My Joburg Jumpsuit: A Love Story

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Arts and Culture, Johannesburg, Johannesburg City Centre, Markets/Shopping, Tours | 19 comments

This jumpsuit love story began eight months ago, when I booked a Caraci experience on Airbnb to celebrate my birthday. Thorsten and I spent a glorious day in the Joburg CBD, shopping for African print fabric, learning how to sew, hanging out in the city, and having fabulous jackets made to our exact measurements.

Heather and Thorsten at their first Caraci Experience
Thorsten and I in our first Caraci garments.

That initial experience happened in July, when Caraci owner/founder Sebo Marobela was overseas for several months. I started following Sebo on Instagram and discovered he was traveling in the U.S., spending time in several of my favorite American cities. I love following South Africans who travel in my home country and I found Sebo’s travel content delightful. We started chatting over DM, became Instagram friends, and Sebo invited me to do another Caraci experience with him once he was back in Joburg.

Sebo in Maboneng
This post is not only about my love story with a jumpsuit; it’s also about my (platonic) love story with Sebo.

Concurrently with all of this, I’d also been dreaming of a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are in these days and I love the idea of them. But finding the perfect jumpsuit, which both fits my body and doesn’t require 10 minutes to remove every time I need to pee, was proving a challenge. I had seen one or two jumpsuits in the Caraci Clothing Instagram feed and wondered if I could have one made during my next Caraci experience.

Spoiler alert: Sebo is even more delightful in person than he is on Instagram. And I got my perfect jumpsuit.

Heather in her Caraci jumpsuit
The perfect jumpsuit.
Heather and Sebo on the rooftop
Photos: Thorsten Deckler

A Caraci Jumpsuit Experience

I won’t recount my entire second Caraci experience in detail as I’ve already written about first one. Everything was the same, except this time I was with Sebo and Laurice (from the Johannesburg In Your Pocket Guide) instead of Nonhlanhla and Thorsten.

Introductions in the studio
Introductions in the studio.

After some introductions, we walked to Noble Fabrics on Troye Street, stopping to admire the Joburg sights along the way. We chose our fabrics — I chose two different prints this time because I had an extra outfit made (more on that later). Then we went back to London House to plan our garments, then went to lunch. The experience culminated in a rooftop photoshoot, which, for various scheduling reasons, Laurice and I did separately on another day.

Sebo and Laurice in Gandhi Sqaure
Sebo and Laurice in Gandhi Square.
Laurice at Noble Fabrics
Visiting the fabric shop is my favorite part of the day.
Inside Noble Fabrics
I was exceptionally overwhelmed in the fabric shop (as always) and did not capture a single photo of myself or the fabrics I chose.
Heather at City Hall
Quick stop at City Hall to launch my campaign for mayor. (Photo: Sebo Marobela)
Heather working with her fabric
Back at London House for our sewing lesson. I still suck at sewing but I was definitely better than last time. (Photo: Nonhlanhla Ngwenya)

The Caraci team has a studio full of sample items, which participants can browse through to choose the type of garment they want to have made. My jumpsuit was based roughly on a couple of other jumpsuits that they already had, but I chose to make mine without sleeves.

Heather mirror selfie
Progress photo before the final alterations.

The Final Jumpsuit

Let me pause here and reflect on the fact that I’m turning 50 in a couple of months. I’ve been struggling with this looming milestone, coming to terms with changes in the way my body looks and feels. So I came into this experience wanting to have fun with clothes and create something that would make me look and feel like a million bucks.

Sebo and his team have a joyous, body-positive approach to fashion. They know how to create clothes that make their customers feel great about themselves, and that’s what this outfit did for me.

Heather in jumpsuit
Photo: Sebo Marobela
Photo: Thorsten Deckler

Here’s a logistical note on what makes the design of this jumpsuit great: It has buttons, an elastic waistband, AND a zipper below the waist (similar to where the zipper on a pair of jeans would be). This combination of features makes the jumpsuit both extremely flattering and easy to take on and off (at least by jumpsuit standards). I want to wear it every day.

I felt like a runway model during this shoot, as both Sebo and Thorsten shot photos of me on separate devices. Let me stop trying to credit them as I have no idea who shot what.

As if that weren’t enough excitement, I commissioned a second outfit: a signature Caraci kimono with matching palazzo pants.

This was a wild fabric choice but I have zero regrets.
Heather in Caraci pants
I can wear both pieces as separates and they both have pockets.
Heather and Sebo
Good times.

AND, I had another jacket made for Thorsten.

Heather and Thorsten in Caraci clothes
We totally neglected Thorsten in this photoshoot and forgot to shoot the back of his jacket, which is even cooler than the front. Sorry, Thorsten.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Caraci Airbnb Experience is one of the best experiences I’ve had in Joburg and is worth every penny of the R3700 ($200) that it costs for the full-day experience — that price includes lunch and your finished garment. (Note: A garment like my jumpsuit is slightly more complicated than some of the other Caraci items, so if you want that one for your experience you may need to return the following day to collect the finished product.)

But you don’t have to do the full experience to get these clothes; you can also make an appointment with Caraci and commission a made-to-order garment, or buy one of the dozens of items already for sale in the studio. A jumpsuit like mine costs R1650 ($88), the two piece kimono set is R1600 ($85), and a bomber jacket like Thorsten’s is R1200 ($64), or a bit less if you buy it off the rack. WhatsApp Sebo at +27-76-025-1643 or email caracicreations@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you, Sebo, for my perfect Joburg jumpsuit. You’re a national treasure!

My Caraci experience was complimentary. Opinions expressed are my own.

19 Comments

  1. Natalie

    The pieces turned out great – and you look amazing in them!

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    OMG the jumpsuit is great on you, But the kimono and palazzo pants ARE DIVINE!!!! I would wear those i n a heart beat. And the fabric is great, But you didn’t mention that cute short dress with the overall straps. Did he make that too???? I am so bummed that I will only be in Joeys overnight on my safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe this June. Otherwise I would do this in a heartbeat

    Reply
    • 2summers

      No I actually I got that dress at a shop in MD! And I’m sure Sebo could get you a kimono set while you’re here overnight 🙂

      Reply
  3. dizzylexa

    That jumpsuit is stunning and it looks great on you. The kimono and pants look amazing as well. Great choices.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Thanks Gail. I could also see you in a kimono 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jeroen

    Dazzling. Now we just wanna see Laurice’s new outfit!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I’m also waiting for that.

      Reply
  5. Lani

    First, you know how I feel about jumpsuits 😛 but that being said, you look FABULOUS. It’s not only flattering, but the colors look perfect on you. I really hope you change your WP profile/home photo to one of these because you obviously look and feel so good.

    The jackets on ‘ol Thurston are a nice touch too. I think you should totally revamp your wardrobe! Why not get another jumpsuit or two (I can’t believe I’m suggesting this, heaven help us) and the kimono set. Seriously. You’re turning 50 and it’s such beautiful gift to feel good in your body and have fun in fabric heaven. xo

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Hahaha, I’m so glad you like it. I was thinking of you often as I wrote this 😂

      Reply
  6. AutumnAshbough

    The jumpsuit is very cool, but I really love your pants!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Thank you! I love the pants too and I think I’m going to wear them a lot, with and without the kimono.

      Reply
      • AutumnAshbough

        There’s just something about palazzo pants…especially with pockets!

        Reply
  7. Tabi Nicole

    That jumpsuit is so beautiful!! Love!!

    Reply
  8. Tumtum

    I came for the travel blog and stayed for the fashion 🙂 The two-piece is exceptionally good!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Haha thank you. The travel content is returning imminently!

      Reply

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