ESP’s style guru Sue Donnelly helped show Paralympian swimming star Harriet Lee how to dress a more athletic shape.


Harriet normally lives in track suits, shorts or swimsuits on a day-to-day basis so it was a real treat for her to look a little more ‘girlie’ for this shoot and our style guru Sue Donnelly had some great tips…


Like everyone, she has problems shopping for clothes. Debunking the myth that someone with a fantastic figure can buy anything from anywhere and look good in it, she bemoans her wide shoulder line and muscular thighs.

Harriet’s style is very Chic and she definitely has the look of a fabulous film star about her – think Audrey Hepburn or maybe Jackie Onassis. The choice of clothes for the shoot really reflected this and they were understated statement pieces each telling their own story.

  1. As she has large shoulders, it’s important to balance out the hips and the feet. The coral dress (£119) did this beautifully by having a slight A line skirt flaring from a fitted waist. The cap sleeves displayed her magnificent shoulders.

  1. The chunkier shoes are a great idea for wide shouldered or large breasted women as flimsy shoes can almost seem like you are likely to topple over.

  2. The large bag (£39) can be used to balance out the proportions too. Carrying it over the shoulder further enhances the shoulders, wearing it lower will widen the hips and therefore balance the body.

  1. As Harriet is muscular, she needs a heavier fabric. Really sheer clothing will make her look bigger than she actually is. The black top (£29) was quite fine but the dark colour makes it look visually heavier so she can stay cool and look cool.

  2. The floral trousers paired (£109) with floral shoes are a fashion trend (see lead image). Mixing two of the same types of pattern together can be tricky but looks great if done well. There needs to be some characteristic that bonds them together – this was done with the flowers.

  1. The Chanel inspired jacket (£179) and the specs (Vision Express) give Harriet a look of authority – often needed in the workplace – without letting go of her feminine side. This type of boxy jacket is best worn by women with few curves as it’s too straight to accommodate a curvy bustline. Adding simple accessories such as the bracelet and the fine necklaces take the outfits from day to evening and are good examples of how easy it is to mix and match and change the look of a few key pieces.

  1. If the pieces are chosen with care, fit well and have something in common you can create an entire capsule from which you’ll never get bored.

Sue Donnelly

For more expert fashion and style advice go to

Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine

Clothes: All Ted Baker at John Lewis, Queensgate

Hair: Melanie Richards Hair Boutique

Make-up: Lisa Hinks

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