The Best Boutiques in Cape Town, South Africa

It's unlikely you'll walk away empty handed from Merchants on Long
It's unlikely you'll walk away empty handed from Merchants on Long | © Merchants on Long
Photo of Amy Blyth
30 March 2021

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.

Sitting Pretty

Store
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4-C-mood
© Sitting Pretty

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.

Madison Boutique

Store, Shop
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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.

Eufrasia

Shop, Store
Map View

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

Shop, Store
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Support South African designers by visiting Mungo and Jemima at the V&A Waterfront. Established in 2008 by Kirsty Bannerman and 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 Watershed

Store
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Watershed Arts and Crafts Market, V&A (Victoria and Alfred) Waterfront, Cape Town, Table Bay, Western Cape Province, South Africa, Africa
© Ian Bottle / Alamy Stock Photo

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

Shop, Store
Map View
Stable
Courtesy of Stable

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.

Pan African Market

Market, Store
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Wire bowls from South Africa
© Neil Overy / Alamy Stock Photo

In the mood to barter? You’ll feel right at home in the Pan African Market, which features stalls and stores bursting with handmade treasures. Think wooden masks, beaded jewellery, colourful ceramics and leatherwork sourced from all over the continent. Soak up the heady market buzz and chat with traders from around Africa, while you wander the three-storey Victorian marketplace. Don’t miss the carved tribal drums and natural remedies; you can even get a custom-made outfit sewed by one of the resident tailors.

Mareth Colleen

Store
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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.

Plush Bazaar

Bazaar, Market
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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Dec 23, 2019: The Saturday market at The Old Biscuit Mill. This is a popular tourist attraction in the city.
© WireStock / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Bookstore, Building, Shop
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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.

Luvey 'n Rose

Art Gallery, Museum, Shop, Store
Map View
Luvey ‘n Rose is an art gallery and consultancy that features work by South African artists and hosts pop-up exhibitions. The company started in an old, converted house in Bo-Kapp before upgrading to a spot on prestigious Loop Street. Classic artwork from famous names such as Peter Clarke and Cecil Skotnes line the walls and almost all of the shop’s items, including its furniture, are for sale. Feeling peckish? Pop downstairs and grab a sandwich or pastry from the cafe.

And Banana – Ethno Bongo

Store
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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.

This is an updated version of an article by Andrew Thompson.

These recommendations were updated on March 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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