Your Style: Finola O'Sullivan

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Finola O'Sullivan for Style.

Motto:Spend the extra money to have clothes tailored to fit and accentuate your body. It will be worth every penny because you will feel like a million bucks.

Finola O'Sullivan has flourished in Rochester.

Co-director and buyer for Thrive boutique and sports shop at the Rochester Athletic Club, O'Sullivan explains, "I was born and raised in Rochester. After finishing my college degree in Spanish and political science from the University of Vermont, I spent three months in Buenos Aires doing a marketing internship at an oil company and improving my Spanish.

"I came back to United States and worked in sales and marketing for 13 years," she said. "Then my husband, Mike Busch, and I moved back to Rochester in 1999 for his job and a career opportunity for me."

After retiring from corporate work when their third son was born, OSullivan joined Thrive six years later as a sales associate and moved into her current position in June 2014, while enjoying a vigorous life with sons Charlie, Spencer and Michael Busch, now ranging in age from 12 to 8.


Please tell us about your style.

I think my style is fairly classic. It seems cliche, but my style and my interest in style definitely came from my mom. She has always loved clothes and wearing clothes that make her look her best.

Has your style changed with your life?

Sure, as trends change my wardrobe changes. In high school, I wore my dad's sweaters and baggy flannels. Now, I'm not in the corporate world any more, so I don't wear professional attire very often, but I do have two go-to pantsuits and a wrap dress that I still pull out when needed. My wardrobe is mostly casual, very few pieces that need to be dry-cleaned or ironed.

The most essential component in your wardrobe?

Clothes that fit properly. Spend the extra money to have clothes tailored to fit and accentuate your body. It will be worth every penny because you will feel like a million bucks.

What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

Jeans — my preference is skinny, but it is important to pick a style and color that flatters your figure and makes you feel fabulous. A crisp white button-down shirt is a great piece that can be worn alone or can be layered with sweaters or jackets, and it is easy to accessorize with jewelry or scarves.


Accessories are where I think my style really comes through. Many days, I will wear rather plain clothes, but I will wear jewelry or a scarf that makes me feel special.

Would you describe your favorite accessories?

The first that comes to mind is a necklace I bought on a trip to Cabo San Lucas. It is a large floral pendant made from shells and colored pearls on a short leather cord. I also have a scarf I bought in New York City. The size of it makes it easy to wear; the colors are vibrant, and the wool is so yummy around my neck. It spices up any outfit.

One of my all time favorite necklaces is the one I wore for the photo shoot. I bought it at the Minneapolis Institute of Art when I was there last year to see the exhibit on Italian style, so of course, I had to buy a souvenir to remind me of the fantastic styles and textures I saw that day. The necklace was designed by a jeweler from Minneapolis.

Do you have a priceless sentimental piece?

My wedding dress. I put it on every year on our wedding anniversary. It's a fun tradition that reminds us of a wonderful day when we were surrounded by all of our friends and family. It makes my husband, my three sons and me smile and want to dance.

Favorite or not-so favorite colors to wear?

I try to stay away from heather gray because I don't think it is the best color on me. However, so many great clothes come in gray, so I have plenty of it. Again, that's where the accessories come in.


Preferred style season?

Not really. I love the change of season and the change of style. It's like going shopping for a whole new wardrobe right in my closet.

Thoughts on Rochester's style?

Just like everything else in Rochester, the options for clothing have changed significantly in our community over the past few years. I prefer boutiques to department stores, and there are more options than ever. We have hidden fashion gems in this town.

And for readers?

I think it is really important to have a great hairstyle that you love. If you have a bad haircut, even the most expensive designer clothes won't look as good.

And, find a style you love that flatters you, and stick with it. When you look your best, you feel your best.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.


Do you know somebody who's got special style? Send nominations to or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.

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