Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Dress code at the embassy ranges from business casual to formal, depending on the department and the event. Overall most people dress on the more business-casual end of things. - Mar 2024

Business or business casual, with local fabrics and patterns also available in a variety of options (shirts, dresses, skirts, etc) - Aug 2023

Very casual, I wear jeans and Birkenstocks if there are no meetings! - Mar 2022

People in Nairobi tend to dress nice. Women are fashionable. There are nightclubs and nice restaurants. There are balls and galas. Bring some nice clothes. Pack your heels. You'll wear them. - Aug 2021

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

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