Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Nothing out of the ordinary. Kenyans wear a lot of really colorful and eye-catching clothing, made from some really outstanding local fabrics. Otherwise, it's pretty normal. Folks at the office wear slacks and ties and such. On my free time, I'd wear shorts and flip-flops. - Dec 2018


Most dress in business casual. It seems the nicer you dress, the better you are treated. - Jun 2018


Business casual/casual generally. Women are typically more modest in dress than in the west. Rarely have I seen women in shorts, and local women mostly wear skirts, not pants. - Jul 2016


casual - Sep 2015


Business casual at work, some wear suits and ties. Women wear more conservative western wear (I wouldn't recommend short shorts or mini skirts, but not uncommon to see), tank tops are fine - Aug 2015


business casual. Africans dress up more. Every day you can see ladies walking to work--picking their way around mud, holes, and boulders--wearing high stiletto heels. - Jul 2015


Business, casual on Fridays - May 2015


Formal at work, casual in public. - Dec 2014


Conservative. - Jun 2014


Public it is pretty much the same as America. Embassy, business. - Jun 2014


Less conservative than DC but still somewhat dressy. - Jul 2013


Business casual. - Jun 2013


At work you can wear what you would wear in the US. In public, maybe dress a little modestly because you may get looks -- especially outside of Nairobi (but not at the coast) -- if you wear shorts. - Dec 2012


Same as DC for work. Kenyan professional women dress modestly by American-standards. - Aug 2012


Business casual. Short shorts and miniskirts are not the norm. - Dec 2011


Depends on whether you're with a gov't organization or nonprofit. Kenyans tend to dress up more. Most women (except the younger generation) wear skirts and dresses. Expats can wear just about anything they want. - Dec 2011


Fairly dressy. - Dec 2010


Very conservative. Much like in WDC, suits or dress shirts and ties for men, skirt or pants suits for women. Casual away from the office. The coast is predominantly Muslim, so ladies should cover up a bit, no short shorts. The coast is hot, so be prepared with hot-weather clothing. - Dec 2009


Kenyan women wear skirts, so you'll feel funny in shorts or sexy jeans. - Jul 2009


Work is business attire. You can wear business casual but the Kenyans wear business attire. - Jun 2008


We can’t speak for the embassies but my husband’s work is business causal. Kenyans tend to dress quite formally. - Feb 2008


Subscribe to our newsletter


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

Read More