Irish summers call for a smartly curated capsule wardrobe and H&M has it all

Holidaying in Ireland (which I adore!) calls for a little more wardrobe consideration than, say Mauritius, where you can survive in bikinis and sarongs and look appropriate day and night. In July, I'm heading to one of my favourite towns, Dingle in Co Kerry, where I plan to do everything from hill-walk to boutique-browse and sea-swim. My wardrobe needs to reflect not just the variety of activities I'm planning during the trip, but the variety of weather I'm expecting, too! That's why H&M is my go-to summer wardrobe shopping destination. The sheer volume of choice and fantastic price points allow me to shop in a relaxed, care-free fashion (I don't have to keep totalling the cost of every item I select!), plus I can get all I need in one store, from the prettiest sundress (like the one I'm wearing below) to the cosiest knit and perfect swimming costume.

Fashion director Marie Kelly wears floral Bardot dress, €19.99, straw hat, €6.99, hoop earrings, €7.99, three-strand necklace, €7.99, sunglasses, €12.99

I've been shopping in H&M since I was a teen, and now that I'm... well, let's just say over 35... it serves my needs just as well as it did then. Maxi skirts, sleeved summer tops, fluid tailoring and sophisticated separates are the hallmarks of my summer style and H&M offers a stunning collection of each, not to mention its accessories, which always add a fun, jaunty seasonal vibe to a look - something that suits a woman of every age. So I'm Dingle-bound this summer with an arsenal of fabulous pieces, including the following.

Nothing says summer like a sundress, especially when it comes in a gorgeous shade of sunflower yellow. It's amazing how the colour yellow can brighten your mood whatever the weather throws at you. This is an ideal throw-over for the beach. I'll also wear it with a striped T-shirt for casual evenings out.


Dress, €19.99 at

Raffia bags are having a big fashion moment this season, and I'll be bringing this one away with me.

Straw bag, €22.99

I always have a black bikini and black swimsuit in my summer arsenal. If the weather really goes downhill in Dingle, I'll feel more appropriate wearing one of them than a tropical print! I love the directional cut of this two-piece. It feels very unique and modern.


Black bikini top, €4.99, and bikini bottoms, €4.99 at

A Bardot neckline looks chic and sexy. This gorgeous striped cotton top with embroidery will work beautifully over jeans when I'm browsing around Dingle village.

Cotton embroidered blouse, €22.99

What I love about spending time in Dingle is that there's no dress code. However, I do like to elevate my look a little for evening and so statement earrings are always in my suitcase. The mix of texture offered by this oversized pair really appeals to me. The mix of gold and wood will bring warmth to my complexion too.


Large earrings, €14.99

Summer sandals are so lightweight, I tend to bring a multitude with me on holiday! A change of shoe can make an outfit feel utterly fresh. These are top of my wish-list right now. They'll let my feet breathe, which after so many months in boots and trainers sounds lovely! Also, this gorgeous shade of raspberry red will add a lovely pop to white or blue denim jeans.

Suede sandals, €49.99

I like to combine lightweight layers in summer as it adds individuality to my look. At €4.99, this tie-hem top is a great buy. I'll probably get one in every colour, and throw them over tank tops or high-waisted palazzo pants.

Tie-hem top, €4.99 at


Exclusive in-store yellow slides with bow, €19.99. Blue option available online.

The image newsletter