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Slight variation on another thread! I've been asked to do some work in Kuwait - can anyone advise on dressing appropriately? Google isn't being entirely helpful... It's only for a week or two so I'd ideally avoid buying things I wouldn't wear again. I have some smart tops that are bracelet length (about 3 inches below elbow) - does anyone know if they'd be ok, or if sleeves should be full length? I also have a couple of silk shirts that are formal but slightly translucent because they're a pale colour. At home I'd just wear a vest under them, but it means you can see the outline slightly. Would that be acceptable, or should I wear more of a t-shirt underneath? I have some a-line midi skirts so hopefully sorted on that front... Thank you!
I did some work in Bahrain a few years back (in a context where I had to be doubly careful about what I wore). I actually found that trouser suits worked best for me. Kept ankles and wrists covered and meant I didn't have to get much extra for the trip as I already had quite a few lightweight suits from other work. I just work lightweight tops underneath.
I also had a few maxi skirts that I paired with the suit jackets.
I'd avoid anything at all see through, to be honest.
Someone with direct experience of Kuwait might have some better advise though...
I've worked in the Middle East a lot, including Kuwait.
Your bracelet length sleeves would be ok, but I would personally feel more comfortable in a full length sleeve. I would say absolutely no to the silk shirts. Again the skirt sounds ok, but personally as pp I feel more comfortable in a trouser suit when working in ME, but a loose midi skirt shouldn't raise any trouble particularly as a Western woman.
ASOS and Zara have some nice suits. I tend to wear a darkish trouser suit with a loose fitting vest type of top underneath of I'm sure I won't remove my jacket or a jersey type loose fitting top of I'm not sure. I always have a big scarf too just around my neck or in my bag, just a Becksondergaard type of one. It's handy for providing a bit of coverage hanging from your neck, or if you need to go outside you can cover your head to keep the sun off. Not that you have to cover your head of course. The sitcom is fierce I've always found so you'll be unlikely to be too hot.
I don't know what your hair is like but I have only worn my hair down there once and I felt very uncomfortable, it may have just been the company I was in, but I prefer to keep it up when I'm there now.
Thanks! I'll plan to wear my hair up. I'm trying to avoid having to buy suits if at all possible... I'll never wear them here and there's a big difference between my shoulders/hips/waist so they generally fit horribly. If I can get away with the skirts then I'll look for some simple long sleeved tops. I've just tried on the one of the silk shirts - with the right colour t-shirt underneath it isn't see through but I'll definitely avoid the other one!
It sounds like you will get away with the skirts. It's not too bad in Kuwait, really, it's not like Saudi or similar which I completely hate to go to work in.
I prefer to be more conservative and modest than most would feel the need to be. I am from Lithuania, originally and I think that it helps to be more conservative due to the occasional assumption in that area, that Eastern European = prostitute. As awful as that sounds. I find if I'm dressed ultra conservative I am taken far more seriously, which is very important in my line of work.
You don't have to drown yourself in a smock or horrible baggy clothes in Kuwait. Just go fairly modest and you will be fine. I hope you enjoy your trip, it's a nice place to look around and there's some good malls. Also they have HM, Zara and things like that, just to give you an idea, it's not all niqab and burqa in Kuwait!
You can always just wear a cardigan over the silk shirts. You can wear sleeves that are above your elbows as long as your shoulders are covered. Skirts need to be knee length. A vest under the silk shirts will be fine.