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

 

Welcome Barb to the Cherry Velvet Team!

22 Mar

When you’ve been in business for 14 years, you get to meet and work with people from all walks of life. Sometimes they come, sometimes they go, and sometimes you get lucky and they come back around again. Flashback five years ago to the very beginning of Cherry Velvet and enter: Barb Wilkins, a key member of our original team.  Barb’s ideas and contributions are what helped conceptualize the Cherry Velvet brand, so we’re very excited to announce that she’s coming back to work with us! Long time Cherry Velvet aficionados might remember that the second dress we ever made was named Barbara. It came in some amazing iconic prints like Good Luck Tattoo, Sugar Skulls, and Party Dots. Barb rocked that dress literally and figuratively! 

Band Wichita Trip's lead singer Barb Wilkins rockin' her Cherry Velvet dress

Photo by Marc L’Esperance

If you’re from Vancouver, you may also remember Barb was the owner of the original Bodacious store on Main Street. Having been a plus size retailer for so many years, she has a keen understanding of women’s bodies and issues around buying clothes. She’s a plus size fit expert! 

If none of this rings a bell, you might have met Barb at our Pucker Up party. She was the lead singer of our guest band. When we said Barb rocks we really meant it!

But if you’ve somehow never crossed paths with Barb, perhaps you will be lucky enough to experience her warm and enthusiastic energy when you come by to shop. Or, possibly, Barb will be the one to help you when you need customer service. She’ll be at our shopping night on Friday from 5-7, so come by to meet her and check out all the amazing new dresses

Barb Wilkins wearing the Cherry Velvet Barbara dress named after her

Welcome back to our team, Barb! 

Shopping dates this week:

Friday, March 24 from 2-7 pm

Saturday, March 25 from 11-5

1635 Powell Street, Vancouver BC. Parking available on the street our front (please check the parking signs) or in the lot off Woodland Dr. beside the Flag shop.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

10 Mar

CherryVelvet_FAQ_1stEdition

We love how enthusiastic y’all are about our dresses and we love to hear from all our followers and fans. As social media persists, we find ourselves often fielding the same questions. While we endeavour to answer each and every inquiry we receive, we thought it would behoove us to put together a small list of frequently asked questions and answer them here for posterity:

Do you take custom orders?

Unfortunately, due to our design process and production schedule, we are unable to offer custom orders at this time.

That being said, we have a wealth of dresses in our collections and it could very well be you might not have seen the dress you were looking for! If you’re looking for something in particular, we encourage you to reach out to us at info [at] cherryvelvetdresses [dot] com and one of our helpful stylists will do their best to match you with the perfect dress.

How do I figure out what my Cherry Velvet dress size is?

Because of the unique fit of our dresses, we highly suggest taking your measurements and having a peek at our Fit Guide, in order ensure you’re getting the right size.

First thing’s first, measurements:

Then match to our handy sizing charts!

 

That being said, the most sure-fire way to find your perfect fit is to contact us with your measurements and the dress(es) you’re interested in and we’ll recommend your best fit.

Drop us a line at info [at] cherryvelvetdresses [dot] com before you order and one of our fit specialists would be happy to assist with finding your Cherry Velvet size.

Where can I try on your dresses in person?

If you are able to visit us, our Vancouver-based showroom is available by appointment, Monday-Friday between 10-4pm. We LOVE to see all shapes and sizes in our dresses and would be happy to help you find the perfect look. Drop us a line at info [at] cherryvelvetdresses [dot] com to book your appointment! We’re located at 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver. Parking is available in the lot by the Flag Shop off Woodland Drive or out front on the street during part of the day (please check the parking signs for times)

Periodically, we also hold open Studio Shops for the public! Generally once a month, we hold them on Fridays from 2-7pm & Saturdays from 11-5pm. Join our mailing list and/or follow us on Facebook to be the first one to know about our next one!

How do I care for my Cherry Velvet dress?

Our dresses are as easy to care for as they are to wear! Simply machine wash in cold water & hang to dry. Be sure to separate the colours! (no red socks with a white dress please!)

We don’t recommend the dryer, but you can fluff in the dryer for a few minutes before hanging if desired. Iron on a cotton setting if necessary, but taking a few minutes to smooth out the wrinkles after hanging it up will go a long way toward being iron free!

How do I care for my crinoline?

Once you receive your crinoline, give it a firm shake fresh from the bag, hang up and gently pull out the wrinkles & ruffles. Be careful, as the chiffon or netting is very delicate. Do not be alarmed if it takes about a week to relax out the wrinkles completely. Beauty takes patience 😉

Do not iron – the material may melt. Hand wash in warm water, no bleach. Hang to dry.

 

Do you have any other questions for us? Let us know! We’re always happy to answer your queries 🙂

XOX Cherry Velvet

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Shelly Styles Once More!

4 Mar

A little while back, we wrote a blog about having the pleasure of shooting with Shelly, a long-time Cherry Velvet Enthusiast and friend of our designer, Diane. She was such a jewel to shoot & speak with that we ended up with so much great material!

Between her fantastic styling of our dresses & her incredibly affirming ideas about body positivity, we couldn’t resist writing one more blog…

…And so we invite you to let us take you on another fashion journey with Shelly…!

As we mentioned previously, probably one of the best parts of shooting with Shelly was her arsenal of accessories at our disposal:

You didn’t hear it from us, but there was more than a little fawning over her sparkly baubles and eye catching heels! But more than her jewelry, we loved the little golden nuggets of positivity that Shelly had to share with us. When asked what body positivity means to her, she most eloquently said:

“Body Positivity is an act of self-love. It is appreciating who and where you are in the moment and not subscribing to society’s conditioning and expectations. We’ve been told for so long that only a certain age and size should get positive attention, but that’s not right at all. After all my own trials and tribulations, I’m very happy with who I am.”

And we’re very happy she is who she is, too! Just look at how much she glows in our Paige – Tiffany Swizzle:

As she slipped on the dress + crinoline, we asked her what she thought of crinolines and she smiled,

“I’ve been wearing crinolines since I was 2! I love them. Nothing makes you feel more instantly feminine.”

We definitely concur!

Shelly never likes looking the same and enjoys how a simple change like pairing different accessories and removing the crinoline freshens up the whole look. As She styled herself, she waxed saucy humour about the versatility of our dresses.

“Women never like repeating themselves, am I right? That goes for when we’re talking and dressing up!”

Take another few chic looks at this chick’s look!

In our last Shelly blog, we mentioned how her fun and whimsical fashion sense made her a perfect choice for these style spotlights. But on top of that, we think she deserves the world…Plus!

Our collective hearts sank when we heard her poignantly talk about her struggles with image issues and eventually overcoming an eating disorder. But ever the optimist, she stands by what she endured and is proud of prevailing through these challenges. These days, she happily embraces her body and confidently loves herself.

It definitely showed as soon as she shimmied into our Kate – Ticker Tape:

“This is fat chick FABULOUS!” she cheekily exclaimed.

She beamed as she told us that her coworkers would often place friendly bets on what kind of Cherry Velvet dress she would come into the office with; our dresses were such a treat for everyone to lay their eyes on!

With the lovely neckline details, a full skirt + crinoline, it’s hard not to agree!

We hope you enjoyed Shelly’s inspiring words and gorgeous styling as much as we did. It is always such a pleasure to learn more about the beautiful souls that make our dresses even more stunning.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Missed our first blog about Shelly? Read it here!

Find our Paige in Tiffany Swizzle, Kate in Ticker Tape + many other unique prints in our New Arrivals at Cherry Velvet!

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