Our sense of style changes over time. We develop it as we get older. Life events like parenthood (human or animal kids), job changes, and such affect it. And in the case of the expat, moving to a new place also changes it. Maybe it’s a different culture or climate. Maybe it’s both.
For me, for the most part, my style is the same. But I’ve noticed some changes:
- I’m still mostly wearing black and gray and otherwise monochrome. But, I have some splashes of color and some pieces from kitenge and kikoy fabrics.
- I’m wearing heels less often unless they’re wedges. I still break them out for a night out…but it depends on where we’re going. Cobblestone, gravel, lawns, and uneven sidewalk are not friends to heels.
- Layering, while always needed in NY, is now an absolute must. The temperature severely drops when the sun goes down.
- Because I’m no longer going into an office, I need and have fewer dressy everyday clothes. I’m more casual and…well…even doing a bit of athleisure.
- Actually, let me append to that last bullet. I’m doing a lot more athleisure.
- Having dogs and going to Karura Forest almost everyday, I have a set mini-wardrobe I refer to as my Karura Wear. That’s sort of a mix of old jeans, clothes for safari, and old gym clothing.
- While I don’t need as much formal office wear, I do need more formal wear. Ball gowns are now part of my closet.
- Last note, I’ve discovered what is my most valued (read: I need tons of these) item: the long-sleeve t-shirt. It’s the most useful garment for me in Nairobi. I find myself wearing this 80 percent of the time.
Are you an expat in Nairobi or elsewhere? Has your style changed at all? I’d love to hear from others.