Short days and frosty dark evenings that start at 4pm have finally descended on London and it's taking all we can muster not to lock ourselves at home, build a duvet fortress and spend the winter watching the entire Netflix library. Winter warmer snuggle buddies are frantically being auditioned by friends, mulled wine is being stockpiled, and the 'I think I might just stay in tonight' texts are becoming increasingly common.
But the good thing about this side of winter is that along with the frost, comes the start of the festive season to keep us merry, at least until January after which we are all free to descend into full blown winter depression until Spring. The Christmas lights have been turned on and we have two months of festive spirit and partying ahead of us. If there was ever a time to stay in, this isn't it! We're celebrating people!
Which means it's also not the time for sticking to the traditional winter variations of grey grey and more grey outfits. For Styled By Africa, the festive season has coincided perfectly with the arrival of a new jewel print collection from Kenyan brand Njema Helena to SHOP SBA. If anyone knows how to celebrate in style it's Ghanaians, so we convinced our woman crush Maame Adjei, Producer of hit show An African City, who was visiting us in London from Accra to show us how to work a warm but glamourous look this winter as we party hop across town.
Boardroom to Bar
Njema Helena has curated a collection of beautiful winter statement pieces, including this playful backless Birgitta dress. The great part about this dress is that with the right blazer it's perfect for making the right impression at an important meeting, then come 6pm ditch the blazer, whip on some Ruby Woo lipstick and you're ready to let the sexy out at one of the many upcoming Christmas parties.
Now I know we recently wrote 'Look Mama No Short-Shorts' in our last blog post, but the party season is the clear caveat we forgot to mention. These Djamilla high waisted shorts are an exception to the rule for gatherings indoors. Brave the cold and wear them under a chunky jumper. Woolly tights are obviously a must- we said brave not foolish!
Moves like Jagger
Style icon Bianca Jagger knew what she was doing when she made turbans her trademark look- these bad boys are as toasty as they are stylish. For every day chic we've been outsmarting the frost in the midi Kattia skirt with a turban, woolly jumpers and an oversized jacket. The designer behind Njema Helena is Cecilia Ostman, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York who’s also designed for international fashion labels including Ralph Lauren. We love how Cecilia has managed to capture the everyday aesthetic, making it so easy to mix up and layer her pieces with our usual winter staples wool jumpers, turtlenecks and thick tights to make them a bit more festive fun. It's good to know that the light cotton fabric means we won't have to give them up come spring either.
So when you're ready to embrace the fun lover in you, Njema Helena is here to help you look the part. You can also visit our pop up African Gift Shop on the 29th November (10am-6pm) at Hassan Hajjaj's Boutique, 30-32 Calvert Ave, Shoreditch, London for our SBA Festive Takeover event and try all these goodies on, add them to your Christmas list and for the generous among you treat the special women in your life to something unique this season.
Written by Alae Ismail & Kiran Yoliswa, Founders of Styled By Africa
Styling by Alae Ismail
Photography by Roxanne Tataei