Cape Town is definitely one of South Africa’s top picks for fashionistas and shopaholics alike. While our pockets might not be as enthusiastic, the vast number of young, new, old, casual, and high-end local designer shops most certainly is. If you know where to look, our wardrobes are really spoilt for choice.
But what might not be as overtly accessible is fashionable garments without all the slits and cutouts. While modest fashion is visibly gaining popularity both in the Mother City and around the world, the chances are that six out of ten times what seems like the perfect long-sleeved maxi dress has a giant triangular cutout at the back.
So for those who enjoy a little bit more coverage, here are 5 local places to shop for modest wear:
Nala Cape Town
With the philosophy of “less is more, yet ever so striking,” this local store strives to create a balance of shapes and textures in their clothing so that it rests beautifully on the body for women who seek comfort without forfeiting elegance and charisma.
“Our love for modesty in fashion transcends in all the work that we execute, but with great care in ensuring that each shopper and client feel beautiful & confident while embracing the art of subtlety.”
You can shop online or visit them at their home-based store in Rondebosch.
And guess what? They’re currently having a sale too, but hurry because it ends on 26 July.
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- Location: 101 Milner Road, Rondebosch
- Instagram / Facebook: @nala_capetown / Nala Cape Town
- Website: nala.capetown
Gadija Khan Design
Catering to women of all sizes, this inclusive store embodies modest fashion by focusing on relaxed silhouettes, higher necklines, longer hemlines, opaque fabrics, and full-length sleeves when creating designs. Gadija Khan was inspired by the idea that we carve the life we wish to live, and clothing is the representation of this.
“Our contemporary modest clothing empowers you to be bold and to be in control. All our designs are limited in number or bespoke, allowing you to feel confident to live your beautiful life.”
You can shop both online or at their store in Kensington.
- Location: Unit 71, Old Timber Yard, 7th Avenue, Kensington
- Instagram / Facebook: @gadijakhan / Gadija Khan
- Website: gadijakhan.co.za
Taking on a more streetwear touch, Nuraan Samsodien collabs with her mother to create perfectly off-beat pieces in their edgy yet classic collections that celebrate the independent South African woman.
If more reason is needed to support this local gem:
“Being ethical and giving back to the community is at the forefront of Street Line’s mission; the brand hosts a charity drive every few months and donates all goods collected to neighbouring communities and organisations in need.”
You can shop online or pick up in-store at Workshop Modesty (Another favourite we’ll get into in a moment)
- Location: 269 Imam Haron Road, Claremont
- Instagram / Facebook: @streetlines_cpt / Street Lines Apparel
- Website: streetlines.co.za
As their slogan – “delicate and out of this world, made for the ethereal woman” – suggests, Ethereal Bespoke offers a variety of compliment-inducing garments ranging from jumpsuits to co-ords to coats, all of which are made with locally-sourced light fabrics that drape well on the body while oozing elegance and comfort wrapped in delicate-ness.
It’s an online store, but if need be collection in Primrose Park is available and can be arranged via Whatsapp.
- Location: Primrose Park
- Instagram / Facebook: @etherealbespoke / Etherealbespoke
- Website: etherealbespoke.com
If you’re the type of person that enjoys variety and options, this quaint boutique store is the perfect fit for you. Workshop Modesty provides a home to a number of local modest brands – and not limited to just clothes too. It offers woman’s clothing, wellness and skincare products, baby clothes, stationery, decor, and even some baked goods too.
The list of brand partners is extensive, but some to look out for (may I suggest an Instagram search of each one) are pomegranate wellness, Inara, Amani art, Choc Boss and a whole lot more.