Make Room for Fashion: Amp Up Your Style

Are you playing it safe when it comes to your fashion choices? Stuck in your comfort zone, reaching for your favorite Theory tops and Diane von Furstenberg dresses and Vince cardigans?

Staples. Go-to pieces. They work, they do the job, but sometimes that’s just not enough. As moms, some of us have a tendency to go for tried-and-true basics and err on the side of looking conservative. While easy-to-wear options are all well and good for everyday life, what about when you’re going out with your girlfriends and need a little va-va-voom? Or better still, date night? That’s when you need a little edge to remind you that you haven’t turned into the person you swore you wouldn’t turn into when you had kids.

When I’m feeling a little buttoned-up, I eschew my favorite oh-so-easy to shop, but oh-so-predictable department stores and browse instead at out-of-the-way boutiques in NYC’s East Village or the Lower East Side. One of my favorites is Pas De Deux, which carries a range of emerging and established designers that urge you to take risks such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Richard Chai, Alexander Wang, Boy. by Band of Outsiders, Isabel Marant and Thakoon. Whenever I shop there I always find something a little out of the ordinary.

A jacket is a good starting point when looking to add a little edge to a look. The Helmut Lang cowl-front jacket below, for example, or the Thakoon Addition tweed jacket with jersey panels and an uneven hem are both options that could spice up a regular jeans-and-heels outfit. Look for leather for a quick pick-me-up—I’m talking leather paneled leggings, leather-trimmed tops or a blazer with leather epaulets. Even a hint of leather will bring out your inner rocker. Jewelry is another option—go for long chains, chunky bracelets or dangly earrings.

And if punk is your thing (or was your thing back in the day and you now just want a spike or two), think small detail, big impact—spike-studded heels, bags or cuffs.

Click through to see some pieces that might just take your outfit from "soccer mom" to "hot mama" in seconds flat.

I love all things Helmut Lang, especially this cowl-front jacket. It transforms a simple black jeans, black tank ensemble into a look with attitude.