Bamako - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business or business casual. Formal dress might not ever be required, unless you go to an embassy gala or something like that. - Apr 2021

Business casual at work, casual but culturally appropriate (no midriffs, but shoulders and legs are OK) in public. Formal dress for some higher-level political meetings and weddings. Women can wear pants or dresses or skirts, shorts will get lots of attention. - Apr 2017

Suit/tie for men. Regular summer work clothes for women (sandals are fine). In public it is rare to see men or women wearing shorts. Women long skirts. - Aug 2014

State wears jackets and ties everyday, USAID is much more relaxed. NGOs are very relaxed. Malians wear Malian attire, which can be quite nice. Generally Malians look better dressed than Westerners. It's hot, man!!! Outside work very casual goes. Women shouldn't show knees or wear tight pants. Just about anything else goes. - Jul 2011

Malians love to dress well. But casual is good. - Jul 2011

Business casual at work, very casual in public (but men should not wear shorts). - Oct 2010

At work is business attire. Dress shirt, dress pants. Public, pants and t-shirts. Malians think that men who wear shorts are boys but sometimes it too hot, so i dont' care what they think. - May 2010

Conservative but casual. Leave your shorts at home -- only children wear them in public -- unless you are actively participating in some sporting activities. Men usually wear ties at the embassy but not suits. Slacks are fine for women, though some wear dresses. Only thing you'll need formal is for the Marine Ball. - Sep 2009

Business casual. - Apr 2009

Very casual. - Feb 2009

Africans, in particular the women, dress up in wonderful fabrics and traditional outfits. We didn't dress up as much as at many posts. Most men wore khakis, button-downs and ties, and had sports coats. Few people wore suits. It's very hot, so you try to look professional and stay cool. I tried to wear linen. - Feb 2009

Work is business attire. In public, shorts on men are fine but not women. Bare arms on women are fine, especially as the Malian woman wear oversized shirts that tend to hang off of them, exposing a lot of skin. Clothes tend to wear out quickly here, especially for kids. - Jan 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More