For 32-year-old Olivia Korpi, fashion is about joy. It’s about the whimsical feeling of a precious silk blouse worn with a rough denim jacket, or the unexpected delight of bold red lipstick complementing a bohemian dress. Olivia knows how to put it all together. She shares her skill and passion for fashion through her style consulting business, O.Style.
Raised in Durham with an interior designer for a mom, Olivia now lives in Kittery Point with her husband, Ethan; their baby girl, Juliet; and their two cats, Rig and Sailor. Recently, Olivia invited me into her lovely home, where we chatted about her wardrobe, how parenthood has altered her sense of style, and piano jazz.
If you could have a different name, what would it be?
I’ve always really loved my name. There is an Olivia in every generation of my mother’s family. Even as a kid I loved it. It’s unique without being too out there.
What is your occupation?
I am a home care advisor for Home Instead Senior Care. I also have a part-time business called O.Style. I offer image consulting, closet cleansing, and sometimes I’ll even pack people’s bags for vacation or business trips. I send people off with iPhone pictures of what they should wear each day.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style has evolved recently because I became a mom. I always wanted to be one of those people who wouldn’t change their style when they became a parent, but I have, and I like it better because I actually feel more in touch with who I am. I would describe my style as comfortable with a bohemian flair, and with elements of masculine-structured pieces.
What is a staple in your wardrobe?
Staples in my wardrobe are the things I wear from the waist down. Generally, I go for things that are completely neutral and completely timeless. I work hard to find an amazing pair of black pants, or dark denim jeans, or a perfect pair of boyfriend jeans that are really comfortable and hug your hips just right but are loose everywhere else. Also, layering is a telltale of my style. I layer unexpected things on top of each other. For instance, I love to layer shirts or sweaters over dresses.
Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?
Kate Hudson. I love her cute little lioness face and hair. She’s a real stunner. I like her because she is unique looking. The beauty I am attracted to is always unique. I like someone who has something different about them — a special smile, unique eyes, a cool nose, a funny wrinkle.
What musical artists have you been listening to lately?
I’ve come to this point in my life when music can be distracting to me. I like to listen to things where I can learn something new, so lately I have been listening to podcasts. But in terms of musical artists, James Bay comes to mind, and my absolute favorite is Brandi Carlile. And piano jazz. God, I love it. I’ll never get sick of it.
Describe an article of clothing in your closet that you love.
My silk blouse. The feeling of it literally brings me joy. It is so expensive and impractical. Before I bought it I visited it in the store. When it finally went on sale I splurged and bought it for myself. It is a trapeze cut with little pockets. It is a couple sizes too big for me, which I just love. I like it too because I had to work for it. I waited for it. I visited it. It was meant to be and I still love it after eight years.
“I love an effortless look, even when it is not effortless
to put the look together.”
Who do you think has great style?
I have a friend who is a stylist in New York City. Her name is Karyn Starr. I have always loved her style. I think she does an exceptional job at making things look effortless. She has guts that I don’t have. She wears turbans. Her style comes from something inside of her and that is why she is incredibly successful at what she does. When I see her, it’s like looking at walking art. She inspires me to be more courageous with my own style. I don’t follow famous people in terms of style, but if I had to choose someone famous I would choose Leslie Mann. She wears dresses that I absolutely love.
Who do you think is a style icon?
I envy and love people who are not afraid to be who they really are even if it doesn’t suit the occasion. Fashion is your guts on the outside.
What is something you love about your body?
I love my eyes. I’m blessed with pretty good lashes. I recently got these two freckles on my upper lip. They just showed up. They are like a funny little gift and I really love them.
Is there a particular item you would like to add to your wardrobe?
I’m very into indigo-dyed things right now. I’d like to get some indigo-dyed pieces of clothing for spring.
What are your favorite places to shop on the Seacoast?
I love Folk in Kittery. I would love for my whole house to look like that store. Also, Wear House in Portsmouth. I think shopping should be a treasure hunt. And the Instagram shop, noihsaf_bazaar. It’s fashion backwards. It is an online community of pretty rad ladies selling clothes secondhand. I love it because it makes high-end designer stuff accessible to me.