Back-to-school . . . it’s almost here.
Traditionally, the fashion focus is on kids. But truth be told, teachers want to start the year looking their best, too, a point underscored when nearly a hundred LI teachers wrote in to participate in Newsday’s annual teacher makeover. Classroom veterans wanted an update, freshly minted teachers wanted to enter the workplace looking professional, some needed a quick fix, others a serious confidence boost. And while we wanted to provide every applicant with a special day, we could choose only three.
This year, the makeover process began at nuBest salon and spa in Manhasset, where our teachers spent h-o-u-r-s. For all, it was a little scary as creative director Jamie Mazzei made some big decisions about their hair: lop it off, embrace the curls, layer to the max. Then it was on to the color department, where Christian Fleres gave each a serious — and in one case, dramatic — color fix.
Onward to Newsday’s photo studio, where the teachers were greeted by a glam squad of nuBest hair dressers and makeup artists, along with a fashion stylist who had rolled in some of fall’s best looks.
When it comes to the classroom, you always hear about model students. In this case, it was all about model teachers, quite literally, as they posed for our photographer feeling great and looking fabulous. As for grades? We give them a “G” . . . for gorgeous.
2016 teacher makeovers
Looking strong and stunning, from left:
Jill Goldberg looks professional and fashionable in a flounced and fitted faux suede dress ($285 by BCBGMAXAZRIA at Lord & Taylor), abstract scarf ($59, at Entrée, Port Washington), bracelet, ($42 by The Jewelry Baronessa, thejewelrybaronessa.com).
Jo-Mara Lopez values comfort during her day, but wants to look stylish while she’s at it and this ruffled military jacket ($159 by Chico’s) is the perfect, versatile topper, along with sturdy leggings ($59.50 by Karl Lagerfeld at Lord & Taylor) and fitted turtleneck tank, ($68, at White House Black Market), bangles ($145) and necklaces, ($65, $110 both by Diamer Fine Jewelry).
Mary Beth Palazzolo needed to ditch her black pants “uniform” for something more fun and flattering, like this great jersey leopard print dress ($99 by IMNYC Isaac Mizrahi at Lord & Taylor), two-tone long vest, ($68 by Elle at Kohl’s), circle necklace ($34 by Design Lab, Lord & Taylor).
Jo-Mara Lopez, 37, a special education teacher at Charles E. Walters Elementary School in Yaphank, was nominated by her boyfriend. Her sister describes her clothes as "beige and boring."
Jill Goldberg, 45, nominated herself for a makeover. She's been a guidance counselor at Syosset High School for 20 years, and says: "With the kids, I try to get on their level being young enough, cool, hip and approachable, but I don't want to be regarded as not dressed appropriately by the parents and my colleagues."
Mary Beth Palazzolo
Mary Beth Palazzolo, 54, a veteran math teacher (30 years) at East Rockaway High School who was nominated by her daughter, has worn stuff that her kids say their grandma would wear. She is stuck in a rut of black pants and kind of not-so-nice but bright tops.
Embrace the curls
NuBest's Jamie Mazzei convinced Jo-Mara Lopez, a special ed teacher at Charles E. Walters Elementary School in Yaphank, to forget about straightening her curls.
A serious trim
Jill Goldberg lost 5 inches of length but gained lovely, intricate layers during her makeover at nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset.
A new 'do
“This is the shortest my hair has ever been in my life,” Mary Beth Palazzolo said during her makeover.
Jo-Mara Lopez’s mostly beige wardrobe gets a blast of color and print with an easy jersey dress, ($118 by Donna Morgan at donna-morgan.com), versatile jacket ($64 by LC Lauren Conrad at Kohl’s), shoes ($169 by Summit at Shoe Inn), necklace ($55 Diamer Fine Jewelry).
Long and lean
Jill Goldberg is good to go, go, go in sleek stretch pants ($198 by Kobi Halperin, at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom), tweedy jacket, ($150 at White House/Black Market,) sleeveless top ($59 by H Halston at Lord & Taylor), suede bag, ($465 by Reiss at Bloomingdale’s), bootie, ($189 by Louise et Cie), necklaces, ($270 and bracelet $301 by Stevie Wren, steviewren.com); necklace ($360 by Jamie Nicole, jamienicole.com).
Head of the class
Power dressing for Mary Beth Palazzolo includes a smart, high-waist pencil skirt in berry ($98, White House Black Market), crisp sleeveless shirt ($69.95, coldwatercreek.com), diamond pattern woven fringed shawl (Apt 9, $58 at Kohl’s), suede lace-up shoes, ($139, Vince Camuto), bag ($398 by Gemma), necklace ($55, The Jewelry Baroness), bracelets ($60 each, Jamie Nicole).