Many Kenyan people out there think that you have to wear suits and suffocate yourself with a tie all week. For some people, this is a personal preference but for those with a rather wild spirit, you could experiment a few looks and actually get away with it depending on time with respect to the day of the week in most offices in Kenya. Monday to Thursday is easy to dress up but what happens on Friday, or on that Saturday when you have a meeting to attend in the office? You clad in business casual! You want to look casual and relaxed, it being on a weekend and at the same time you want to look formal- right? Here are a few tips on how to dress to the office, especially in Nairobi on such days.
This is the most official of the business casual look. Elegant casual always has to be in 3 pieces. You could for instance, wear blouse a trouser and a scarf for the Kenyan ladies and a shirt trouser and coat for the men. Fabric is a determinant as to whether a garment is elegant or dressy. For instance, silk and chiffon are safer bets for elegant casual than cotton and rayon. Dresses with modest necklines that do not show cleavage are also appropriate. This look is relaxed but still gives you the edge.
Basic Business Casual
This could be considered rather confusing as both terms “business” and “casual” lie on two extremes in the Kenyan context.
However, business casual allows ladies to add more colour to their outfit. The business casual look is usually a 2 piece outfit. You could for instance wear a sleeved blouse and a trouser for the ladies, and a polo shirt and a trouser for the men. The latter look is better on the slightly aged folks. This looks defines you as being serious for a meet up or talk while still enjoying the dressing down befitted to weekends.
Well, this is more ideal for the people at the coastal areas in Kenya. Having in mind that these are high humidity areas, it is advisable that you wear something that doesn’t make you uncomfortable due
to heat. Matching linens for the ladies and knee or calf length shorts for the Kenyan men. For the men, a shirt with a collar, pants or dress shorts coupled with loafers or top siders is also an example of a resort wear. A sports jacket could also be worn on those cold breezy nights in coast. Resort casual is neither too overdressed nor too formal.
This is basically dinners or other after hours functions, that are held away from the office that you need to attend. For after hours, wear dark coloured clothes say blues and blacks in two or three pieces. The men could wear a black trouser, checked blue shirt and a dark blue coat for an afterhours function. For the ladies, a simple dress with a matching coat completes the look.
With these few tips, you could look formal on that Saturday morning meeting and still have the abandon that comes with casual dressing on a weekend.