Meet Scarlett Hao, an international student attending University of Washington Seattle. She is mad about fashion, and that passion led her to start a fashion club on campus a year ago. La Mode: A Fashion Club at UW is the only one of its kind on campus. Scarlett is active in the world of fashion and has some wonderful tips for college students seeking a leg up on style this season.

Scarlett Hao
La Mode: A Fashion Club At UW
1410 N.E. Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195

Tip 1: Classify your clothes

You need all kinds of clothes: for going out, casual wear, sports or sporty items and work clothes. Classify and organize your clothing according to what goes together to avoid having to think too hard on those mornings when you have early classes. Mixing and matching is a cool thing to do, within reason. For example, you don’t want to wear sports shorts with a dressy white blouse, but you could wear that dressy white blouse with a cute pair of jeans.

Tip 2: Have basic pieces on hand

Black or white clothing in basic or classic cuts is always in style and a safe bet. Basic pieces are easy to accessorize. You can make your wardrobe stretch by adding pops of color with less expensive items like scarves and jewelry. You can get away with wearing funky scarves or jewelry all the time, whereas wearing the same funky pair of pants gets weird after a while.

Tip 3: Comfortable flats are a must have

When you have to hoof it 10 minutes to class, heels are not a good choice. Shop for shoes that will add a fun pop of color to your outfit. Or look for classic flats that will go with anything. Please save your sneakers for exercise and gym class, though.

Related: Best Places For Summer Accessories In Seattle

Tip 4: Stunning coats

Seattleites live in a rainy city, so cute jackets, coats and raincoats are a must. Your coat may often be the only glimpse of your outfit that others will see, so you will want something you feel great wearing. Military jackets, faux furs, large mod buttons and bright colors are on trend for coats this year.

Tip 5: Totes bags

A tote bag can carry most everything, much like a backpack, all while looking pretty. Choose something sturdy that goes with anything. A good tote bag is an essential item for every college girl. Another plus, you can find a tote to suit any taste, so you won’t have to sacrifice your sense of style.

Related: Best Sports Shops In Seattle That Offer A Military Discount

Tip 6: Accessorize

Earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, scarves, all of which can be inexpensive, can really help you expand your wardrobe and totally update, change or dress up your basics. Accessories give a sense of style to your outfits. If you only had $5 to spend, you could still manage to update your wardrobe with a fabulous flea market or import store scarf or jewelry item.

Tip 7: Express yourself by developing your own signature style

Find something you like and use frequently, such as red lips, cool hair, hats or a unique print. My signature style, for example, is anything studded. I love and collect studded anything and everything.

Tip 8: Don’t be afraid of color

Have fun with all kinds of color, but never wear more than three colors at a time. Pops of color look cute, but too much color can look tacky. Consider bringing in the bright or trendy colors with your accessories, totes and handbags. Or think of choosing a colorful coat to ward off the Seattle blues.

Jerri Lien has enjoyed working in the beauty industry for most of her adult life. As a Seattle examiner, she covers all things style, beauty and more. Her work can be found at