Cape Town is a mecca for fashionistas, boasting a trove of one-of-a-kind stores. Discover authentic, handmade African outlets alongside high-end designer stores featuring international brands. Not sure where to start? Whether you’re after African prints, homeware or casual wardrobe staples, you’ll find it at these top Cape Town boutiques.
Looking for ethically produced, eco-friendly clothing in soft tones? Head down to Sitting Pretty, a womenswear boutique in the Gardens Shopping Centre, also available online. Founder Emma Longden launched the line in 2009 with the aim of creating simple, relaxed pieces that offer a fusion of bohemian chic design and urban elegance. All the clothing is made in Cape Town using natural, sustainable fabrics such as cotton, bamboo and hemp.
Shop for local and international fashion brands at Madison Boutique, in Cape Town’s Constantia Village Courtyard in the southern suburbs. Mother-and-daughter team Sue and Debbie Goldstein have been running the show for over 20 years and restock the rails weekly with hand-selected lines. Shop for everything from casual jeans and tops to dresses and accessories. Expect stylish, laid-back clothing from names including YAYA, Seafolly, Karien Belle, Aldomartins and Hammock & Vine.
If you’re planning a wedding or a big night out in the Mother City, Eufrasia has you covered. This upmarket Canal Walk boutique sells a range of elegant evening and everyday wear, as well as lavish wedding, flower girl and bridesmaid’s dresses. Try on one of Eufrasia’s innovative infinity dresses, which have a bandeau top and adjustable straps so they can be worn in over a hundred different ways. You can also find that classic little black dress or glitzy evening gown here.
Mungo and Jemima
Support South African designers by visiting Mungo and Jemima at the V&A Waterfront’s newly renovated Alfred Mall. Established in 2008 and owned by Marian Park-Ross, the boutique stocks clothing from the duo’s own lines, Coppelia and Good, along with hand-picked pieces from national talent. Brands include Min, Loyde Triana Swimwear and Matter of Fakt. Quality and timeless fashion are valued above fleeting trends, making this the go-to store for women of all ages looking for clothing that has its own voice.
The V&A Waterfront offers Cape Town’s swankiest shops and is home to worldwide brands. For a more boutique experience, head to the nearby Watershed, a cavernous former warehouse that showcases South African artisans and designers. Peruse over 150 stores that sell a selection of fashion, jewellery, art and ceramics. The Watershed is a particularly great place to pick up traditional African fabrics, dresses and local textiles. If you’re lucky, you might catch one of the Watershed’s regular exhibitions, too.
Stable is a homeware haven that specialises in locally designed furniture, accessories, lighting and storage solutions. The boutique is curated by owner Aidan Bennetts, whose vision is to house products from some of South Africa’s top designers, all under one roof. With over 100 brands for sale, you’ll discover unique goods that range from cork and ceramic tableware to modern art and carved wooden ornaments. Visit Stable on Loop Street or shop from their online store, which has international shipping options.
Shop for everything from dresses to kids’ clothes and maternity wear at Mareth Colleen. The boutique is a collaboration between fashion designers Mareth van der Walt and Colleen Lesch, whose partnership grew out of creating a single wedding dress together. The pair are dedicated to using African materials, with an emphasis on intricate beadwork made by locals. Enjoy clothing that offers a mix of clean lines and innovate design twists, available from their Watershed store or website.
Take a trip to the Old Biscuit Mill, a shopping and food emporium in Cape Town’s hipster suburb of Woodstock. In among the coffee joints, ceramics stores and art galleries you’ll find Plush Bazaar. The small boutique stocks a range of homeware, including kitchen staples, glassware and French Country and Victorian collectables. If you’re visiting the Old Biscuit Mill on a Saturday, enjoy the delicious artisanal snacks and craft beer available at the Neighbourgoods Market.
Merchants on Long
This sleek boutique enjoys a prime spot in a 19th-century art deco building on Long Street. Owned by heiress businesswoman Hanneli Rupert, Merchants on Long features a variety of goods made by African designers from all over the region. Browse Rupert’s own line of ethically produced Okapi bags alongside clothing for men, women and kids and statement homeware pieces. The store specialises in bold African prints and luxurious local fabrics.
And Banana – Ethno Bongo
This Watershed boutique is the creation of husband and wife duo Ralf and Mijou Beller. The store blends their African-inspired jewellery range And Banana with furniture brand Ethno Bongo. The couple design all their products in a showroom in Hout Bay, where local artisans handcraft pieces using organic materials including shells, palm fronds and driftwood. Add a touch of Africa to your jewellery collection with a rope necklace with coral and beads, or get a wine bottle holder made from a French oak wine barrel.
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