Since the days of toe socks and crimped hair, my sister Olivia has been my style icon. She’s seven years my senior, so naturally I grew up adoring her every move. She’s always been a step ahead of her peers, and has seldom fell into the trends, but remains a woman of class and originality. Olivia has traded in toe socks and crimped hair, for a style she’d call “classic, with a feminine twist.” Olivia notes that “looking feminine is something [she] embraces.”
This is Olivia Leskiw’s Style Story
On the particular day that Olivia and I planned to work on this piece, Olivia was wearing a slew of outfits that we were shooting photos of. The last outfit we landed on was a graphic tee + jeans (pictured below). Olivia looked at me, nearly disgusted, and said, “This is too casual, I feel gross”. And that just about sums it up. Olivia’s comfort zone is looking good. It’s wearing pieces that are flattering, well made, and stylish. Olivia has never lacked style.
“I have always loved clothes, I have loved fashion and having my own way of looking since…since I can’t even remember when.”
Growing up Olivia knew what she wanted to wear, and there was nothing that was going to stop her. Our Mom has frequently recollected the time Olivia wanted to wear a sparkly dress up leotard to the Post Office…in the dead of winter. Unable to be persuaded, she did just that (and didn’t take long for her to regret it). Though she was quite young when that happened, Olivia’s vigorous pursuit of looking good was just as prominent then as it is today.
As someone who doesn’t possess the same knack for looking polished, I’ve always wondered how my older sister does it. This interview was the perfect time for me to pick her brain about it. I asked Olivia what it takes to be stylish, her response put into words something I’ve failed to grasp for years before…
“First you have to look at the difference between what you wear and style, two people can wear the same outfit and look totally different, but I think style is what transcends and what makes even the same shirt different on everyone. So style is important not only in clothes, but in life because it celebrates individuality, and puts your fingerprint on everything that you interact with. Whether that’s through fashion, or your home, or the words you choose to say. So style is important because it makes you an individual”
Olivia has always been an original. As a high schooler she was most frequently found with her hair hot-rolled into perfection, wearing something tasteful and yet age appropriate, maybe even wearing heels. Never once have I seen Olivia leave the house in sweats. Looking pulled together has always been something Olivia has valued, but not just for vanity’s sake. She did it because she believed that how she dressed reflected who she was.
“How you dress, without sounding superficial, does reflect who you are”
Olivia, who has greatly impacted my style, noted some significant people who impacted her style. She gave credit to a few individuals (Mahri, Jill, if you’re reading this…that’s you!). She acknowledged that they showed her how to look “classic without looking outdated” and how dressing classically makes you stand out. “Dressing classically” really means, in Olivia’s case, adhering to classic silhouettes that emphasize the curves of a woman’s body with elegance and tastefulness. One piece that Olivia swears by is her Wilfred Wrap dress. I’ve borrowed it a number of times, and it really is one of the most flattering pieces. (Pictured below).
Okay, so we know that dressing well is something that Liv loves. But, does dressing well mean spending more money? I was curious to hear Olivia’s answer, because she owns lots of nice, pricier items.
“No,” she paused, “but it means being a better shopper.”
She listed a few characteristics of a good shopper: having an eye for pieces, and finding whats worth it in every store. Whether that be H&M or Aritzia, you have to look for tailored, quality pieces. One way Olivia implements her philosophy on shopping is by only buying real leather boots that she knows will hold up. Opposed to having a number of boots, she’s chosen to invest in a couple quality items, which in the long run has saved her money. She is most definitely quality over quantity.
It hasn’t always been this way. I can remember a version of Olivia that loved the uber affordable lures of Stitches, Bluenotes, and the like. I can remember a time when fashion to Olivia was push-up bras, Victoria Secret Pink lounge wear, and $5 flats from Ardene. Obviously there had been a huge turn since then, I was curious what caused the change. Olivia pin pointed a turning in her style at age 21 when she realized she wanted to look like a woman. A woman, and not a girl. She discovered that looking grown up was sexy, not boring. “There wasn’t a drastic change, it was just more polished”
Liv Leskiw’s Fashion Faux Pas
- Underwear Lines: “Get yourself a pair of Spanx girl, get your butt looking right”
- Competition between pieces: “You have to look at your look as a whole”
- Being too trendy: “Rely on the classics–they’re classics for a reason”
- Showing too much: “I love to look sexy, I’m 100% advocating that, but pick one thing to highlight”
Through the process of interviewing Olivia, processing that information, and formulating it into this post I was reminded of how much I admire her. She is a woman who has struck a balance of dressing well for her body, remaining classy while also remaining sexy, and someone who actually has style–and doesn’t merely rely on brand name clothes.
Thank you for letting me borrow your clothes, steal your style, and interview you for this post, Olivia. Love you. ❤
Follow Liv on Instagram Here