Nigeria is warm all-year, except for the occasional harmattan chill and some frigid temperatures on elevated areas like Jos and Pankshin in Plateau State and Obudu in Cross River State. Pack light cotton-based, comfortable clothing and a hat or cap and pairs of sandals for casual pursuits. No provocative dressing, please especially in the north or in the villages.
For business meetings, pack a suit. Nigerian official dressing is conservative and formal. Dressing often determines the kind of reception you get and improper or casual dressing at an official engagement is not encouraged. But shirtsleeves and a tie are usually sufficient. Donning a traditional Nigerian attire is almost always a plus and conversation-starter.
A foreigner in Nigerian clothing receives great admiration and trust. It is a good way to impress and earn confidence. Nigerian clothing is usually a loose embroidered or floral top and a pair of slacks or baggy shorts, or wrapper (a sari-like piece of colourful ankle-length cloth wrapped around the waist, for women).
They come in a variety of colours, designs and textures – and prices. The clothing etiquette is different in the north, which has strong Arabic influence. Most workers and business people put on flowing robes – most of them white – or equally acceptable but more casual kaftans, with cuff links, and sandals. Nigerian wears do not require socks.
Cloth weaving is an affectionate Nigerian art and the backbone of the ever-evolving Nigerian traditional haute couture. The Akwete cloth expresses itself through the delicate art of cloth making that found origin in Akwete, a small town in Abia State is fast changing the dress fashion of many women who live in, or come to the country.
The Akwete cloth produced on a wide loom in delicate and rich patterns has a width of a little more than a yard and is considered as fine workmanship by Nigerians and foreigners. Woven on narrow looms notably in the small town of lseyin in Oyo State, and among the industrious Ebira people who live in Okene, Kogi State the glittering, regal Aso Oke is extensively worn by Nigerians and foreign aficionados for society weddings and big traditional events.
The adire, made from a variety of cloths, and dyed into elegant, avant-garde patterns — and sometimes teasy — surrealistic motifs, is probably the most popular and most worn of Nigerian cloths. It emerges from the dying pits of Abeoukuta (Ogun State and several other towns, each with its own snooty artistic statement.