‘Dress the way you want, not how you’re expected to dress’

“Fashion is all about expression and self-expression. There’s no right or wrong.” That’s Fidelma’s mantra and she wants it to be yours as well.

Fidelma is 55, is on a 20-plus-year journey in the industry and lives in Co Mayo in the west of Ireland with her family. Her focus is on colour, texture, shapes, patterns, the feel of the fabric, the fall of the fabric and the flow of the fabric – and not being afraid to be bold.

She says: “I love having fun with fashion and I’m definitely not afraid to experiment.

“For me, fashion is all about expression. I’m a huge believer in wearing what you want, not what others expect you to wear because of your age. Being over 55 doesn’t mean you have to wear a certain style, a certain length, a certain shape. Age has nothing to do with my individual and unique style. I simply wear what I like.

“These outfits say, ‘I’m a strong, independent, confident woman and I’m not afraid to show it’. Confidence is key.”

Fidelma describes her outfits – and her philosophy.

1. This outfit I call my French Riviera look

This is a polka dot playsuit that I’ve had in my wardrobe for the longest time. So, when the sun came out, so did this fun playsuit. To some, it’s just a playsuit, but to me it has a story to tell, a dream to live, so I simply built my outfit around that little dream – sipping champagne bellinis on the French Riviera. I simply added ribbon-tie espadrilles, a straw hat and straw bag, attached a polka dot brooch to the bag, tied a polka dot scarf around the straw hat and hey presto … French Riviera ready.

Every outfit you wear should tell a story. It should be able to transport you to a favourite place, a memory, a dream. Your clothes are part of you and should reflect your mood, your humour, your femininity, your fabulousness, but most definitely not what others think you should be wearing. I’m a big believer in wearing what you want, what you love, what makes you feel good about yourself. Who cares if you’re over 50 – age really is just a number.

2. My second choice is what I call ‘pepperminted’

I absolutely love a trouser suit. It will literally take you anywhere. Mint is such a beautiful colour and it suits everybody. It is one of the easiest colours to team with others. My absolute favourite colour combo is mint and red. It’s feminine with a hint of sass and red is a super colour to use as a colour pop. This mint trouser suit has taken me from day to night with just a change of shoes and bag. Red trainers and red tote bag for daytime to red high-heeled sandals and red clutch for a night-time date.

A colourful suit is a super purchase as it can be worn separately or together and mixed with other items in your wardrobe. A must for every woman’s wardrobe.

3. Classic and simple with a twist

Monochrome is always a winner, but sometimes it can be a little boring, so what better way to zing it up than by adding some animal print? This zebra print skirt does this perfectly. Black and white is classic yet simple, but I like to give things – a ‘Fids Fizz’. So, as well as using the zebra print, I’ve also added a diamante belt and popped on patent stilettos and a patent clutch to give it some edge.

4. My absolute favourite

This outfit was inspired by my love of all things rock chick related.

I totally love a rock chick look and I challenge anyone who says a woman over 50 can’t do this. If someone says to me, “You can’t”, I will, I can and I do!

This outfit is basically a pair of cycling shorts and a vest top underneath a tulle ankle length skirt finished off with a large black statement belt, my leather jacket, my beloved beaded ankle boots and a vintage beaded bag. Just add silver jewellery and hey … rock chick ready.

5. My day dress

I couldn’t resist this dress because of its amazing eye-catching electric blue colour. It’s actually a buffet dress but as I’m only 162 centimetres and sometimes buffet dresses swamp me, I decided to ‘Fids Fizz’ it by adding a large statement belt, black silver studded bag and black sandals.

I love the fact that when you see a dress hanging in the shop, you can completely change the way it looks by adding a few simple accessories and that’s exactly what I’ve done with this gorgeous dress.

6. For the brave

This is a little different, something that involves thinking outside the box. I love all the pleated midi skirts that have been popping up over the past year, but I’m getting a little tired of seeing them all styled exactly the same way – a slogan tee or vest top with a blazer or casual jacket. So yet again, I’ve decided to ‘Fids Fizz’ it. I’m wearing it as a dress. With a good strapless bra and double-sided invisible tape, this skirt makes a perfect dress. Not being afraid of vibrant colour, I’ve teamed it with a colour pop of bright red.

It’s always good to think outside the box when it comes to fashion. Different is good, unique is good. Make your clothes work for you and don’t let your clothes make you do all the work.

For more from Fidelma, go to her Instagram page @fashionwithfid.

Are you brave with your fashion choices? Does Fidelma inspire you to have more fun? To wear what you want?

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