five minute fixes


It’s a universal dilemma for moms. The inherent chaos of a life encumbered by responsibilities- kids, husband, house work, meal organization, play dates- and a never expanding to do list eat up the time that used to be spent on YOU!

FIVE MINUTE FIXES shows you how to set your to-do list on the kitchen counter and rejuvenate your fashion fortitude. Whether you live in Miami or Anchorage, having an arsenal of easy style solutions at the ready will get you out of your Mephistos and into a pulled together look in a snap.

Amy Tara Koch is a style expert, author, journalist and all-around fashion aficionado. She is a style expert for Vogue, the AP, People Magazine’s Moms & Babies, Parents Magazine and contributes to Today Show, Access Hollywood, Town & Country, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Departures and Huffington Post. Her first book BUMP IT UP: TRANSFORMING YOUR PREGNANCY INTO THE ULTIMATE STYLE STATEMENT was published in March 2010 and immediately touted as a must-read by outlets from the New York Times to Glamour Magazine.


Not all tanks are created equal. There are MOM TANKS and there are 20-something tanks. Twenty-something tanks are clingy and cropped. Mom Tanks are longer and have a draping detail designed to prevent showcasing tummy bulge, bra fat and plumbers crack. Some tanks have an empire waist which is super flattering for larger chested women. The fabrication of the tank make a huge difference as well. A harder, stiff fabric adds bulk and weight. A thin, soft fabric like jersey moves with its wearer imparting a sportier silhouette.

Whatever the season, whisper thin cotton or cashmere cotton tanks are  the cornerstone of a versatile wardrobe. They have zero bulk and are perfect pairing partners to any layering piece. Wear as a base under knits and blazers. Wear with jeans, trousers skirts or leggings. Layer with a scarf and long necklaces.



Clockwise from top left: Topshop nude boyfriend blazer $100 \ Baublebar gem trio drop earrings $26 \ Target labworks scoop neck sweater $13.98 \ Forever21 minimalist faux leather clutch $19.80 \ H&M black pumps $24.95 \ Dorothy Perkins black circle skirt $28


Clockwise from top left: Topshop nude boyfriend blazer $100 \ Baublebar gem trio drop earrings $26 \ Target labworks scoop neck sweater $13.98 \ H&M black pumps $24.95 \ Dorothy Perkins black circle skirt $28

Karl Lagerfeld famously stated that “sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” I agree.
The manatee of garments, sweatpants and their “leisure wear” cousins have incited a style riot that has sucked the inherent glamour from women. Every frump can attest to the magnetic urge to slip into sweats, a boxy tee and skidaddle out the door to conquer her day. It’s easy. It’s comfortable. It’s evil. Here’s why. The (non) fit is addictive. Once you make sweats and other baggy apparel your go-to garb, you will never want to trade them in for “real” clothes. And sweatpants do noone’s figure any favors. Their voluminous cut makes legs look stocky and thighs resemble tree trunks. What you wear reflects who you are and how you feel about yourself. When you approach life in unflattering clothing and just-woke-up skin, you project that energy to the universe.  It is body language pure and simple.


Clockwise form top left: Spanx Look-at-me-leggings $62 \ Gap 1969 ankle-zip legging jean $69.95 \ Old Navy chambray shirt dress $25 \ H&M boyfriend jean $39.95 \ H&M printed loose-fit trouser $24.95 \ Old Navy wrap dress $25

They may not be formally spelled out in a Constitutional Law format, but, there are most certainly rules governing  fashion for Moms. Instead of a citation, you receive eye rolls from the Glitterati, which are often more painful than simply paying a fine. These “felonies” account for the majority of frumpifying fashion.


Sweet sundresses are cute. Peasant skirts too. But, to look haute this summer, it’s all about electrifying the soft, flowy silhouette with a harder edge. This means spikes, grommets, leather and a rocker-fab smoky eye. Here are some of my favorites:


1. Jeffrey Campbell Calavera Skull Stud Sandal $109.95

2. Zara mini skull print cotton scarf $49.90 

3. Henry Beguelin Jason Ross Leather Link Bracelet

4. Sole Society studded wrap bracelet $24.95 

5. Clare Vivier Foldover Clutch $180

6. Luv AJ Pierced Triangle Earring $32

7. Cheap Monday point sunglasses $40 

8. Sonia Kashuk for Target Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm $8.99

9. Urban Decay Smoked Palette $49 


Adding zip to a basic summer silhouette is a snap. Take the little white dress. Simply layering some dramatic accessories-a floaty paisley scarf, a chunky gold spike  bracelet, a marigold African inspired bag-will transform your garment into a look to be reckoned with. The best part? All products are under $100!


THE LITTLE WHITE DRESS: H&M jersey white dress $12.95

1. Happy Scarf leaf it to me scarf $24

2. Sequin NYC enamel bangles $22.80-$38

3. Baublebar ombre chain strands $28

4. Duro Olowu for JCP spike bracelet $25

5. Mossimo yellow clutch $19.99

6. Nine West Ferdinand wedge $89

7. Zara boho chic cardigan $79.90

8. Joe Fresh patent leather belt $8


There are a lot of great things about summer: cocktails al fresco, sandals, gelato and, of course, the beach! One not-so-great thing? The pressure to wear shorts. Newsflash: you don’t have to. There are plenty of airy options that are at once chic and comfortable during scorching summer days (and even work appropriate!). Here are some of my favorites:


(from left to right) H&M harem pants $17.95 \ Topshop satin crepe tapered trouser $80 \ Zara jacquard mini skirt $69.90 \ Asos midi skirt in floral lace $54.30 \ Old Navy striped drawstring dress $29.94 \ Milly delilah dress $395

The Ultimate “Wow Factor”? Vintage. ATK shows you how to be a vintage warrior with three levels of acquisition.

Freezing temps invite a host of winter woes. ATK breaks down 5 minutes fixes to nourish your face, hair and nails. READ FULL STORY

Freezing temps invite a host of winter woes. ATK breaks down 5 minutes fixes to nourish your face, hair and nails. READ FULL STORY

"Busy women have no moments to spare. Believe me, I get it. But I still manage to carve out the nanoseconds required to pull myself together. The trick? Having an arsenal of quickie style solutions at the ready."

Here, for the Chicago Sun-Times SPLASH, I show busy women some quick “five minutes fixes” to pull a look together in a snap.