Hey my loves,
It’s a brand new month and we are stepping in to October with swag and style. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to look good. I recently made my way to Gikomba Market which I visit at least twice or thrice a year to stock up on some good outfits and I was quite impressed with what I got. I shared all the items I got here so be sure to watch the full video.
If you are planning on making your way to Gikomba market, here are some practical tips that would make your shopping less stressful and more fun:
Dress: Gikomba Market
Photography: Shem Obara
1. Go early
Going to Gikomba very early in the morning has great benefits. By early, I mean by 7 a.m if not 6.30 a.m. Just sacrifice and go early because first, that is when the bale is being opened which means you will get the best items. Secondly, most second hand traders who sell in Ngara Market, Toi or even online, go at that time so going early means you can get the items they would most likely pick and resell to you at a higher price. Thirdly, going early before the sun is out will enable you to do your shopping with ease and more energetic. Imagine having to shop with the scorching sun! Tiring, right? So just sacrifice the little sleep, go in early so that you can finish early as well.
2. Dress comfortably
When going to Gikomba market, I would advise that your put on some tights and t shirts and a jumper that you can tie around your waistline in case it gets hot. Why? Because you want to try on the skirts and trousers with ease and tights just make it easier. When it comes to shoes, I normally go with my Bata Ngoma or Sport shoes if it hasn’t rained for a while. The last time I went to Gikosh, however, it had rained the previous day and therefore it was really muddy. I chose to go with boots that could easily wiped and this was worthwhile. The mud in Gikosh is not like one in your regular hood because the paths are limited and some mud-holes run really deep. The boots really helped navigate the market. And the good thing is that you will find some men who clean for you the shoes at around K.shs. 20/- just where the matatus are.
One more thing that would be helpful is a sling bag which you can comfortably carry esp from the front! This is pretty handy to put the cash you need! Avoid putting your money in pockets because it’s bound to fall when you are trying on different clothes. Also, avoid very big handbags because you want to reduce your luggage.A sling bag also helps in ensuring you are safe because it’s literally hanging across your shoulder. There are people who are out there to steal from you so it’s easier when the bag is closer to your body.
3. Pick what fits or adjust with Gikosh tailors
Having shopped in Gikomba for years, I often find myself with so many items that I bought but never wore because they didn’t fit. The mentality was that I would adjust them later since they were big. Unfortunately, life catches up with us and we often forget about those items. So after I discovered the tailors around the market, I found it so helpful to always adjust my trousers right after I have bought them in the market. The advantage is that the tailors are super fast and the cheap. Once I get home, I have everything I loved perfectly fitting. However, if you trust your local tailor to do the adjustments, well and good!
4. Keep you fare aside.
There is nothing as addictive as shopping at a very cheap price!! You can shop
till you drop or, till you use up your transport money. We don’t want you walking back all the way home so please put your transport money aside whenever you go to shop in Gikomba market!
5. Not everything is cheap.
While the goal is to get good outfits at a cheaper price, it doesn’t mean you should not sacrifice a few more coins and get that dress you see hanging on the hanger (like this one here). It’s easy to ignore the clothes that are highly displayed by the traders thinking they are way expensive. They are not. If you like something, just inquire about it and if you can, bargain.
6. Cheap can be expensive.
This just means that you have to be extra vigilant when shopping because you might end up with dresses that have holes. Inspect the items you are choosing for mishaps and if the mishaps can’t be easily fixed, move on to the next item! I once bought a really cute hot pink towel just to get home and realize that the colour was fake. Once I soaked it in water, the towel was white!! So be extra vigilant because cheap can be expensive!!
7. Weekdays vs weekends
Although my last visit to Gikomba fell on a Saturday, I was advised by one of the traders that weekdays are better because understandably, most women traders are busy on Saturdays with chamas, family events etc. That actually made sense. So to get a variety of options, I think it’s safe to go on a weekday as opposed to a weekend. One lady I buy trousers from also told me that Thursday is one of the best days to go. But hey, any weekday should work!
What other useful tips do you have? I would love to hear from you so please leave your comment down below. As usual, thank you for stopping by. Let’s be friends on instagram and facebook as well 🙂