Taking Centre Stage With…Angelina

In today’s blog, let’s take an Autumn stroll…


When you think of the name “Angelina”, we feel there’s only one famous image that comes to everyone’s minds. A sexy, confident woman with a signature pout and legs for days. When Cherry Velvet thinks of an Angelina, we pretty much think the exact same.


An updated version of one of our shorter length dresses, The Brigitte, we took its little details and made them statuesque!

Our Angelina has everything you’d expect a Cherry Velvet dress to have; our signature deep pockets, a sexy-sweet neckline (this time opting for a V-Neck over a Scoop) and, of course, a full skirt.


But what makes this dress stand head & shoulders among the rest is its more natural waist line and twisted racer back-like detail.


For ladies with a longer torso or just a bit taller, this dress is perfect for you. And with three luscious prints to choose from, it’s hard to walk away!


Whether you pair it with a crinoline or let your legs do all the talking… rest assured people will be talking about you!


XOX Cherry Velvet


Empire waists on Plus size dresses

A comment popped up on our survey that a customer thought our waistbands fit too high on our dresses. This is especially true for our plus sizes, and yes, our empire waists do fit high on purpose. Our regular dresses fit a little high on the waist also, but the Plus sizes are more so. We make our dresses with empire waists for a very good reason and so I’d like to explain why we do it.


If you really look at a plus size body, the majority of women have the the smallest part of their torso right under their bust. Now of course this isn’t true for everyone. If you’ve never had a baby your natural (real) waistline might still be smaller. But for most of us, this is the smallest part by measurement.  The smallest circumference is also the right at the top of your stomach where it extends the least. Yep…we’re talking about my least favorite body part here  …the tummy. If you stand naked in the mirror and look straight forward you may notice it’s the smallest width. Then if you stand looking at your side, again you’ll maybe notice that your tummy narrows right under your bustline. I find a higher waist to be the most slimming place for a plus size waistband.


So, the reason that we make the empire waists high is because it’s the most flattering. It also fits many body shapes as well as heights. So if you’re short like me (5’2″), it will fit and if you’re tall like many of our models, it will still fit. The other big advantage of a high waist is it gives you more fabric and more room across the tummy (especially on the full skirted styles). So if you’re like me and your tummy is not your favorite body part, the higher waist may be just the ticket for you.


Empire Waists - Waist Sizing Diagram
If you’ve ever had the impression that Cherry Velvet plus size dresses only fit women with perfect hourglass figures, you’d be wrong. Actually they are mainly designed with both apple shaped (bigger in the tummy) and pear shaped (bigger in the hips). While they are definitely also designed for women with boobs, we know not all plus size women have big boobs. Generally speaking if you have a pear figure and smaller boobs our dresses will still fit if you choose a dress with a full skirt and go down a size so that the bodice will also fit.


If you’ve read our blog posts before, you’ll know fit is hugely important to our brand and making dress that fit ‘you’ is of utmost importance. Don’t settle for mediocre fit…. you deserve a dress that fits well!


XOX Cherry Velvet


P.S. We’re excited to have added new sorting features to our on-line store to help you easily find your perfect fitting dress. Check it out and our new fall dresses here

Proper fit of a Cherry Velvet Dress

After watching many women try on our dresses, I thought it was worthwhile explaining the proper way to fit a Cherry Velvet dress and what to wear underneath. Think about when you go into a bra shop and someone fits you for a new bra.  They ask you to lean forward to let the girls fall into the cups. Then they adjust the straps so that the girls are in the right position. These are very important steps when trying on a Cherry Velvet dress too!


What goes under any dress is important. It’s great to have a proper fit on a bra for sure.  At the least, we do recommend making sure your bra straps are adjusted so the girls are sitting ‘up’ correctly (you know how the straps can stretch out!). So then when you go to put on one of our dresses, the girls should sit should above the waistband. This will make the dresses look and fit better and should eliminate the girls being cut in half by the waistband. Yes ladies, lean forward, pull your boobs up and over the band and then complete the pulling up of the zipper (much like when you put on a bra).


This is especially important when trying on our best selling Brigitte Dress as it tends to require a well supported chest (so excited to get more Shutterbug print Brigittes back in stock soon!). These little extra steps will help you get the proper fit and of course you and your girls will look their most attractive and perky.
What you wear on the lower half of your body is totally your preference. Personally I just wear regular (but pretty) undies. I’m not a fan of tight spanks or control tops, because I find them uncomfortable. Full skirted and A-line styles should give you enough room that it’s not necessary to wear anything special on the bottom. It’s totally up to you!


So when you come to try on your Cherry Velvet Dress please make sure you’ve chosen a bra that fits well with good support. We know you want to look your best and feel totally gorgeous when you’re wearing one of our beautiful dresses.


XOX Cherry Velvet


Inbetweenies, this one’s for you!

What if you're an Inbetweenie?Inbetweenies sizes are near and dear to my heart. Before I ‘grew-up’ another size into plus I spent many frustrating shopping trips feeling like my size just wasn’t available in the clothes I wanted to buy.  So making dresses to fit girls that fall in between regular sizes and plus sizes is very important to me and my brand. So if you’re bigger than some regular size brands but not quite a plus size this post is for you. If you’re plus size you might be interested in how we make plus sizes different from regular sizes.


You might not know that for each new style of dress we make two completely separate patterns. The main difference is the pattern is specifically designed to fit each separate body group.

Aside from the basic measurements being different, Plus size patterns differ from their smaller counterparts in the following ways:

1. The bust point (the widest part of the bust) is lower on the body.

2. The bicep (upper arm) is wider around, and the armhole of the dress has to be bigger as well.

3. Larger darts are needed at the bust and back, to accommodate for extra curves.

4. The waistband area is higher and proportionately wider than on a “regular” size dress. This makes room for rounder midsections.

5. In a straight skirt, multiple larger darts are needed to fit curvier hips and butts

Do you fall in between sizes of  L, XL and 0X?


Despite all our efforts to fit regular and plus size women alike, sometimes there still could be people that don’t fit our dresses perfectly. (Yikes!)  This would most likely be a person that had very small waist in proportion to her bust.  I’m pleased to say that only once did I have a woman not find her perfect fit.  I wrote this post for her, (you know who you are!) because I’ve never forgot the moment.

The best solution I can offer is to try a dress like the Elly that has stretch fabric. The extra stretch can mean a roomier fit, and a more forgiving shape, and then choose the smaller size.

 XOX Cherry Velvet


P.S. If you’re plus size and found our dresses are a little bit short in the upper body or you’re not too crazy about our empire waistlines my next post is going to explain why we make our waists higher on our dresses.


What is True Plus Size?

A new customer came shopping for Cherry Velvet dresses the other day and asked what size she would be. She told us a story about shopping recently at a well-known brand’s store and that she was a 4X in that store. Going by our size chart she thought she might be a 0X but was really surprised and unsure whether that would be the case after her previous experience. I took one look at her and was pretty sure that she would fit the 0X.  But it does beg the question why would she be a 4x in ‘that brand’ and a 0X in Cherry Velvet?

True Plus Size

There really is no standardization in women’s sizing. Brands come up with their own idea of what sizes should be. Many of the ‘retro’ brands will have sizing that follows like this….XL, 2XL, 3XL 4XL. This is a tip off that they have taken a regular size pattern and graded up from a small size. When a pattern is graded up many sizes and is therefore very much bigger than the original size, I can tell you the pattern and therefore the fit gets distorted!

So just what is a true plus size? The answer is: a garment that comes from a pattern that has been fitted on a real PLUS SIZE WOMAN and then graded (sized to the other sizes) from that point. It is ideal that the grading of the other sizes does not exceed more than 3 sizes in either direction. Special attention must still be given to exactly how much the pattern changes (and where) between each size.

At Cherry Velvet we make two patterns for every style of dress that we design. One pattern that fits regular sizes and another that fits plus sizes. Each different pattern is then fitted on a real person in each size range.

To check out our SIZE CHART.

Regular Sizes: XS,S,M,L Plus Sizes: XL,0X,1X,2X,3X

It is double the work, yes. But it’s the only possible way to fit such a large range of women’s bodies. While we really are a true plus size dress brand, we are committed to treating all sizes of women the same. Plus size women want all the same cute styles that smaller women wear right? Fit is so important! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had customers try on our dresses and tell us that they fit just like they were custom made for them. And that is exactly why I love what I do so much….



…..written by ‘me’, Diane Kennedy; owner, designer, chief patternmaker, fit technician and grader for Cherry Velvet


P.S. Stay tuned for our next post which will give a special explanation for those very few of you that fall into the space between our regular and plus sizes. So far I’ve only met one inbetweenie in person that didn’t fit our dresses……this next post is for you!

What the heck is a size 0X?!

What The Heck Is a Size 0X?

It’s a question we get asked a lot by shoppers in our studio. “Is it smaller than a size XL? The answer is, it’s actually one size bigger than an XL. It’s a very important size for our brand to fit those ‘inbetweenies”

Size 0X is really part of a bridge between regular and plus sizes. Because many of our dresses are made from (non stretch) 100% cotton, to correlate to the sizing more commonly available in plus we had to add in an extra size. Traditionally non-stretch sizing increments must be smaller than for stretch to fit the maximum number of people properly.

What The Heck Is a Size 0X? Put very simply, a size 0X is one full size larger than a 'XL'.

 I first started designing my brands because when shopping and was so frustrated to find clothes that I wanted to buy but that weren’t available in my size. The stores all seemed to only carry up to a size extra large. I remember asking the sales clerk… “Can’t it just come in one more size?”

Aside from being a designer for many years, I’m also a patternmaker and fit technician. Even as the owner of the company, I’m very much hands on with these tasks. It doesn’t matter how pretty a dress is; if it doesn’t fit, no one will buy it. So, fit is critically important to me. Along with pattern making, another important task is called grading which is taking a pattern and making it into all the different sizes.


Before I ever started Cherry Velvet (and my other brand Diane Kennedy), I had been working as a designer/ patternmaker/ grader professionally for many years. I was the first patternmaker at the beginning of what was then a ‘little brand’ called LuluLemon. I remember asking Chip Wilson why he didn’t make a bigger sizes. His answer was….let’s just say…. less than satisfactory.


So at that moment in time, I was extremely frustrated with the absolute lack of my size in the clothes that I wanted to buy. If you follow the series of dress sizes, brands often go from XL to 2XL and then 3XL. But this really doesn’t represent plus sizes accurately. That’s why size 0X is so important; it fills the hole between true regular sizes and true plus sizes.  To fit the most people possible it was really important to include this size.


 We’ve been doing a lot of checking lately into the sizes that we’re selling online to make sure that were offering enough dresses in the right sizes. When we started to really look at it I have to tell you I was extremely surprised that 0X was not a more popular size. It’s my size and it fits me perfectly!! Ha!

What The Heck Is a Size 0X? Available Cherry Velvet Sizes: XS, S, M L, XL, 0X, 1X, 2X, 3X

Another way to look at it: 0X is 2 inches bigger than a size XL and 2- 3 inches smaller than a 1X.

So we’re hoping to have cleared up exactly what the heck  size 0X really is. If you leave that size out, there’s an enormous gap between regular sizes, up to 5″ and that is why size 0X was born!

XOX Cherry Velvet