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




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 ….


Women in Business Awards in Belfast

I was very lucky to attend the Women In Business Awards last night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shawsbridge.  I thoroughly enjoyed the night and was so inspired by the talented, hard working women all around me.

A few days ago I walked into my Belle Dress Hire room and took a deep breath…… it’s not very often that I get to wear one of my own gowns and it was actually really overwhelming! I suddenly felt immense pressure as to which style I should pick and after trying at least thirty dresses on I finally made the commitment to this gorgeous black and white gown.

I think the design inspiration behind this gown is a play on a typical tuxedo so a white, short sleeved, sequin top compliments the black, taffeta, mermaid skirt. The waist cut outs and open back ensure that the dress is feminine and elegant. I got plenty of compliments throughout the course of the evening and I have to say I did feel pretty fabulous! Initially, I did hesitate when choosing this gown as it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but to be honest I wanted to wear something that people may not have seen before and to showcase the diversity of styles available at Belle Dress Hire.

This is a “statement” dress and does not require a dramatic hairstyle or any accessories, sometimes less is more! I felt it was best to compliment the gown with diamond studs in my ears and simply slicked my hair back into a low bun but I did add plenty of gloss spray just to give my locks a more polished look.


Long time no see, Prince!

I’ve been told by the many, avid male readers of my blog, that although Belle Dress Hire doesn’t offer dress hire to men currently, I should post more about the male gender and not focus on lovely ladies all of the time so here we go!!

Born Prince Rogers Nelson on 7, 1958, he has amazed us during his illustrious career as a singer producing 10 platinum albums and always being a fashion icon.

We haven’t seen much of Prince in the press as of late so I was delighted to see recent photos emerge of his appearance in Stockholm, Sweden at the weekend.  And he didn’t disappoint in his choice of style either!  At a tiny 5ft 2in tall, it’s no surprise that Prince needs a few extra inches when it comes to height so you should check out his satin, white, wooden high heeled shoes!!  You would think, only Prince could possibly pull these off, right???  The idea of these boots would look ridiculous on anyone else surely???  Well the answer would be NO because “Man Heels” are extremely popular at the moment!   Long term lover of “built in heels” Tom Cruise, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Marc Jacob, Robert Downey Jr ……. the list goes on!





Lindsay Lohan … should we feel sympathetic?

After finally completing a proper stint in rehab, Lindsay was put on the spot, no I don’t mean her polka dot spotty shoes in this instance but she was faced with some very hard hitting questions in an interview with Oprah this week.

I haven’t seen the interview myself but when I looked at the photos the TV channel has released, a few things struck me as very poignant.  On a humorous note, why the hell can Lindsay not find a supportive bra??  Her boobs look like they are sagging to her stomach!  I know she has a large bust, but there is no excuse for them looking like the breasts of an elderly pensioner.  This is not flattering at all and I just don’t know why she continues to wear such bad underwear.

But on a more serious note,  sadness was in her eyes. Please try not to focus on the obviously plumped up trout pout but look deep into her eyes.  She looks like a lost child.  I know she’s an actress but no one can “act” this type of emotion into their eyes …..

After repeated headlines, brushes with the law, theft, car crash photos of her stumbling out of clubs etc, I began to lose all empathy for Lindsay.  To me, she kept hitting the self destruct button and yet there is a small part of me that really wishes this troubled, young woman can make a comeback.

Would you shave your head???

It’s seems to be the “in thing” at the moment.  Jesse J seems to have reignited the trend for bald heads after shaving off hair for this year’s Comic Relief.  Rather than grow the hair back, Jesse seems to have been liberated by this new style and is no hurry to change it …

I have to say I didn’t immediately love the look on her, although her facial features do lend themselves extremely well to having cropped hair.  However, I saw that she has dyed her “hair stubble” a platinum blonde and I really do much prefer this look!

Another celebrity who has embraced the shaved head and rocked this look from before Jesse J tried it is Amber Rose.  As Amber has slightly rounder features, I feel this look is much softer on her and is more complimentary.  The fact that she has always dyed her head a really bright, white blonde again looks great especially with her complexion.

However, these young starlets are not the first to have tried out this look!  Do you remember Sinead O’Connor?  One of the first celebrities I can remember on Top of the Pops with her number one hit, Nothing Compares To You complete with a shaved head.  I also remember that everyone thought she look absolutely stunning!  And then you have the many Hollywood actresses who have had to shave their heads for a role, now that’s dedication for you.

The most recent star to have been given up their tresses for an acting role is Karen Gillan from the Doctor Who series.   I couldn’t help but cry inside that her beautiful, usual red hair had been shorn to the root.  Stunning, natural red hair is so unique and hard to come by these days so I really feel bad for poor Karen who doesn’t really even suit this style.  However, I suppose we can all rest easy.  At the end of the day it’s just hair.  It doesn’t define us as a person and Karen’s very lucky, in her case it will grow back!!



Even a broken arm won’t stop a fashion statement being made!

I am amazed that celebrities and famous Hollywood starlets continue to surprise me as to the lengths they will strive to make headlines and to always live us to the “celeb” hype we all know.

Let’s look at Mariah Carey first.  Mostly known for and associated with diva behaviour and demands, she is also a mother of two children and a fantastically talented singer.  So when she dislocated her shoulder recently, rather than ruin her fabulous stage costumes and disappoint her adoring fans who love her fashion, she decided to co-ordinate her shoulder sling with every outfit.  So you’ll see a bejeweled/crystal sling, then a fully feathered version and last but not least a snow white plume effect sling.  This demonstrates that Mariah is fully committed to fashion and to the look she portrays to the media as well as her fans.

I firstly thought that only someone like Mariah would go to these levels to “tart” up a medical sling but then I discovered there actually has been quite a few other celebrities who have done this in the past!  Yes I’m talking to you Anne Hathaway, Diane Von Furstenberg and even Grace Kelly!!!!



The Side-Shade is back!!

From Kristin Cavallari to Blake Lively to Amanda Seyfried, the fascination and popularity of the signature side-shade hairstyle is back with a vengeance!

This style is perfect if you want to keep your hair down whilst still looking glamorous and sexy.  What’s even better is the fact that it’s extremely easy to do!!  Just a little bit of backcombing at the roots, a pair of tongs, a static free hairbrush and some hairspray and voila!! Such an effortless yet highly sophisticated look which looks even more spectacular with a red lip.

When I look at Fergie, Amber Heard and Julianne Hough rocking this particular hairstyle I can’t help but immediately think how the best looks always come back into fashion.  Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe all wore this hairstyle back in the 40s and 50s. The actual style itself has not changed one bit even if the technique of how to achieve it probably has.  Let’s just take a moment to admire these stunning, iconic women!





Is this the bra that will solve all your problems?

Do you have a completely backless dress hanging in the wardrobe like this stunning dark navy, embellished gown available at Belle Dress Hire in Lisburn which you never wear because you haven’t found the right bra to wear with it?


Could InvisiBra be the answer??  Most evening dress styles are either backless, extremely low at the front, cut away at the side of the bust, strapless ……..

…… and this can sometimes make it very difficult to find underwear that’s suitable if you aren’t willing to go commando!!  Also, an important point to make is that going braless is fine if your boobs are perky, if they’re heading south you really do need to give them extra support.

So when I saw the InvisiBra,  I thought Finally!!  Someone has actually cracked it and designed the perfect bra!!!!

The stick-on InvisiBra claims to be a backless, strapless, self-adhesive bra that will lift and enhance cleavage but won’t slip of!  Containing a special glue that regenerates itself every time it is hand washed, the bra apparently can be reused up to 200 times.  Considering the price tag is £48, that’s 24 pence per wear!  Pretty good value for money don’t you think?

Produced in a wide range of colours and fabrics rather than just the boring NUDE, flesh coloured alternatives in the marketplace at the moment, the InvisiBra does seem to have cracked the difficulty in finding underwear suitable for an unusually shaped dress or top. The fact that it also claims to give cleavage as well ……… Is this product just full of hype with a very visual promotional campaign or does it actually live up to all its claims?  Is £48 worth investing in this product?  All I would say is to check your underwear drawer at the very back where there is a bra and “stick-on cups” graveyard and tot up how much you roughly would have spent on all these items that never fitted properly, didn’t work, gave you no shape, washed badly etc and then you can decide whether or not to part with your money!