wedding guest outfits for men in nairobi kenya

How to navigate confusing Kenyan wedding/party dress codes

So, you’ve been invited to an exclusive party. Or even better, an exclusive wedding. Do you know those VIP weddings that don’t allow any phones or pictures other than those taken by the wedding photographer? One of those.

You’re jazzed. This is going to be fun. You can’t wait. But that feeling of joy quickly turns into one of confusion and anguish as you stare at the instructions on the wedding invite. What the hell does, “Dress Code: Vogue” actually mean? You Google it. Nothing comes up. Being the stylish gentleman that you are, you don’t want to go there and look very lazily dressed in an office work suit. That’s not your personality. You’re different. In a brilliant and sophisticated way. And you want your sense of style to showcase said brilliance and sophistication.

Have no fear. King Sidney is here(I’ve always wanted to be able to write that in one of my blog posts)

We’re going to show you how to navigate complex wedding/party dress codes in Nairobi Kenya. We’ll talk about why the confusion occurs in the first place, what to do about it, and then finally, we’ll give you a few different outfit examples based upon 2-3 confusing dress codes you may have encountered. Particularly if you want to step in there and pull loads of compliments.

Let’s dive in.

Why are Kenyan wedding/party dress codes so confusing?

They are confusing because they are not real. In the sense that they are not set in stone. They are essentially one individual’s opinion. And opinions are subjective, not objective.

Let me explain.

The earth is round. That’s not subjective, it’s objective. And by that I mean it’s taken as fact by everyone, well almost everyone (hello conspiracy theorists)

The smart elegant dress code on the other hand is very subjective. The word smart and the word elegant will mean 2 different things to 2 different people, right? If I’m a Rastaman who never ever wears suits, then smart elegant to me could mean wearing a suit for the very first time. However shoddy and baggy the suit is.

However, if I’m a lawyer who’s always in a suit, well then smart elegant to a wedding obviously means a nice wedding guest dinner jacket or a tuxedo.

Different strokes different folks.

So how do I navigate the Kenyan weddings/parties dress code fiasco?

Well because it’s subjective you interpret it the best way you know-how from a human perspective. Because that’s exactly what the wedding or party organizer did when they were coming up with the dress code. They pictured it in their minds and pulled words that they felt best described it out of thin air.

Sometimes the instructions will be very clear and widely accepted (all-white affair, black tie, etc…) Sadly though, more often than not, they will tend to be vague, unclear, and dreamy sounding (Black vogue, Winter ice, etc…)

So a wedding dress code like Black Vogue means dress in something with a bit of black in it that makes you look like you’re on the cover of Vogue magazine.

Fantastic. Now show me a few examples of outfits for high-profile weddings/parties in Nairobi Kenya with set dress codes that will have me looking like the King I know I am.

All dress codes for important functions and events tend to fall into 3 major categories. Smart casual, very formal, and unique bold creative type. It all depends on your personality and how powerful of an impression you’re looking to leave.

Smart casual/Dressy casual dress codes Nairobi Kenya

This category includes the infamous All White Affairs. Anything that can be interpreted as smart casual goes here. This category often tends to be the most straightforward. For that sprezzatura look that showcases the fact that you’re a super stylish individual, a broken suit look comprising of a sports coat and formal trousers like the one shown below is guaranteed to achieve the desired powerful impression effect.

smart casual men's suit nairobi kenya

Formal dress codes Nairobi Kenya

This category includes black tie, white tie, formal attire, cocktail attire, etc… Functions that fall into this category are often gala dinners, charity events, and fundraisers. For this dress code, a unique black tuxedo such as the one shown below will do two things.

It will satisfy the dress code adequately whilst showcasing your more creative out-of-the-box personality.

unique wedding guest tuxedo in nairobi kenya

Unique bold creative dress codes

This category encompasses any dress code that requires you to really dress up in unique ways. Here’s where you will find dress codes subject to individual interpretation. Moulin Rouge, The 90s, Black white and gold, Black Vogue, etc…

I personally really like this category because it gives one the opportunity to really dress up in creative and powerful ways.

As highlighted in the video below.

One last thing.

When in doubt, DO NOT WEAR A SUIT.

Yes, I put that in caps. Especially if you’re looking to achieve that wow factor of eyes widening and jaws dropping with respect.  

A suit is extremely lazy. It shows no effort to dress up for the event. At all. The event organizers will often feel slighted if they make the effort to dress up in a fancy dinner jacket or tuxedo or designer blazer and you show up looking like you left the office 3 minutes ago and stepped right into the event without bothering to go home and change.

But I don’t even know why I included that last point. You’re too suave of a gentleman to ever step into an event not looking and feeling like the King that you are. My bad.

Cheers and God bless.