Shop early, spend less


Shop early, spend less

The weatherman has for the longest time warned us about the impending El Nino rains and to be frank this warning gives me the chills!

Fact is, whether El Nino comes or not, the season for the short rains is here.

I love the sunny weather, it allows me to wear my best and brightest clothes, and let’s face it, most of our clothes are best suited to this kind of weather.

In fact, whenever people visit Kenya from certain countries they never fail to comment about how ‘lovely’ Kenyan weather is.

There is always that mzungu man dressed in short shorts in the middle of Nairobi’s CBD on a chilly morning telling everyone “lovely weather we’re having”.

One of my friends in London keeps reminding me that I should enjoy the Kenyan Weather since most of the year I get to wear what I want and don’t get subjected to seasonal weather changes like the Winter, which forces one to get all covered up in boots and scarves among other layers clothing.

I have to admit, I dread the rains! My fear stems from the fact that I have a short supply of clothes to wear during the rainy season. In fact, I only own two trench coats, and maybe one casual outfit that could work in this weather (I’m sure most of us fit in this bracket).

Most of the outfits I own are suited for warmer, dryer weather. The kind of outfit that earns you questions like “are you cold?” when you show up looking fancy at an event on a cold day (I’m sure I’m not alone on this).

That question makes one feel extremely underdressed for an occasion, not to mention self-conscious for the entire day!

On the other hand, underestimating the weather could have you leaving the house clad so warm that when the sun shines later in the day random people start asking “aren’t you too hot?”

I was on my way to Rongai last week to see a friend when a roadside shop caught my eye. The colourful trench coats hanging outside the shop attracted me so I stopped to ‘window shop’; I wasn’t planning to buy anything since the weather is still pretty warm.

Black and white checked trench coat from Thrift Shop, Black leather boots from Backyard shoes
Black and white checked trench coat from Thrift Shop, Black leather boots from Backyard shoes

As is the norm for most shops, I was told “kuona na kupima ni bure” (You can try them on for free), so I tried on one of the coats, and amazingly the fitting was perfect.

I asked how much they go for and I was surprised when the owner of the shop informed me that since it’s sunny, he would sell the coat to me at Sh1000 only, but if I had gone to the shop in the middle of the rainy season he would triple the price.

I wasn’t sure whether this was a selling gimic or not, but I soon learnt that it was the norm in the clothing business.

Black and white checked trench coat from Thrift Shop, Black leather boots from Backyard shoes
Black and white checked trench coat from Thrift Shop, Black leather boots from Backyard shoes

A few days later I visited my favourite shoe shop in Westlands during my usual window-shopping sessions.

At the shop, a pair of leather boots caught my eye but I informed the assistant that I was not willing to buy it since I have another pair of suede boots at home.

Here the shop assistant taught me two things; first that leather boots are best for wet weather since they don’t absorb weather.

Red pull-neck top model's own. Black leather boots from Backyard shoes
Red pull-neck top model’s own. Black leather boots from Backyard shoes

Secondly, that I need to buy early before the rains are upon us and the price doubles, confirming what the trench coat vendor had told me a few days back.

I now have that good feeling of having the best for less and you best believe it feels great!

El Nino weather fashion

Try it out, buy a trench coat, a pull neck top or a pair of leather boots while the sun is still shining and see how much less you will spend compared to buying when the wet weather begins.

Proven fact: It will cost you twice as much to buy an umbrella from a Hawker on the streets when it is raining than when the sun is shining.

 

 

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Liz Anyango
Story By Liz Anyango
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