New Styles coming February 2020

Super excited for these new dresses to arrive at Belle Dress Hire next month! I have tried to bring in a good combination of fabrics, colours and styles.

Some of them may seem unusual especially the “wet look” dress in black, but I know at the right event, with the correct hairstyle and accessories, this gown will rock any red carpet and totally stand out.

Belle Dress Hire is strictly by appointment only so check out the website or contact me on Facebook to arrange a one to one appointment. More dresses will also be arriving for Spring in April so will keep you all posted on those too.

There are even more new styles coming next month but I will blog separately on those as they are just too stunning to not talk about individually!

Charcoal grey, ombré style, full skirted dress with straps and pockets.
Stunning “wet look”, strapless gown with leg split to the front.
Velvet blue, lace top and jersey dress with fine straps and mesh low neckline.
Charcoal grey, ombré, sequin gown with peek a boo neckline and backless design.

Classic Navy Dress for hire.

Even though black is hard to beat, sometimes it can be very heavy looking, draining and ageing as well. The perfect alternative to a black dress is navy! It’s still super flattering because of it’s darker tones and is often just that little bit softer on the skin. Navy suits silver or yellow gold accessories. I would avoid the rose gold as I think it’s too much of a clash.

This beautiful navy dress is such a classically simple style in terms of shape but with a front leg split, a low neckline and beading it’s still sexy yet elegant. The heavy fabric in this gown means it doesn’t wrinkle and is super comfortable.

This dress is available for hire at Belle Dress Hire. Go to for an appointment.

Grunge it up!

At this year’s Women In Business Awards, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast, I saw more full length, formal gowns than I have seen in a very long time! It was fantastic to see so many women embrace the “black tie” theme properly and don a dress to the floor. I appreciate that in recent years, black tie events have been more flexible with the dress code and some women have preferred to wear cocktail dresses or indeed even jumpsuits due to tight finances, no time to shop, weight gain etc

Hopefully, this post will show you how you can take any dress from your wardrobe and give it a completely new look for very little cost. This blush, floaty, ruffled, spring/summer, bridesmaid/garden party dress with matching bolero has been hanging in Belle Dress Hire for quite awhile now. It is constantly overlooked because ladies have thought it wasn’t “formal” enough in style.

I was determined to show this dress off, because it really is beautiful and best of all, super flattering because of the boned, corset top going into a ruffle, layered skirt. All this gown needed was a bit of “edge” so, I went onto Google images and searched for red carpet, blush gowns. What I found was that the celebrities had either used strong Grunge make up looks to accompany the soft pink colour of the dress or hardcore accessories. I decided to do both!

I had a studded, black, leather, wide belt in my drawers, a few ear cuffs and some skeleton ear rings I had bought for Halloween one year, out they all came! I then raided my mum’s costume jewellery box for any heavy and silver bracelets as most of my stuff is yellow gold.

The brief I gave to the make up artist, Lauren’s Beauty Room, was a dark smoky, pink eye and nude lip. I appreciate pink eyeshadow is not common so she did an absolutely fantastic job and I thought the make up just perfected the overall look I was going for.

I guess what I’m saying is, try using accessories you already have to change a look. If the dress you have in the wardrobe is very structured for example and heavy in fabric, look for “soft” accessories such as a feather boa to accompany the outfit. If the gown is pale in colour, try to toughen things up with a contrasting texture such as metal or leather. So study the outfit first and figure out what the style is, then all you have to do is put a few “opposite” look accessories to really pull it all together and make the outfit interesting and more fashion forward.

Forget being matchy matchy, this is all about contrast, however, it does need to be complimentary at the same time. Just have fun, that’s really what it’s all about! I would love to see some of your looks ladies!

Don’t forget to check out belle dress for more blog posts and some customer photos as well.

Blush, ruffle, layered gown with matching bolero available in size 8/10 and size 12.
Fabulous make up which didn’t budge all night with Lauren’s Beauty Room in Lisburn.

Black is officially Back!

Currently the 76th Venice International Film Festival is taking place in Venice Lido, Italy.  The opening of the event yesterday on the 28th August saw some amazing gowns walk the red carpet. One thing struck me as I looked through the celebrity photos …. there were a lot of ladies wearing black!

Sometimes, black can be quite aging, therefore, it was fascinating to see young starlets and models such as Elsa Hosk, Sofia Ritchie, Martha Hunt and Barbara Palvin…….. all aged between 20-31 donning ebony coloured dresses.  The reason they all looked so fabulous is the fact that they kept their hairstyle and makeup relatively fresh and unfussy. There were no bold eyeshadows or lip colours paired with the gowns, the make up was mostly a nude palette and they all worked extremely well.

At Belle Dress Hire, I have some truly beautiful black dresses which would look fabulous with a slicked back bun or high ponytail and minimal make up.  All you need is a black bag and heels and you’re good to go!  If you’d like to make an appointment please visit




Corsets are back!

Oh my goodness, I LOVE a good corset! I remember when I was 18/19, that Paris Hilton and side kick Nicole Ritchie with their programme, “The Simple Life” were thee last word in all things trendy. Looking back, Paris even wore a denim corset in one of their most popular promo shots at a farm. I was living in America at the time and I shopped non stop in Victoria Secret for corsets to pair with jeans mostly and sometimes skinny trousers. It was my staple look for going out for a good six months at least!

Looking at Scarlett Johansson at Comic-Con in SAN Diego recently, she showed off her humongous new engagement ring as well as a corset dress which put her rib cage inkings on show. It was quite an elegant style dress but the corset shape and “see through” sheer fabric kept the look fresh, modern and quite edgy. Bella Hadid has also been seen in corsets a lot since Paris Fashion week and the one and only Kim Kardashian hit the headlines with her eye wateringly tight corset gown by Thierry Mugler at this year’s Met Gala.

Even the regal and sophisticated Amal Clooney has succumbed to the corset trend in a sheer Chantilly lace gown by Jonathan Simkhai which she wore on a recent dinner date with hubbie, George. She cleverly kept things refined by adding a nude slip under the dress to reduce the level of skin showing.

I have some stunning, corset gowns available for hire and they do work wonders for your waist. Corsets are great for all body types, but especially those who tend to be more square in the middle, or a boyish straight up and down torso as the bones of the corset create shape and therefore can give you a waist!

Check out a few samples of corset dresses …… all available at Belle Dress Hire.

Two piece set with corset top and tulle layered skirt. perfect for weddings!


Black, jersey, full length gown with leg split and sequin detail. Available in size 8.



New styles coming soon……

Super excited for these two new gowns to hit Belle Dress Hire! They will both be available in sizes 8/10 but can also be altered to fit a size 6 which is included in the hire fee.

I anticipate these dresses to be available for hire from early May 2019 onwards. To try these dresses as well as a large selection of other gowns please make contact through the website for an appointment.

Pastel colours for Spring Evening Wear

It’s official! Pastel, pale colours are in full bloom for Spring and you CAN wear them for evening wear not just for weddings.

I have to be honest and say I don’t offer a wealth of paler coloured dresses for hire at Belle Dress Hire for three simple reasons ….

Firstly, pastel shades are extremely difficult to wear and only suit certain skin tones. If the veins on your wrist are blue or purple in colour avoid the pastels as you are considered to have “cool” undertones to your skin and these hues will completely wash you out. However, if the wrist veins are more green or olive then you have “warm” skin tones which are beautiful with lilacs, pale pinks, yellows etc. A mixture of colours in the veins is considered “neutral” and to be honest it means you’re in between cool and warm so best to just try things on as you will suit some shades more than others.

Secondly, pastels have a tendency to look childish and are normally not conducive with black tie/evening wear but it can be done but you need to be careful! If the event is more of a younger audience who tend to have an open mind in terms of what is suitable for formal events, you would definitely be able to get away with a pink or lilac dress for example. If the event itself is in some way connected to “fashion” then you can definitely push the boundaries in terms of style and colour.

Thirdly, unfortunately the lighter, paler colours just aren’t great in terms of dress hire as with the Northern Ireland weather the fabric can get really dirty especially around the hem and dry cleaners are not miracle workers!

If you are considering wearing a pastel gown to an upcoming event, definitely do the “wrist test” first so at least you know what colours you should be looking at. You can check out some of the beautiful paler coloured styles available at Belle Dress Hire by making an appointment but meantime please view some sample photos below ….


Lady In Red

Some colours really lend themselves so very well to formal/evening wear and RED is such a colour. It suits brunettes and blondes, auburn and silver grey hair ……. it just works because it’s a vibrant yet extremely warm tone on the skin.

Red is probably seen as a “sexy” colour, I know from experience of my own customers that their husbands, boyfriends and partners all LOVE a red dress!

I have a good selection of red dresses in sizes 6-18, in a variety of fabrics such as jersey, chiffon, tulle…… and different shades of red as well with some lovely deep wine gowns as well.

I have dressed some absolutely fantastic ladies in red, full length dresses, so if you have an event coming up soon, please contact me for an appointment.

Against all odds dress in 60 mins!

Whenever I receive queries through the website or my Facebook page Belle Dress Hire, I always glance at the time it was sent. A few weeks ago, to my surprise I received a very late night/early morning email from a lady called Elaine, who was almost 7 months pregnant and urgently needed a dress for an event that was taking place in less than 24 hours! Talk about a challenge!

Elaine explained that she had a dress but unfortunately with unexpected, additional pregnancy bloating, the dress just wouldn’t zip up. Of course, she was very distressed, feeling low and asked for my help. I immediately felt for Elaine as I myself became really bloated when I was pregnant with my daughter so I totally understood how she was feeling.  I was able to offer Elaine an appointment first thing that morning and was able to pre select and short list a small number of gowns that I thought would work for the occasion.

However, this was not going to be easy, there were a number of hurdles to get over with this particular hire choice …. (a) a pregnancy bump, (b) a dress that required no major alterations, (c) a comfortable yet striking style ……. and more………

You see, Elaine was no ordinary customer, she was actually one of the leading actors in the Sweeney Todd Production of “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and the event she was attending was the Opening Night at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast! So no gown would “just do”, it had to be perfect!

Within 20 minutes, we both decided that one of the newer gowns, a black, jersey, high neck, sequin detailed dress with leg slit was definitely thee best choice. The stretchy fabric was super comfortable for Elaine’s bump and the lack of boning again made the dress flexible with plenty of movement.  The fixed, cupped, sequin top of the gown disguised Elaine’s larger “pregnancy boobs” and the leg slit at the front showed a little skin, just enough for Elaine to look and feel pregnant but fierce and sexy with it!!

Elaine’s request to me was for her “not to look like a marshmallow” and I think we both did a great job together in finding a really elegant, modern, sexy gown.

The dress was indeed a little bit too long for Elaine and as the event was happening later that evening, she needed to take the dress with her at the appointment! Therefore, I was able to tack up a temporary hem to make the dress shorter and easier to wear. I certainly didn’t want Elaine to trip on the dress!

Selecting the dress, temporary alteration to the hem and a quick steam to get rid of any wrinkles took just under 60 minutes. Now that’s fast fashion!

Elaine is pictured to the left of the lady in the gold dress.

Black, jersey, full length gown with leg split and sequin detail. Available in size 8.

School formal delight!

I absolutely love dressing some of my younger clientele especially for school formals! It’s fantastic how some schools have now also introduced this event for the lower sixth years as well to enjoy.

I’m not going to lie, it is actually quite difficult to dress a 16 year old for a formal. First of all, a range of fabrics and styles must be ruled out straight away, as they look simply way too aging and mature on young girls. I also try to stay away from black, just because once you hit your thirties your whole wardrobe tends to darken down to blacks, maroons, dark denim, greys, navy’s …… let’s be honest they are ultimately more flattering on the silhouette! So, I always try to encourage the 15-18 year olds to embrace brighter, bolder colour choices when they are still young enough to wear them!

I totally understand that donning a full length evening gown at 16 can be really daunting and overwhelming therefore I would advise bringing your mum or a person who’s opinion you can really trust to your Belle Dress Hire appointment. Mum’s are usually the most honest! And to be fair, they do really know you best and have the wealth of experience to help you to choose the right gown.

Here are some photos of the simply, stunning Victoria, who attended Hunterhouse formal this year.









Doesnt she look absolutely gorgeous???!!! This deep, rich purple is so different and compliments her fair, blonde hair beautifully. You can’t see in these pics, but the dress is backless and encrusted with beads the whole way round. The style was simple and effortless. The result was she looked appropriate for her age, extremely comfortable and enjoyed every moment of her night. I do hope to dress Victoria again at Belle Dress Hire as she was such a delight.

If you have a school formal in 2019, do please contact me at Belle Dress Hire for an appointment.