November 18, 2014
Culottes tucked in boots haven't been a good look since before the French Revolution.  

My Winter Fashion Pet Peeves 

By Belle Du Chene  
Now that the temps have dropped and snow is on the ground, it's time to dress for winter (like it or not). Here are a few of my seasonal pet peeves:     


Pet peeve #1: Cramming wide-leg jeans or pants into boots or booties.

Nobody wants to look like Louis XVI with his knickers blooming out the top of his boots. If you want to tuck your jeans or a pant into boots, make sure they are straight-leg, slim-fiting pants, preferably with an ample percentage of spandex to allow stretch. If the pant legs still wiggle loose and bunch at the top, try tucking them into snug knee socks or consider purchasing adjustable stirrups. And remember: Leggings are never a suitable replacement for pants any time of the year.


Pet peeve #2: Sweater pilling.                  

Sweaters look pristine until we wear them for the first or second time, when abrasion causes the fibers to loosen and ball up. To remove them, a razor or pumice stone works just as well as a battery-operated pill remover. It's an easy, mindless task to do while watching TV. Washing the sweaters inside out will keep help pilling to a minimum.


Pet peeve #3: Keeping the basting stitch on the back of winter coats.

As you purchase a new winter coat this year, take a second to see if there's an X-shaped stitch holding together the vents (or slits) of your coat in the back. They are only meant to hold the flaps in place during shipping and should be clipped before the coat is worn. This also applies to loosely tacked brand labels often found on the sleeves.


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Formaticum Cheese Bags keep cheese fresh.
Formaticum Cheese Bags keep expensive cheeses fresh. 

It's a Wrap!    

By Wini Moranville   

During this season of entertaining, chances are you'll invest good money in some great cheeses. Keep them in peak condition with Formaticum cheese bags.

Made in France (a country that knows a thing or two about cheese), the porous bags allow the cheese to breathe, yet keep it from drying out. They also make post-party cleanup quick: Simply place the leftover cheese in the bag and fold over the top. No time-consuming origami-style wrapping needed.


Find them at Accents + Interiors (2701 86th St., Urbandale), where buyer Amanda Duncan says, "They've been flying off the shelf--people love their cheese!" They cost $8.25 for a package of 15; however, in case you do prefer to wrap your cheeses origami style, the shop also sells the Formaticum cheese paper ($8.25 for 15 11-by-14.5-inch sheets).

fyi: Mark Your Calendar

  • The 13th annual Holiday Promenade will be Nov. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the East Village. At Brenton Place, you can ice skate and watch Santa light the tree (around 5:50 p.m.). Elsewhere in the neighborhood, businesses will be open for holiday shopping, and you also can enjoy carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and festive music. Ballet Des Moines will perform scenes from "The Nutcracker" at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. at LifeServe Blood Center.
  • DM Young Artists' Theatre will present "Fame Jr." at the Des Moines Social Club Nov. 21-30.The family-friendly adaptation of the film franchise will feature a cast of 21 students from 14 area schools. Tickets cost $8-$15 and can be purchased here. Learn more about the 2014-2015 season here.
  • See beautifully decorated holiday trees at the annual Festival of Trees & Lights Nov. 26-30 at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Memorial (start times vary each day, click here for details). The event, which benefits Blank Children's Hospital, also includes entertainment, food and children's activities. Tickets cost $5, free for children under age 2. Purchase discounted tickets for $3 here until Nov. 25. Also plan to attend Festival After Dark Nov. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m., which is for adults 21 and older. Tickets are $15 and include entertainment, drinks and snacks. The Festival Family Flick Nov. 28 will show "Elf" from 6 to 8 p.m.; tickets are free with festival admission.  
Pink Print Co. will sell fine stationery and custom-designed paper products.

P.S. Pink Opens in the East Village

A stationery and graphic design shop opened yesterday in the East Village as part of the new retail space at 350 E. Locust St. Pink Print Co. offers fine stationery, custom-designed invitations, greeting cards and gifts. Accessories for the home also will be offered through a collaboration with Reynal Interiors, owned by interior designer Amanda Reynal of Des Moines.

The store is the newest endeavor of Stacey Gibbs and Sara Gaskell, a duo with a shared passion for design who previously owned Pink Fine Stationery in The Shops at Roosevelt. They changed the business name to reflect the design work they do for small businesses and customers. "About 80 percent of what we produce is designed in-house, which is why we chose to rebrand," Gaskell says. "We still think the retail aspect of what we do is really important, but we do design work just as well. This is kind of a second generation of our business."

Pink Print Co.'s hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The shop is located in suite 103. Learn more at

Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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