“Shoulders back, chin up Leeanne!”

God I remember these words from my mum over and over and over again when I was in my teens.  I had a terrible habit back then of slumping forward and pulling my long, middle parted hair over my face as much as possible like a curtain.  I obviously now realise this was part of growing up and that I was terribly self conscious at that age and wanted to hide away from life.  Having the protection of hair covering my face made me feel that I was being shielded away from the stares of the world and gave me comfort.

I can laugh at my silliness now in my mid thirties of course but at the time it was simply awful.  Spots on my t-zone, greasy/combination skin, no bust whatsoever, no confidence …… I remember feeling the most unattractive female alive.

Of course mum thought that by repeatedly screaming at me to “straighten up” and “push my hair back” off my face that it would eventually sink in.  I have to admit it took a long time for the habitual ear bashing to reach its mark but I did start to wise up and pay attention.  As per usual, mums definitely know best and she was absolutely right!  I definitely didn’t want to end up looking like Montgomery Burns ….

Posture is SO important.  Not only for health reasons should you try and straighten your back as much as possible BUT you can look up to 10 pounds slimmer in photos and videos if you took your posture more seriously!  Do I have your attention now???

Ever wonder why exactly, models display really bad posture in photo shoots?  They have a tendency to curve their spine, force their shoulders round and plant their hands firmly on the hips.  This is done  because it creates a definitive shape that works in magazines but doesn’t in the real world.

However, this particular shape highlights a bone called the clavicle which is positioned between the shoulders and juts it forward.  As we all know, a jutting bone in the fashion world means that you’re thin!  By thrusting the arms forward and on the hips will also highlight a really tiny waist which most models of today possess and works brilliantly in advertising campaigns.  But the lesson to be learnt by this is that the position and postur of your body makes a huge impact on how people visualise your shape.

So try to remember at your next big event whether you’re 17 and attending a school formal or in your twenties/thirties going to an awards evening, pull your shoulders back, chin up slightly to elongate the neck and hey presto!!!  Believe me, you’ll even feel better and yes it should feel uncomfortable, it may even feel slightly sore, but keep it up!  This means it’s actually working and your back is now straight!  If it hurts alot, I’m sorry but this only proves just how bad your posture is.



Think taffeta is old fashioned? You’d be wrong!!

My fashion crush of the moment, Lily Collins demonstrates just how fabulous and modern the fabric taffeta can be!  Lily was seen at the German Premiere of film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with co star Jamie Campbell Bowers in a fabulous two piece.

Generally, people perceive taffeta to be an old fashioned, bridesmaid dress fabric but how wrong you would be to dismiss this fabric choice.  Taffeta is actually extremely flattering on the figure.  With a luxurious sheen within the material and a natural stiffness, taffeta photographs extremely well and lasts for years without losing it’s goodness.

Lily is showing us just how easy it is to pair a current trend of “the cropped top” with an older concept of a fuller skirt.  Add a few bits of chunky, gold jewelry and you have an instant style hit!

When I looked into this in more detail I’ve actually been able to find quite a few celebs who have not been ashamed to don taffeta on the red carpet!  Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Lawrence have all showcased this fabulous fabric before.

At Belle Dress Hire, I have a stunning taffeta, mermaid shaped dress which I wish more ladies would give a chance!  This is exactly the same shape in the skirt as Lily Collin’s so it’s very current and on trend. Available to hire in a size 10, this style also comes with an accompanying wrap for around the shoulders and would look absolutely stunning at a wedding ….

Jane & Grainne

Customer on the right of photo wearing full length, black taffeta with blue bodice dress.


Big skirted dresses back in fashion!

I know “big” prom style dresses for a formal or event have been considered as old fashioned or dare I say it …. “Gypsy Weddingish” of late but some of the ladies at this year’s Oscars both young and more mature, showed us just how show stopping a more voluminous dress can be!

Belle Dress Hire has a few “fuller skirt” styles which are calling out to be hired!  I have had difficulty asking customers to give these dresses a try when they come for an appointment but once they have tried them on, they’ve been amazed at how stylish the dresses look.  There are lots of positives if you go for a more voluminous dress for your event – you can keep accessories to a minimum (which saves you money!), you can generally get away with shoes you already have in the wardrobe because no one can see your feet, you will stand out in a room full of slinky, more fitted dresses plus you can actually dance and enjoy your dinner without having to hold your tummy in all night!!

A very important and crucial thing to bear in mind if you want to go for a similar style , is to ensure that the top of the dress fits immaculately!  The bust and waist must fit very snugly so that you still have shape definition.  If I get an invitation to an event soon, I know I would definitely want to make a style statement and go for a bigger skirted dress. …


Who said you can’t wear white?

There has been an abundance of all-white looks on the spring/summer 2012 catwalks by designers: Celine, Diane Von Furstenberg, Chloe, Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney. White can be worn in flowing fabrics or in crisp cotton. By wearing white, you can exude a cool, minimal but eye catching look.

A simple white Tee or vest top over jeans with lots of accessories makes a subtle yet memorable impression – think Jennifer Anniston! Or why not try a simple white shirt dress with a tan belt for an effortless yet chic effect.
If you are not adverse to white jeans they can look gorgeous with a faded denim shirt, tyed in a knot at the waist.
There are lots of options so the message is loud and clear ….. Don’t be afraid to wear white!

Check out white dresses currently available at Belle Dress Hire.