To many, back-to-school brings to mind the basics: a stack of fresh T-shirts, a pristine pair of sneakers and maybe a new lunch box. But for some older students who have graduated from one level to another, there's more than a wardrobe tweak and replacement of last year's staples to consider. Going back to school also heralds a new chapter in their lives -- meaning it's often a time for a little reinvention.
We found three young women who are moving on up in their educational journeys and are ready for a bit more polish and style.
We gathered them at Nassau Community College, glammed them up with the help of a hair and makeup team from Salon Blue in Mineola and outfitted them in the season's top trends. The results are hard to deny -- all three will graduate to a more confident, stylish look.
Changing it up Shorts and hoodies were Jordan's everyday go-to. For high school, she says, "I'm not a dressed-up girl, and I want to keep it casual and comfortable but kicked up a notch and a little bit more grown-up. I want to look pretty without being fake, and I plan to get more accessories." (P.S., her mom took her shopping after the photo shoot.)
Taking the leap Still age-appropriate and comfy, Jordan's jazzed-up, hip ensemble with a touch of rock and roll incorporates many trends: the smoking flat, here done up in sparkles from Madden Girl, $29, Marshalls; jewel-toned Old Navy jeans, $34.94, and layering . . . she's wearing three tops. To keep it fresh: cool jewels and a lively backpack.
Other credits Chaser graphic tee shirt, $54, and Nikibiki tank, $15, Lester's; checked BCBGeneration shirt, $54, bcbg.com.; Princess Vera Wang necklace, $26, and earrings, $14, Kohl's; red bead bracelet, Swarovski stores, $90; leather bracelet, $36, and beaded bracelet, $45, Lester's; Pixel Explosion Featherlight Backpack, $45, landsend.com.
Kiana Cherubin, 18, Uniondale
Changing it up "The main difference in fashion from high school to college is that no one is telling you what to wear anymore," says Kiana, who loves fashion, with an emphasis on accessories. "There's freedom, and you can really figure yourself out and develop your own, unique style. I don't want to look older, maybe just a little more polished."
Taking the leap Kiana slithers into college wearing MICHAEL Michael Kors printed pants, $110 at Bloomingdale's -- a seasonal must-have, with python prints being an important fashion focus. A short Cynthia Steffe jacket, $49 at Marshalls, atop an elegant bias-cut top, Simply Vera Wang, $49 at Kohl's, is an example of perfect, proportional layering. And oohhh, the accessories! Ropes of silver and snakeskin, a wear-with-everything ankle boot and a huge, printed colorful bag make it all so fun.
Other credits Manhattan Bridge bag, $298, and snakeskin and silver necklace, $295, both at Henri Bendel, Walt Whitman Shops; Octea watch, $850, Swarovski stores; Tory Burch booties, $395, Bloomingdale's.
Anna Miranda, 22, Huntington
Next stop This St. John's University grad is off to St. John's Law School this fall.
Changing it up Anna, who works weekends as a waitress at her family's diner, the Golden Dolphin in Huntington, looks at law school as "a time to take yourself more seriously. In college, people can go to class in pajamas, but if you do that in law school, you have to ask yourself, 'Why am I here?' I'm definitely going to have to switch it up and be a little more businesslike," she says. "It's kind of a rite of passage."
Taking the leap Granted, Anna won't be donning a skirt and heels every day, but she's not the type to settle for a basic black suit when it comes time to apply for an internship. Here, she flaunts one of the season's hottest trends -- bold prints -- with this versatile Elie Tahari skirt, $298 at Bloomingdale's, that mixes python and sunburst patterns. Also huge, the statement coat. This vibrant red number, $250 from Lands' End, is as good over a skirt as it would be with jeans. And she eschews the backpack for a chic, more sophisticated Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, $250 at Bloomingdale's.
Other credits Tahari top, $12.99, Marshalls; pendant necklace, $125, Lester's; Calvin Klein pumps, $109, Bloomingdale's.