Have fun, and be smart
My friends consider me an ideal shopping partner. They know I will eagerly guide them to shops where they can unearth gorgeous finds, let them explore and wander off without losing my patience, advise them on where to get a better deal and show them how to personalise their look with a unique mix of accessories.
But if there's one social activity I don't enjoy much, it's shopping for myself with a partner or in a group. I think it is because I see shopping as a solo activity. I become so blissfully absorbed while shopping that I sometimes find myself spending hours drifting from store to store, not always with the intention of buying, sometimes just browsing, assessing and imagining how certain items would work with my existing wardrobe.
I am not as relaxed, focussed and happy if I'm shopping with someone else. When I'm with others I can't take my time to try on items or think things through without worrying about someone else's patience running thin.
I don't shop often though. I have a lot of items in my wardrobe that I've had for 10 to 15 years which I've either revamped or found new ways of wearing. But when I need new purchases, where I shop is equally as important as how I shop.
I prefer places that provide more than just a great selection of items. I like places that enhance my experience, and that's why I love boutiques. KLuK CGDT in Parkhurst is one of my favourites.
What I love most about the women who work at KLuK CGDT is that if you try on something and it doesn't suit you, they'll tell you, but not in an insensitive way. Their service isn't centred on making immediate sales but ensuring that the customer leaves with an outfit that makes them look and feel beautiful.
I also enjoy shopping at markets, especially when I'm travelling in West Africa. I get to purchase items like intricately beaded jewellery while seeing local artisans at work. I also gain great insight into a country's culture, people, food and music. It's a sensory experience.
I've done away with my credit cards. I only have an international one, and it's for emergencies. I think people use credit cards as a crutch and it's so easy to buy what you don't need or can't afford.
I've learnt that you don't have to buy expensive clothes. A few years ago I saw a pair of beautiful pants in Hyde Park that retailed for R2 500. Since I don't like to splurge, I didn't buy the pants.
I rejoiced when I returned to the store a few weeks later and saw they were on sale for R250.
While wearing the pants I bumped into a friend who is a stylist, and she said: "Oh, you've been shopping at China Market [New Doornfontein]."
Confused and slightly offended I asked her to elaborate. She told me I could get three pairs of the same pants for R75 at the market.
I suppose people tend to underestimate the Johannesburg CBD as a shopping destination. There' s so much there - you just need to look for it.
Once I worked in town when I had to go from a corporate meeting to an MC gig, and at the last minute I was told I must wear "something African". I walked the streets of Braamfontein, and R100 later I had an outfit that suited the occasion.
As sensible as I am, I have a weakness for handbags. I've got everything from Gucci and Prada to a Hello Kitty bag. Most of my friends cringe at the sight of my Hello Kitty bag. They think I'm too old for the brand but I just couldn't help myself because it looked so cute.
I guess my style philosophy is buy what you love and wear what you're comfortable in. It's something both my mothers taught me.
Motene has relationships with her biological and her adoptive mother. She is an actress, presenter, producer and activist. She recently co-produced the film 'Man on Ground'
THE STORE REPORT:
Most recent purchase?
Last week I went to the premier of 'Man On Ground', the movie I produced. The theme was African glam, so I wanted something that wasn't overtly African and something with a twist. I found this beautiful wrap-around dress from KLuK CGDT and I accessorised it with a leopard-print fur throw.
I don't have a favourite shop but I love markets, shopping villages and boutiques. My favourite places to shop are 4th Street in Parkhurst, Hyde Park Corner, the Rosebank Rooftop flea market and a shop in Ghana called Oxford High Street.
Favourite local designers?
There's an up-and-coming designer named Karabo Finger. She's dressed me a few times and I keep returning because her clothes are innovative and slick. For ball gowns I go to Pallu in Sandton (011-783-8290 ) and I obviously love KLuK CGDT at 46 Sixth Street in Parkhurst (083-377-7730).
Favourite international shop?
I love Gucci. I don't often buy in that price range but I love the experience of being at Gucci, especially the one in New York. You're welcomed into the shop. They sit you down, they offer you a cup of coffee, they showcase their stock. It's literally like stepping into someone's stylish apartment.
Favourite city to shop?
New York, especially Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It's very bohemian and eclectic so you can be who you want to be without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Do you shop online?
I'm very sceptical about online shopping because I've had my bank account hacked. Besides, I love going to a physical store.
Best coffee shop?
Favourites are Nice in Parkhurst (011-788 6286), Life Restaurant in Hyde Park (011-325-4350/5371) and Tashas.
For buying bread, milk and eggs?