March 24, 2015
Men can add small pops of color to transition their winter wardrobe into spring.  

Transition Time 

By Belle Du Chene  

As the Iowa weather goes hot-cold, then cold-hot on us, shifting our wardrobe to the next season can feel a bit tricky. What's a girl or guy to do? We asked personal style consultant Courtney Conlin to share her thoughts on how to ensure fashionable smooth sailing this season. 

"My philosophy is that a slow transition is always best," Conlin says. "This allows us to keep in sight those pieces that will work when we still need a little warmth, while allowing a little room for creativity and versatility to get us through until our weather has officially changed."

Here are her top three tips to help ease your closet into spring:

Say goodbye to heavy fabrics. 
Now is a good time to put away those heavy fabrics such as heavy wool, heavy knits, tweed or herringbone patterns (in fall and winter weaves). Go with your instincts when getting dressed: If it feels too heavy, then it is probably time to tuck it away and reach for your lighter-weight fabrics.   


Add a pop of color.
Start pulling out (or purchasing) colorful items. This can be a great way to brighten the more monotone outfits that some of us put on to be "safe" during this in-between time of year. Women can add pops of color through a scarf, shoes, handbag, or Conlin's personal favorite, colorful statement jewelry. A vibrant tie, pocket square, button-down shirt or socks are a great touch for men.


Take a day to play.
Once you have taken those steps, give yourself a fit session to try on different combinations and play with layering. When you really like something you have put together, snap a photo to have as a quick reference on your phone (you can either take the pic in the mirror or lay the pieces out together). This will help ensure your confidence in wearing clothes from last year and also help with the process of creating a convenient and functional wardrobe.

Conlin also suggests that as you shop, ask yourself how each piece can work with others in your wardrobe. "One

of the keys to easily transitioning your wardrobe is to keep it as scaled down and versatile as possible," she says.  


For more information on Conlin's personal style consulting business, visit 


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The bargain bin at Whole Foods makes it easy to sample new cheeses.   
A Boon for Cheese Lovers on the Go 

By Wini Moranville


Sure, we love heading to a great cheese counter and sampling our way through well-chosen tastes of this and that. But when the lineup is long and we simply don't have the time for a tasting, the little odds-and-ends bin at Whole Foods Market comes in extraordinarily handy.


Look for the sign that says, "Cheese Steals!" The small, pre-cut wedges and chunks of random cheeses sell for a few dollars each, making it easy to pick up a selection for a mini cheese tray that's perfect for a small, spontaneous gathering. I've also found some new favorites this way, including the amazing Campo de Montalban Cheese, made from all three milks (cow, sheep, and goat). It's a nutty, semi-firm cheese that's a little like Manchego, but with flavors reminiscent of lush pastures of grasses and herbs.


I was originally concerned that this bargain bin might be filled with past-their-prime cheeses; however, on the three occasions that I've grabbed a few, I've been pleased every time with their quality and freshness.

Whole Foods Market is at Water Tower Place, 4100 University Ave., West Des Moines; 343-2600.

fyi: Mark Your Calendar   

  • Indulge in a delicious cupcake--and support girls and women in the process. In honor of Women's History Month, Creme Cupcake + Dessert is featuring a "Chrysalis Cupcake," with proceeds benefiting the Chrysalis Foundation. The foundation supports programs and organizations that work to ensure the safety, security, education and economic empowerment of girls and women in Greater Des Moines.
  • In the mood for some spring shopping? The fourth Couture for a Cause fundraiser to benefit the Children's Cancer Connection will be March 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kum & Go corporate offices atrium (6400 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines). The event includes a mimosa brunch, as well as a fashion show featuring child patients, their families and caregivers who will all model clothing from local boutiques. Tickets cost $40 for adults and $25 for children, and can be purchased here.
  • Animated movie characters made from bubble packing material and designed by local creative professionals will take the runway during ChildServe's 2015 Bubble Ball March 28 at Capital Square (400 Locust St.). The event starts at 7 p.m. and will feature comedian and magician Ben Ulin and musicians Brazilian 2wins. Guests can enjoy cocktails, dinner, the themed runway show and a gallery of stationery designs. Tickets cost $150 or $1,200 for a table of eight and can be purchased here. Proceeds will support the ChildServe Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine program; for more information, click here.
  • Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, will perform the early jazz of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans at the Southern Gentlemen Tour concert March 27. The musical collaboration, presented by Civic Music Association, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Drake University's Sheslow Auditorium. Tickets cost $18-$48 and can be purchased here. For more information, visit
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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