The Five Cheapest Places To Shop For Clothes In Nairobi


I like newspapers. Regardless of what various people may say about newspapers in Kenya only playing at newspaperyness, I do enjoy certain papers at certain times/certain authors...or maybe it is because apparently my standards are low.

I never read some papers though, on the basis of grammar alone. You know who you are. But I digress.

The other day I was leafing through one of my usual favourites. For some reason (I say this because my usual MO is to skip this part) I was looking at the fashion pages. I have always known that the prices on these pages are ridiculous, but I still get shocked at the prices that some of these people put on that really should be a fraction of what they believe the worth to be. And when I say a fraction,

I don’t mean a quarter. I mean like a 32ndth. And then they have the audacity to write things like ‘price on request’. Those shoes are 5 sock. What do you mean, price on request??? *insert expletives* I really think the clothing industry/design industry in Kenya is deceptive. This is not New York, it is Nairobi. And whatever similarities we have to the Big Apple end with theft (yes, yes, like in prices of clothes. See how I did that?) I get that Kenyan designers cost a buck. But they shouldn’t. Because if we want to become a self-servicing (haaaa) nation, no one is going to buy your 15,000 shilling coat. Furr real. They need to petition the government (naomba serikali) to reduce...I don’t know where I am going with this. Find listed below the cheapest places to buy clothes. Yes, they are secondhand. Move on (the ‘cheap’ firsthand places, like Mr. Price, have all the quality and staying power of one wash/three walks in town. So moving on swiftly):

  1. You could get a custom tailor. Think of the design you want, describe/draw/print off the web and show it to the tailor. This is actually cheaper than many people think, and if you like things new, this is the way to go. New and unique, because you get to be the designer. The only place where this has the potential to go wrong is if you have a bad tailor. (I know a girl in UON who does jeans for 1k. Whoop!)
  2. The best place to get a pretty dress used to be George’s. Now George has gotten too big for his britches and charges far too much for everything...I remember him when he was a small timer, who still had respect for all races and humility to boot. So not the same now. NOW, we do Nancy Mwai’s The Fashion Notebook. She has sales for dresses – like ges shopping and sells them off her site – for as little as 2 sock. It’s such a steal.
  3. Toi and Ngara also used to be a shopper’s paradise (say it like Coolio). The other day I asked for a top in Ngara and the dude said 8 sock. And it wasn’t a stall. And I wasn’t ati wenging, or wearing diamonds. I burst out laughing in his face. Of course he quickly begun to insult me, but that is neither here nor there. Toi is cheap before you get to the stalls, then all hell breaks loose (unless you know people. But what about the people who don’t? I am the man who will fight for your rights...)The point is, we are now going to Gikomba and Muthurwa. Why? Muthurwa is paved, so stop freaking out. Don’t go to Gikosh when it’s raining. And the jav drops you right outside. No need to panic. Just be ready to shop till you drop. A top is 10 bob, for Pete’s sake.
  4. Maasai Market, as a sidebar, for all your jewelry/tapestry/Maasai sandal/house accessory needs. The one on Tueday, mind, in town, or Sato, also in town (as opposed to the Wednesday Capital Centre Thursday Junction Friday Village Market ones). Keep it Kenyan. :D
  5. And finally, your sister’s/mother’s/friend’s wardrobes. It’s not stealing if you tell them...then run. And what’s cheaper than free?

Because I refuse to buy a dress for 8,000 shillings.

Abigail Arunga

p.s. Did you know that Asile, the Chinese leather shop STILL has that discount sale going? I guess when you can’t sell a bag for 12,000, you try to sell it for 3000?


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