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Best Election Day Outfits: What to Wear to the Polls

It’s that time of the year when citizens leave the comfort of their homes to go exercise their franchise. As a bona fide Nigerian national, you have no reason not to partake in this decisive moment of our beloved motherland. But before you head to the polls, you need to be sure you’re wearing the right election-day outfits.

“What does that mean, Victoria?” I hear you ask. “Can’t I wear just anything to my polling unit and cast my vote?” Sure, you can. But you see, an election is a very critical moment. In Nigerian parlance, “everybody blood go dey hot.” And if you’re not careful, your outfit may get you into trouble especially now that soldiers have been deployed to different parts of the country.

So what do you wear to look good, feel comfortable, and prevent trouble from coming to you as you exercise your right to vote? The answer is in this piece you’re reading.

How to Dress Like Your Preferred Candidate Will Win

a lady wearing a black midi skirt with slit and a green top and green bag

Non-Political Shirts

I know you love your political party and its candidates but for the sake of your safety, don’t wear any partisan merch on election day. 

If you’re going to wear a shirt, tee, or polo, ensure it’s a solid-colored one. And if you opt for graphic tees, the words written on them should have no political or tribal slur. Go completely non-partisan with your outfit and let your preference be between your thumb and the ballot paper.

Plain Cap

a lady wearing a bodycon dress with a black baseball cap

Similarly, don’t wear hats, caps, wristbands, or any accessory that aligns you with a particular political party. So save your PDP, APC, LP, APGA, etc., caps and T-shirts for another day.

Don’t wear them anywhere near the polling unit because there’ll be thugs around with zero tolerance for other parties. Instead, wear a plain cap. You need it to protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun as you patiently queue.

Comfortable Clothing

a lady wearing a floral dress with flat slippers

You’re neither going to a party nor a fashion show. So, save your best-dressed looks for another day. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look stylish to vote.

Of course, you can. But in this instance, comfort is a priority. This is Nigeria, anything can happen, including hearing random gunshots or the sound of bottles clashing or breaking on someone’s head.

So wear comfy clothes like jeans, shorts, T-shirts, free dresses, etc. They support easy movement. Moreso, these clothes are breathable enough to keep you from feeling too hot when the crowd gets congested.

Deodorant and Perfume

perfume and deodorants as election outfits

My dear friend, you will be sweaty when you go to vote. This is because the place will be crowdy and it’ll reek of sweat and…body odor!

Since you’re an ardent reader of Svelte Magazine, everybody else is permitted to smell bad, not you. So please don’t be a part of those ones who will go to their polling unit with a repugnant body odor.

Take your bath, use deodorant, and wear your perfume correctly so it lasts long. We already have enough problems going on in the country. Let the welcoming fragrance you ooze be the reason your neighbor smiles,

Comfortable Shoes

I know you love heels and tight sneakers. But you see, now isn’t the time to make a fashion statement. Now is the time to vote and monitor your polling unit so the people around don’t play any hanky-panky game.

Now if you wear shoes you aren’t comfortable in, how will you be able to stand for hours, eventually vote, and then wait for more hours to ensure your vote counts?

In view of that, only wear flats like pool sliders, flip-flops, palm slippers, sandals, etc. If you’re gonna wear sneakers or any close-toed shoes, ensure they aren’t too tight. Forget about heels. Please, don’t wear them. They’re not the right election-day outfits at all.

Don’t Wear Camo as Election Day Outfits

Rihanna in a camo dress

You love the military and would like to be like them? Cool! But I beg you in the name of your creator, don’t wear anything camouflage to your polling unit. 

Besides the heavy military presence during the election, it’s against the constitution to unlawfully wear the uniform of the armed forces. (See section 110(1) of the criminal code to confirm).

So wear your regular clothes. Keep your camo tees and shorts for a different occasion

Flaunt the Nigerian Color

A man wearing a t-shirt with the Nigerian flag color as election day outfits

If you wanna wear anything partisan as election day outfits, let it be our national color instead. That is, green and white.

For instance, you can wear the Nigerian football jersey or simply wear a green T-shirt and white shorts and vice versa. Rather than indirectly implying division with your outfit, represent one Nigeria instead.

Sunglasses as Election Day Outfits

a lady wearing sunglasses with a balenciaga t-shirt as election day outfits

Besides protecting your eyes from the sun rays, sunglasses will help transform your look even if all you’re putting on are shorts and a T-shirt. In addition, it’ll give you that stern look and stop any hoodlum that may want to approach you with their trouble.

Sweater

A guy wearing a green sweater with a sling bag as election day outfits

You never can tell how the weather will be. If it looks cloudy before you leave home, do well to go with your sweater, hoodie, cardigan, or any outerwear that’ll keep you warm.

Sling/Crossbody Bag/ Fanny pack

sling bag as election day outfits

Your election day outfit won’t be complete without a bag for your items. You need one to keep your valuables in place while you exercise your franchise. Go for a sling, crossbody, or waist bag so you can hang it frontways and cling to it well enough so nobody snatches your phone or other items.

Other Election Day Starter Pack

a guy wearing shorts, tee, sunglasses, beanie hat as election day outfits

Apart from dressing right, you also need some items on election day. Here they are:

Your PVC

a picture showing INEC logo

Yes, please. This is the most important of them all. Without your PVC, you shouldn’t even be queuing to vote in the first place. So, before you dress up, put your PVC in your wallet or purse. Hold it like it’s gold because it’s your ticket to a new Nigeria.

Water Bottle

picture of a pink water bottle

Trust me, you’ll be dehydrated. You’ll likely stand in the sun for hours, waiting for your turn to vote so it’s best you go prepared.

Go with a water bottle filled with water and be ready to buy more sachets or bottles of water from vendors when you exhaust that one.

Power Bank

picture of a power bank and phone charging

As of the time of writing this piece, someone said this is the only functioning bank in Nigeria. And that’s because our commercial bank apps have been experiencing some difficulties.

Jokes aside, you need to power your phone. For this election, every citizen is an unofficial INEC official. If you notice any foul play, you can call the attention of the authorities by taking pictures and videos with your phone.

But when your battery runs low and your power bank isn’t available, will that happen? You know the answer.

Umbrella

a picture of an umbrella as election day outfits

If you don’t have a baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat, an umbrella will prevent the scorching sun from burning your face. Furthermore, you never can tell if it’ll rain that day so it’s just best you go prepared.

Snacks

a picture of small chops

You can’t stand for hours and not feel hungry. If possible, go with enough biscuits, sausage rolls, and everything else that can keep your mouth busy while you wait for your turn. If you don’t have them at home, buy on your way or go with enough money so you can buy from vendors around.

Be warned, some people may try to use hunger as a weapon fashioned against you to steal your vote. Let them know you’re voting your conscience but ensure you feed your stomach first so you’ll have the strength to turn them down.

High-Priced Valuables are not Election Day Outfits

man wearing white T-shirt, black sweat pants and white sneakers

Now that you know the election day outfits you should and shouldn’t wear, I’m guessing you’re psyched up to go cast your vote, right?

But hold on a second. If you must know, many citizens won’t be at the polling unit to vote alone. Some would be there to wreak havoc like stirring up a fight or stealing.

To avoid falling prey to thieves, leave your expensive valuables at home. If possible, don’t go to your polling unit with your expensive wristwatch, AirPods, wedding ring, etc. Leave them at home. You’ll be too engrossed in your environment to notice when someone comes close to you and takes them.

The same applies to your gadgets. Leave your laptop at home and only go with your phone. Even at that, ensure you hold your phone as though your life depends on it if you don’t wanna give it out to thieves.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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