Power politics call for power dressing, but some Kenyan politicians never got the memo. With salaries and allowances reading like power metre number, they are very far from the work house and should thus dress up- be it during cocktails, when opening cattle dips, meeting dignitaries, at the gym or during national days like Madaraka Day.
The reason is simple. Seeking public office calls for candidates who can look, speak and be the part since dressing is a veritable marketing thread.
Indeed, every political cycle brings with it political sharp dressers, drab dressers who rope in stylists and a pastoral cohort in dire need of sprucing up. Here are best and worst after the 2017 General Election:
Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho has vibrancy and style and does not shy from making sartorial statements. Whether it’s his religious outfits, casual or formal wear, the Sultan brings it home, topping it up with a well-trimmed beard. The baseball cap over signature sunglasses gives him a bad boy that women can’t get enough of him.
A risk taker in her dressing, Nairobi Women’s Rep Esther Passaris is the epitome of a modern woman’s dress code. She loves fitted colourful dresses, long gowns and recently she wore a sheer that revealed all the right places. Whether in braids, natural hair or weaves Passaris is always looking good with her pin up red lipstick complements her make-up.
He is the king of well-fitting suits who gives new style to the wearing of ankara bowties which he never repeats. Najib Balala, the Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, also looks even sharper in casuals, mostly polo shirts which slide well into his lean frame and suave coastal looks and swagger making the ideal poster boy of Kenya’s tourism.
Prefers three piece and single breasted suits in classy, fitting cuts. Nixon Korir, the Lang’ata MP has inject youthful swag to parliament. When not in suits he loves khaki pants paired with plain shirts and fitted blazers with Brogue, Oxfords, Boat shoes to sneakers to complete the look.
Mutula Kilonzo Jr
He is trendy in fitting single breasted or three piece suits compared to his late father’ pinstripe suits with red lining. Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr is modern and accessorizes his suits with coloured ties including a recent daring pink tie. Though patterned suits are hard to pull off Kilonzo Jr has embraced them making him stand out from the usual plain ones.
He has a timeless style that keeps getting better with age. Siaya Senator James Orengo loves pin-striped suits in bright blue. Even when casually dressed, Orengo looks hip in his expensive checked shirts or untucked floral shirts.
She looks great in her colourful signature skirt suits. Ann Waiguru, the Kirinyaga County Governor style is more minimal, modern, lady like and paired with a statement neck lace and earrings. Waiguru also changes her hairstyle from side parted relaxed hair to low bun cornrows.
She has carried her power glamour dressing from Foreign Affairs to the Education Ministry where she’s now Cabinet Secretary. Amina Mohammed takes the cake as one of the most fashionable female politician with her love for scarfs as fashion accessories. Whether in French knot, knotted necklace, double sided twist and classic loop, Amina plays around with them just as she does with trousers paired with statement coats and patterned and flowered shirt dress as her pin up look.
She still appears elegant even when in conservative pieces incorporated with traditional accessories to her tailor made dresses. Naisula Lesuuda, the MP for Samburu West is mostly spotted in her ankara dresses which range from dira, skirt suits and long fitting complimented with a warm smile, accentuating her sophisticated, youthful and chic look.
Her go to dress types are the midi bodycon which she accessories with different styles of neck laces from layered chains, pearls and chokers. Nakuru Senator, Susan Kihika slays well with her simplicity and elegance.