Food & Drink

Local High School Teacher Gets an A+ in Style

Newport High School's Carolyn Marino earns bonus points for style both in and out of the classroom

By Andrew Hoge December 14, 2018

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This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the December 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Carolyn Marino leads a double life. By day, she shapes young minds as an English teacher at Newport High School in Bellevue; in her off-hours, she updates her lifestyle blog, Hey Pretty Thing, often showcasing a new fashion find. Her personal style takes a cue from this duality, something that’s quickly evident after one look at her wardrobe: classic silhouettes updated with delightful contemporary details that she finds at her go-to stores, such as Madewell, Nordstrom, Zara and online-only retailers Shopbop and Other Stories. “Growing up in Seattle, I learned to dress in a practical way,” says Marino. “But I was born in Hong Kong, and the women there take more risks and lean towards the avant-garde side of the fashion spectrum.”

Lots of Likes
Marino, who started her blogging life by posting journal entries on now obscure platforms such as LiveJournal and Angelfire, got the idea for a personal style blog in 2010 while in college, with the encouragement of a close friend. Marino posted an image of herself taken by a friend in a chic outfit on Blogspot, and the rest is history. Today, she is one of the most prominent Seattle bloggers (with more than 20K Instagram followers) and covers a range of topics, including fashion, travel and beauty.

Making the Grade
Marino’s closet holds a variety of statement pieces that transition effortlessly from the classroom to her off-duty life. She carefully selects accessories and shoes that showcase her contemporary side and often discovers these items at local boutiques such as Moorea Seal and Totokaelo. “I’d style an oversize plaid blazer I wear in the classroom with mom jeans and combat boots for my weekend look,” she says. It seems that her students aren’t shy about grading her style. “I once wore a black tuxedo vest with blue pants and boots, and a student called me Han Solo—they were spot on!”

Meet the Producer
Not content with a purposeful career and a closely followed online platform, Marino conceived, wrote and produced Sweet and Power, a YouTube comedy-drama; it debuted in September and follows four Asian-American women—portrayed by Marino’s real-life friends—and is inspired by her own life experiences. “There is very little representation of the Asian-American experience on TV,” she says.

Turtleneck sweater: Free People (nordstrom.com)

14K yellow gold twist hoop earrings (bluenile.com)

Leather belt bag: GG Marmont matelassé (gucci.com)

Silk skirt: Margaret O’Leary (margaretoleary.com)

Boots: Isabel Marant (barneys.com)

See bonus photos from the photo shoot with Seattle magazine photographer Hayley Young below.

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