.****
The polo should have an excellent construction of the collar so that it will not flop but frame the face nicely; and more effectively so if it is a button down.
An important consideration is the addition of a casual jacket to finish things off elegantly.
Here there are two important candidates if we rule out a blazer (perhaps too formal and hot); shirt jacket (?shacket) and chore jacket perhaps clichéd and uninteresting.
The safari jacket and teba jacket provide more visual interest. Both jackets are completely unpadded and unlined for comfort and breathability during warm weather.
The most versatile colors are tobacco, olive green, cream and navy.
A linen safari jacket updated to exclude the epaulettes and belt hits the right notes.
*****Rust colored safari jacket, cinched internally at waist; the military antecedents are obvious from the picture. Founders’ Day Cadet Parade, Achimota 2023.********
An inner draw string provides the option of cinching the waist thereby shaping the silhouette sans belt thus avoiding the historical and costumey connotations.
So does rolling the sleeve to three quarter length.
A very useful component of the safari jacket is its four external pockets that are usually roomy and very easily accessible at all times; it makes for a great travelling companion.
The Teba jacket, originally from Spain, has a controversial history; but it does still provide a good counterpoint to just a polo and trousers alone.
It is much better in linen and sans flaps in the 2 lower pockets. You may even decide to have the collar up or down.
It also affords variations of drape with its classic four buttons.
*****Navy Blue Safari jacket, ivory cotton pants, light blue linen shirt; Kech – July 2022.******
Once again, the ladies are welcome to participate fully in wearing these two jackets.
Footwear choices to complete both ensembles are many.
They include unlined loafers – calf or suede, desert boots, spectators, espadrilles and low top trainers – all with or without socks; our toes must be kept concealed at all costs.
Finally, lose the baseball cap; much better is a high quality Panama or a linen Baker boy cap.
Now how are all the above suggestions for quiet summer elegance whether here at home or abroad?