How to Pose for a Photo, Cherry Velvet Style

21 Jun

Have you ever admired the effortless poses of our models and want to know how they get that look? I’ve got some insider photo tips for you!

 The Eyes Have It

I know with me, when I make a true happy smile, my eyes pretty much disappear into squinty slits. One way to avoid this is to keep your eyes closed until just before the shutter clicks. One, Two, Three…Open. Another trick is to squint a little with only your lower lids. It’s a bit tricky but practice will help and your smile will look more natural.

Say Oustiti!– (French for ‘little monkey’)

Don’t say cheese, instead get someone to make you laugh off camera. Think about something that makes you really smile or even laugh. A real smile is more than just showing your teeth and a smile with no emotion in it can look…a little creepy. That’s why it looks better when we smile with our eyes too.

Chin(s)

If you want to avoid looking like you have more than one chin there are a few tricks you can use. Avoid having the photo taken from below your chin. Raising the camera above your chin is a great way to eliminate multiple chins. (but not too far, if your legs are in the photo they will look shorter) Try to stretch your neck and then lower your chin and stick it out a little. Now try pressing your tongue against the back of your top teeth. This feels pretty unnatural at first but it does actually work.

Body Check

Practice good posture by imagining your whole body lifting up from the top of your head;  shoulders back, bust out, tummy pulled in and stick your butt out a little. You’ve heard it before, but this makes all the difference in a photo!

Try turning your body about 45 degrees away from the camera so that you have one shoulder closer to the camera than the other. This way you’re body is at an angle and your face is facing the camera.  Put the camera facing arm on your hip, that way your arm isn’t squished against your torso. (Arms that are tight to your body flatten out and look larger)

Positioning your arms a little away from your body and having them slightly bent or placed on a hip (or in one of our pockets) looks more natural than hanging straight at your sides.

She’s Got Legs

With your body at 45 degrees, plant one foot slightly in front of the other, point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back leg. Another great pose is  to cross your legs at the calf little will have a similar effect of making your hips look narrower and your legs look longer, plus it looks a bit more casual.

It’s always preferable to stand in pictures. But if you happen to be on a chair or a couch when someone wants to take your photo, sit up straight and cross your legs at the ankles. It’ll be much more flattering than not doing anything.

Pose suggestions for a perfect photo

That’s it! Easy and totally natural right? lol

These are all great tips but chances are you won’t put them all into use every time someone pulls out a camera. In this day and age when everyone has a camera on their phone my best tip is…take lots of pictures, lots and lots.

XOX Love Barb

Links to the dresses in the photo from left to right:

Angelina City Stroll

Brooke Navy & Kelly Dot

Doris Techno Turtle

Cherry Velvet Dresses For Every Day

9 Jun

I have always loved wearing dresses. When I was in the 6th grade I decided to wear a dress to school. Back in the 70s most kids just wore jeans and t-shirts at my country school, but I got it into my head that I wanted to wear a dress. I got all the girls in my class together and made a secret plan that we would all wear a dress the next day for no reason. When we all showed up in our dresses everybody was wondering why—especially the teachers and the principal.  We said nothing. We dressed up because we felt like it. It wasn’t a special occasion. It was our own little push back at conformity. We continued to do this for the rest of the school year on an agreed upon day. So rebellious!

Even as a little girl Barb loved wearing dresses

Night and Day

Cherry Velvet dresses are perfect for a night out or a special occasion. In my opinion, they also make the perfect day dress. What makes a good day dress? For me, it’s a mixture of comfort, durability, and cuteness. In my job, I can be meeting with clients one minute and hefting boxes around the warehouse the next. I can’t really be changing my clothing back and forth all day and I’ve found that a well-fitting cotton dress is the way to go.  The advantage of cotton is, of course, the breathability and comfort but I also find the dresses very durable and easy to wash and wear again and again.

Barb Wilkins wears Cherry Velvet dresses for every day

Barb Wilkins wears Cherry Velvet dresses for every day

 

Keep It Simple Silly

I probably don’t get up quite as early for work as I should. The last thing I want to do is try to put an outfit together in the morning.

I feel like I have the BEST life hack for you right now!

Throw on a Cherry Velvet dress every morning and the only decisions left are footwear and accessories. Have 5 or 6 cardigans in different colours that can mix and match with your dresses and that’s it. You’re out the door! Ya sure! Easy for me! I work at Cherry Velvet. lol BUT, if I worked in an office or anywhere else where I was expected to look presentable, I would do the same thing.

Barb Wilkins wears Cherry Velvet dresses for every day

Barb Wilkins wears Cherry Velvet dresses for every day

Take Another Look

Why not pull that dress out of your closet and look at it with a different point of view? Is it too special to wear to work? Maybe it’ll just make you feel special all day. Maybe if someone asks you what the special occasion is you can answer “Me!”

XOX Love Barb

How to Care for your New Crinoline

1 Jun

You’ve chosen your colour and ordered your knee length crinoline from Cherry Velvet! With visions of puffy frills in your head, you might be a little surprised when you get your box in the mail. How the heck did they fit that much floof into such a small box? Your crinoline has been folded and rolled to fit in the box for shipping and it needs a little love from you when it comes out of the box. Don’t worry, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

We’ve made a little video to show you how to care for your crinoline from the minute you open the box until you slip it on under your favourite frock.

A frilly crinoline is a great way to add a little something special to your Cherry Velvet dresses. A full skirt with a matching or contrasting colour peeking out from under it can turn a special dress into something spectacular. If you are thinking of adding a crinoline to your vintage inspired look, we have you covered. You’ll feel special, we promise!

Here’s our selection.

Colourful selection of crinolines at Cherry Velvet

If you’re wondering, we also carry other crinolines that are made of nylon chiffon. Our Lace Crinoline or our Vintage chiffon crinoline will not arrive quite as wrinkled as the Knee length version in the video. Just hang it up and in a few days whatever wrinkles there were, will be no more. Please do not try to steam or iron it as it may cause damage. (Nylon can melt with too much heat!)

Washing instructions: 

Hand wash in warm water then hang to dry. Please do not use bleach.

If you have any questions or need help choosing a crinoline to match your dress, please feel free to e-mail us @ cherryvelvetplus(dot)com. We’re happy to help anytime!

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

 

 

How an armhole is supposed to fit!

26 May

CherryVelvet_ArmholeBlog_TitleNobody really likes to think about their armpits – or their arms for that matter.  But with arm-baring dress season upon us, we’d like to share our knowledge about how an armhole is supposed to fit. If you’re plus size, inbetweenie, or just larger in the chest, this is an area that you may want to pay close attention to. We want to show you exactly what to look for!

A proper fitting armhole should hug close to your body without gaping or cutting into you uncomfortably. It’s a common misconception that having bigger arms means that you need bigger armholes. Arms typically narrow toward the shoulder, so having a larger arms doesn’t dictate your armhole! While you should be able to run your finger around the opening, you definitely should not be able to fit your hand in there. A proper fitting armhole does not gape open; it should lie smoothly all around your armpit. It should be high enough under your arm to cover your bra but not so high that it’s digging in.

To get a really great fit in the armhole, the patternmaker must build “bust darts” into the pattern.  What you may not know is that darts are what shape flat fabric into the contours of the body. A basic dart is shaped like a long pointed triangle. It’s wide at one end and narrows at the other. On many modern designs, the ‘dart’ is often incorporated into a princess seam, gathers, or pleats instead to achieve the proper fit as well as a desirable dress design. Here are some examples of our dress patterns showing the front shaping and armhole area:

CherryVelvet_ArmholeBlog_PatternPieces

Here are a few examples of a proper fitting armhole. You’ll notice how there are no spaces or gaps:

CherryVelvet_ArmholeBlog_KateBrigitteDoris_Dresses

The thing is, it’s important to know the difference between something that fits properly and something that just doesn’t quite cut it. You’re worthy of this knowledge and it can only lead to you being seen as a snappy dresser that always looks pulled together because, among other things, your clothes fit properly.

Hopefully, we don’t need to tell you where to find amazing fitting dresses that fit your lovely curvaceous parts and delectable armpits……because we think you should love your body…yep, even your arms and your armpits!

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

Body Positive for the Win!

12 May

The time for body shaming is over.

At some point, roughly about 100 years ago, a shift occurred within the mainstream perception towards what the modern woman should “look like”. While no one is 100% certain to why this idealism was created, we do know that since its creation this unrealistic goal has managed to cause a whole lot of pain and frustration for millions of women around the world—women that have spent decades and decades trying to fit into the “perfect woman” mold. When you think about it, the idea that there’s a so-called “perfect” or “ideal” body or appearance for everyone, it’s crazy. While this message is still trying to be sold by magazines, websites, television and movie screens today, we’re certainly not buying it anymore…

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress

Enter the revolution of body positivity, aka healthy body image, aka #StunningAtAnySize!

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Kate Dress

Although it’s been an uphill battle, women of all shapes and sizes have begun to make major positive strides in achieving mainstream body acceptance and inclusion. Women across the globe are proudly speaking out with messages of self-love, body-positivity, healthy body image and more. These words, images, and videos are being heard by the media. It’s a movement that’s spreading like a (healthy) wildfire and it grows every day as more content is created and shared by a network of talented designers, bloggers, photographers and social advocates of all types.

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress
#StunningAtAnySize is our message of dedication to this amazing movement for women and women’s fashion. Beauty cannot be measured and that’s why we create dresses in such a wide selection of sizes. Every woman should have the opportunity to wear something that makes them feel feminine, sexy and confident. We always create our dresses with this in mind.

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Paige Dress

 

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress

The message #StunningAtAnySize can be worn as a declaration of one’s confidence, utilized as an empowering mantra and serve as a model for a new and positive mindset. Its meaning represents the core values of Cherry Velvet; it’s the reason we make dresses the way we do, it’s what we support and believe in.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Find your Best Fit; Cherry Velvet style

5 May

When you place an order with Cherry Velvet, we want you to be thrilled when you receive your dress because it fits like a dream! We care about this so much that we’re doing a series of blog posts filled with tips and short videos to teach you how to find your best fit. We’ve noticed that measuring and proper fit are often not talked about enough. Many of us are just so happy to find some pretty clothes in our size that we don’t give fit the consideration it deserves.

Unfortunately, there is no industry standardization when it comes to sizes. The dress you bought at another company could, and will likely, be a completely different size than the one(s) you buy from us.  You can ensure you get your correct Cherry velvet size by either trying on our dresses in person at one of our retail locations (all of our retailers are listed on our website and we certainly encourage you to support them if you have a store nearby) or by following a few simple steps when ordering online at cherryvelvetplus.com—it’s that easy, we promise!

To get your best fit in a Cherry Velvet dress, the first thing we recommend you do (after choosing your dress style) is to measure yourself. Here’s a short video on how to do it (below):

Once you have your measurements, you can compare them to the size chart on our website. If you’re still unsure, simply send your measurements to us at cherryvelvetplus@gmail(dot)com, along with your dress(es) selection. The Cherry Velvet team will then measure the dresses for you and compare those numbers to your measurements. We’ll then let you know if the dress(es) you selected will fit and recommend a size to order or, perhaps, make a suggestion on a dress style that will fit better. This method produces excellent results! We’ve had many happy customers receive a dress that fits great the first time—and we want that same experience for you, too!

Happiness is a dress that fits and makes you look and feel fabulous!

XOX Cherry Velvet

P.S. Our video shows you how to measure for the majority of our dresses like the Brigitte, Doris, Brooke, Chrissy, Danielle etc. Our next blog in this series is how to measure for the Angelina. (it fits a little differently)

 

Ratio of sizes; how to get your dress in your size

28 Apr

HowToGetYourDressInYourSize

 

Are you often frustrated when you can’t find your dress size? We’re here to explain why you occasionally might not see a dress in your size and what you can do about it.

 

While we do our very best to offer the widest selection of dresses possible,  it all comes down to the ratio of sizes. You may or may not know that most companies cut their production of clothing in a ratio. The majority of units cut will be in the most popular sizes (middle sizes) and the smaller and larger sizes will receive fewer units. This is common practice in the clothing industry and it’s also how retail stores order clothing for their stores, too. The way to change this is to make your opinion heard, which ultimately means supporting the brand that carries your size by buying your size.

 

We always pay close attention to our customers’ needs, however, changes can take some time (a season or two) to implement. We’ve recently noticed a lot of size 3X’s selling, so we’re making a pointed effort to carry more of that size. We’re also getting a lot of feedback from customers asking us for a size 4X, and so we’ve gone ahead and offered more 4X sizes for this season. If you’re a 4X and like our dresses, we have a great selection in your size!  Here’s what we’re offering right now in 4X.  We’ve definitely made more plus size dresses this season over last season when we tried offering 4X for the first time. When the demand increases, we’ll offer more dresses and more prints, however, currently our supply exceeds the demand.

As a boutique online retailer, we cannot make masses of dresses in each print we offer. We usually make 25-40 dresses per each unique print and those units get divided up over the sizes we carry. That’s not a lot of dresses per size and, unfortunately, some sizes can sell out quickly.

To avoid any disappointment, please consider ordering these sizes early in the season. As we see an increased demand, we’ll add more units in 3X and 4X. We truly care about our amazing customers and do our best to respond to all your requests.

We’re releasing a Customer Survey soon and would love to hear all of your ideas, feedback, and comments!

We want to know what sizes and colours you’d like to see!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Cherry Picking with Barb

21 Apr

It’s Cherry Picking season!

Hi, I’m Barb! I have had a chance to form some opinions and discover some of my favourite frocks in my first few weeks working at Cherry Velvet and I want to share them with you.  I’ve worked in the Plus Size clothing industry for many years now and being a Plus Sized woman who doesn’t do frumpy or boring, I’m thrilled to have landed in the perfect spot! I am surrounded by adorableness all day long and I see potential in every style and print so picking only three was harder than I thought it would be. Cherry Picking is all about choosing the sweetest, juiciest and plumpest fruit and that’s exactly what I tried to do here. Enjoy!

Chrissy Hothouse Floral

This dress is just so flattering! Honestly, I normally wouldn’t think a bold floral like this would be my first pick but I was taken in with the beautiful coral red with subtle pops of green. I love wearing anything with a little green in it because it sets off my green eyes. This dress fits like a dream and has the perfect amount of coverage at the bust and the little sleeve. I feel like this dress is perfect for attending a summer wedding or dance. Who wouldn’t want to make that skirt flare while twirling around the dance floor? Honestly, a gal could get married in this dress—it’s that special.

Cherry Velvet Chrissy dress in Hot House Floral

 

Danielle Shutterbug

I LOVE this print!! Vintage cameras of all shapes and sizes and not a hint of “Cheeeese”! The colours are amazing, too. I adore the combination of acid green, orange and aqua. These are the ultimate classic “old school” shades that remind me of  60’s and 70’s retro modern trends. Yes, I am old enough to remember that era, thank you very much! The little collar and three button detail on the front are so stylish and give this dress a classic, crisp feel. I would wear this dress to an art opening or a cocktail party, or… anywhere, actually.

Danielle Cherry Luau

Once again it was the print that made me choose this dress. I love the cut too, so much so that I chose two different Danielle dresses in my picks. This rich coral background with creamy flowers, green leaves, and bright red cherries is just perfection in my opinion. This dress takes me back to Hawaii with its warm tropical hues. The colour is so flattering to my skin tone and I can’t wait until I can wear it when I have a bit of a summer tan. Delicious is the word I would use to describe this dress. Now, where is that Mai Tai I ordered?

Cherry Velvet Danielle dress in Cherry Luau

 

Come visit me at the studio sale this weekend!!

→ Fri. Apr. 21 2-7pm
→ Sat. Apr. 22 11am-5pm

1635 Powell St. Vancouver, BC
(Street parking available right out front and in the lot off Woodland Drive beside the Flag Shop)

Love Barb for Cherry Velvet XOX

Plus Size Labels, who needs them?

7 Apr

Labels.

We can spend our whole life avoiding them, living up to them and proving them wrong, but when it comes to your clothing are they really that important? Many articles have been written about the use of the term plus size. Many feel that it’s an outdated and marginalizing term that tries to put larger women into a less exciting and frumpy box.

The plus size clothing industry has come such a long way and smart consumers expect the same quality and attention to fit and detail as anyone else. Why wouldn’t we?
What if we just forgot about that label and concentrated on clothing companies that spend the time and effort making sure that what they make really fits properly and makes you feel fabulous?

Plus is not a size but it is a definition of clothing sizes and that’s really all it needs to be. In the clothing industry garments are grouped into different sizing clusters like Missy, Petite, and Tall and Plus is just another range of numbers that literally corresponds to a group of sizes. Before retailer Lane Bryant coined the term “plus” in it’s advertisements for “Misses Plus Sizes,” way back in 1922, women who didn’t fit the flapper form of slender and boyish figures were called “Stout.” It wasn’t until the fifties that the term “plus sized” came to be the norm, and the rest is history.

Cherry Velvet's Shimona dress available in regular and plus sizes

This is what allows me to stick my head into a cute clothing store and ask, “Do you carry Plus sizes?” If the answer is no, I am on my way.

Fashion rules are made to be stretched and broken according to what rocks your world and lights you up. Labels that we despise will always be around and one of the best things we can do is ignore them and create our own words and meanings to describe our fabulous selves. Don’t get hung up on the terminology. We aren’t saying that a world where size is just a number, and a size 2 and a size 20 are marketed and sold exactly the same wouldn’t be a wonderful dream, but until that happens the term “plus” can just mean “more”.

More Awesome! More Joy!, More Love! More clothes please!

Barb for Cherry Velvet XOX

P.S. The Dresses in the photo are the Shimona dress in Plum stag and can be found here

The Happy Theory of Colour

30 Mar

It’s been a long, dark, and dull winter here in Vancouver and many of us are looking for the bright glow in the gloom. Lately I’ve been giving the idea of wearing more colour a lot of thought. Like, why am I choosing a dark colour today? Brighten me up, baby!

When I go to the salon to get my nails done (you know, that amazing shellac stuff that last and lasts) I spend an inordinate amount of time choosing from the delectable colours on display. Such an easy way to brighten up! I pick some luscious juicy pinks or reds, or go a little crazy with green sparkles like I did for St. Patty’s day. But is this enough, I think? NO! I’m craving something more. I want to be bright from head to toe… bright like a beacon in the fog.

CND Shellac Nail polish colours

CND Nail polish at Salon Sixty Six in New West

For years, colour theories abounded. Do you remember what your ‘season’ is? Carole Jackson’s wildly popular theory called Colour Me Beautiful, a book that reduced your colour palate to only those supposedly compatible with your skin tone. Maybe you remember the advice: choose a “non-memorable” colour for your clothes. The theory was that no one would remember what you wore, so you could wear it again another day.  For almost a decade, What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelly and Stacy London put every single woman who appeared on their program in the same dark denim and black blazer outfit. It’s dull, I say!  Any time someone tries to dictate what colour we’re allowed to wear, resist! Instead, why don’t we simply choose the colours that make us happiest?

Even before the weather catches up to this feeling of bright exuberance, as the flowers pop their happy colourful faces out of the ground, I’ve decided to choose more colour: 

Cherry Velvet Sabrina Black Dahlia

Cherry Velvet’s designer Diane Kennedy wearing a Sabrina dress in the Black Dahlia Print

Pink Fluevogs, Pink Nails, Cherry Velvet dress

Heidi Daus Necklace              Sonja Picard rings                     Fluevog Shoes

Clothes should make you happy.  Choose something bright today like this outfit with hot pink shades; don’t worry so much about matching everything. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Now, go brighten someone else’s day!

XOX Diane