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




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 ….


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.




Henna Eyebrow Tattoo Update

Sorry guys it’s taken longer than expected to finish and publish this blog, but I did promise to show you the progress of my Henna eyebrows!

Ok, sometimes a visual is more powerful than words, so here goes ……

Post Henna Eyebrow after 10 days

Post Henna Eyebrow after 10 days right beside window in broad daylight

Just wanted to quickly remind you all how my brows looked before this treatment…

Original untouched eyebrows

So basically, after ten days I still did not have to fill in or touch my brows which is insane! At day 15 I started to use a tiny bit of fill in shade where the Henna started to fade on my skin but even after 20 days there is still very evident henna dye visible on the hairs so daily maintenance is still minimal.

This treatment would definitely be perfect in advance of a holiday especially if you’re going to the sun. And indeed it’s ideal as an ongoing treatment because it’s inexpensive at £30, has lasting results, saves so much time and effort from your daily make up routine and essentially perfectly frames your face.

I would highly recommend the Henna Eyebrow Tattoo, just be mindful it isn’t permanent and will need some sort of minor maintenance after 2-3 weeks.

Remember to contact the ladies at The Browtique in Belfast.





Night out Essentials!

Every woman should have these next few items in their drawer at home because you will use them countless times and may even be able to come to the rescue of a friend in need, if a fashion disaster strikes on a night out.

First item is Body Tape. Honestly, this product is super handy for so many things! Have a strapless top that gapes a little at the sides? ….. a strip of double sided body tape will hold it in place all night. Another fantastic use is for shirts or blouses that gape at the buttons. Being bigger busted, I always find that I can see through to my bra in between my shirt buttons despite it fitting perfectly everywhere else! Put a small piece of body tape on the two layers of fabric, stick together and voila no more gaps!! I’ve tried this over and over again and the tape always sticks even though it’s technically against two layers of cloth and not skin, it still works a treat. Also, for a temporary fix on a hemline that unravels, the tape again will hold fast at least for the duration of a night out. The body tape is especially good for backless tops and dresses, it just keeps things in place particularly because your back is always moving and backless tops do have a tendency to fall off if not secured in place and the tape will do that. I have purchased body tape off the Internet before but found the stickiness just not good enough, to be honest I would personally recommend the Eylure Body Tape – Pre Cut Adhesive Strips. These can be bought in various shops including Boots and Superdrug. Priced generally under £5 this is worth the small investment as you never know when you or a friend will need this!

Another brilliant product to have in your arsenal is a pair of silicone petals, aka nipple covers! Not only do these come in really handy for evening dresses and slinky tops for going out, they are especially fantastic for going on holiday! Sometimes when it’s especially warm abroad or if you’ve gotten too much sun, the thought of having to wear a bra under a strappy vest top seems awful. These petals will ensure your modesty is intact and that you will feel completely comfortable going without a bra, even under the skimpiest of tops! I bought these petals in Primark for just £2 and I have used them at least twenty five times. The glue/sticky side is still going strong so certainly well worth the money and let’s be honest even if they don’t last much longer, it won’t break the bank to replace them. I simply wear the petals and then when I’m done using them, I put the plastic cover back over the sticky side and put them both into the original packaging. This has worked perfectly well for me. I would assume there are a wealth of similar products available online and in high street stores, I can only personally recommend the Primark ones at the moment.

Lastly, if you stay in a hotel and they provide a sewing kit as part of the bathroom accessories ALWAYS take them home! Simply gather them up and put one into the zipper part of every handbag you own as well as any suitcases, hand luggage etc This means that no matter where you are, there is a safety pin, a button and a needle and thread to hand!

Next time a zipper goes, or the seams start unravelling or your top threatens to expose you to the world, dot panic, just smile and simply reach into your handbag for those all important night out essentials!!

For your next big formal event contact Belle Dress Hire to make an appointment.

Keep it SIMPLE!!

I’m so so very sorry guys it’s been ages since I last posted, I’ve been caught up in the daily madness of my little girl who turns one tomorrow! She’s not a baby any more sadly and so I find myself with more “me” time, hence plenty of regular blog posts will be coming your way!

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the red carpet events of 2016 so far – Met Gala, Grammys, MMVAS, Tony Awards etc and have to say I feel an overall sense of disappointment in many of the celebrity fashion choices this year. But hey let’s focus on the good ones for this post and I’m going to talk about red carpet evening wear specifically as school formal season is approaching from September onwards ……

Often, when it comes to style, think the simpler the better! I give you Krysta Rodriguez and Bella Hadid at this year’s Tony Awards who display chic sophistication perfectly in their choice of strapless, clean line dresses in black and white. Don’t ever underestimate the power of this combination, especially if you team with a strong hair style and lip colour.

Belle Dress Hire has some stunningly, fabulous black and white dresses available for hire – see examples below.  So forget the dull pastels and predictable red gowns at your next event and strike a pose in some old school monochrome glamour instead!









Please visit the website to book an appointment.







Bag Yourself the same dress as Blake Lively at Belle Dress Hire!

Do you think Blake Lively’s fashion sense is amazing?  Would you love to mimic her style at your next big event?  Look no further than Belle Dress Hire in Lisburn ….

Blake wore a striking, canary yellow, chiffon dress with halter neck straps and a wrapped effect waistline at her latest red carpet appearance.  Check out thee exact same style available at Belle Dress Hire for just £70 …

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This dress is available to hire in a stunning raspberry shade which is so striking especially in the Summer.


Now one of the main reasons Blake makes this dress look even more special is the addition of coloured ear rings in a rich turquoise.  Because it’s coming into the warmth of Summer you can afford to think outside of the box in terms of accessories at Black Tie events.  Take a leaf out of Blake’s book and snub the traditional diamante bling ear-rings, bracelets etc at your next event.  It could just make the difference and turn a simple, elegant gown into a fashion forward, eye catching statement.

Evening Gown Envy!

Every now and again I get seriously green eyed when I see red carpet dresses that I think are amazing!

Unfortunately, without a mega budget, these styles will only be seen in my dreams, but hey I still love to imagine what I would look like wearing them!  After seeing this year’s Met Ball photos, I fell hard for some of the looks and I mean HARD!

…. Emma Stone and Blake Lively pulled out all the stops to impress hostess Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour, in gowns by Thakoon and Gucci Premi

And you have to admire the simply stunningly bold Oscar De La Renta dress worn by SJP.  Love or hate it you have to admit it makes a statement and gloriously celebrates fashion which is what the Met Ball is all about!

BIG time, serious dress envy when I saw Rosie Huntington Whiteley wear a jaw droppingly daring Balmain sort dress!  I WANT it

Aaahhhhh, I would die happy if I had Victoria Beckham’s dress hanging in my wardrobe.  You NEVER disappoint VB and I love the fact this is from her own collection with trademark full zip running the length of the dress at the back ..

And I have to admit I actually really like Chrissy Teigen’s dress by Ralph Lauren as well.  It wasn’t my absolute favourite of the night BUT I loved the collar detail.  I thought it was stunningly elegant and the silver grey colour did stand out from the crowd too

Back to daydreaming about these gorgeous gowns and the gorgeous women who wore them. Bloody lucky ducks!!!


New Dresses arriving this weekend …..

Some absolutely gorgeous new styles coming to Belle Dress Hire which will be available to hire from next week onwards …..



This absolutely gorgeous dress in a champagne coloured chiffon is available for hire in a size 8/10.  The deep, rich shade will look extremely elegant on but would need a warm skin colour to accompany it, so for most customers this will involve a light spray tan.  The ruching and boning from the bust down through the waist and into the hip gives the wearer a fabulous silhouette and a great shape!  No need for spanx with this ladies, the dress does all the hard work!

You should check out some similar dresses worn by Glee actress, Diana Agron and Stacy Keibler which have appeared on the red carpet .

This next new style at Belle Dress Hire in a size 12 is certainly simple in style but makes up for it in terms of shape and quality of fit.  The strapless neckline gives the shoulders a beautiful, elegant line and the nipped in waist again gives a great shape.  The strong, vibrant magenta colour is really striking and will suit blondes, brunettes and redheads!  There is a little detail with some beading/diamante but no reason why you couldn’t bling this up with drop statement ear rings …..


It is an extremely busy time of year and evening appointments are the most popular so make sure to get an appointment at Belle Dress Hire by using the Contact Form to ensure you are in the diary.