I stumbled upon this really awesome shop in Long Street called Sitting Pretty – it's the kind of place that immediately burns a hole in your pocket with all it's beautiful goodies and rare items. From pretty, trendy dresses and quirky vintage accessories it will please any fashion-lovers heart...
Expect to find never-before-worn real vintage sunglasses by Vera Wang, or locally made brass and silver jewellery topped with a steaming cappuccino... Emma Longden’s shop is really the place to be. And that’s just the beginning. The main focus of the store is comfortable and affordable designer wear that looks and feels good.
‘I’ve always had a flair for design and since I was in school I used to make my own dresses. I never studied fashion, I did Interior design, but I’ve always been very into it and after travelling for many years, I started bringing in stuff from overseas and supplying different shops in Cape Town.
‘I opened a tiny little shop in December 2009, only 15square metres – it was minute – and then when this store became available in August and we moved in. I was so lucky to get this space and so I started stocking more designers.’
Coming into an area where there are a number of boutique and designer stores, Emma explained that she need to find new and up-and-coming designers which were not yet featured elsewhere. The store now includes designer labels such as Miyabi, Amanda Laird Cherry, Babette, Frolic, Patricia Nama, Hamsa and of course Emma’s own brand: Sitting Pretty.
‘Everything I have in here is stuff I like. Everyone wants to look good, but be comfortable at the same time and I use natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Most of the fabric I source locally, which is quite difficult because so often you’ll find a really great fabric and then all the other designers will find it as well, or you can only find 20metres of it. I also bring in some material from Asia.’
From antique mirrors and sale items spilling out of vintage suitcases to old school music playing from a gorgeous record player, Sitting Pretty offers a unique and relaxing atmosphere.
‘I love anything vintage and from doing interiors, I love finding old stuff and revamping it. The record player adds a nice edge combining modern and old and that’s what I do with the clothes as well. If I go somewhere and find a great pair of vintage shoes, I’ll get them and put them in the store so there are always once off pieces in the shop.’
Other items to be found are scarves, bikins, bows and handbags. Emma is also a self-confessed ‘hat freak’, and plans to stock more in the future.
‘What I wanted to create when I first opened this shop – because it is such a great space and there’s the bar in front – and you know I’ve gone into so many shops where you walk in, you look and you walk out, I wanted it to be different here. People can come in, hang out, read a magazine, try on some clothes, spend some time in the store, so it’s not just an in and out.’ So grab a coffee, taste some cake and try on some dresses. 084-908-1178
I particularly like:
Pink ceramic rose earings by Muchigaloosh
The dolls by Gwen Loves Harold
Button Earings by Lauren Fowler
Brass jewellery by Sitting Pretty
Handmade bows by Dear Dorothy
The Vintage record player (not for sale)
*unedited version of my story that was printed in the khuluma shop pages January issue.