Cherry Velvet Journal » Dress
There’s a part of me that never outgrew the dress-up stage of childhood. Back then it was pretending to be an empress or witch-queen – anything that was equal parts regal, mysterious, and magical.
These days, give me a halfway good reason, and I’ll still spend the better part of an afternoon getting all dolled up for an evening out. It’s a lengthy process that starts, of course, with deciding which dress suits the occasion and my mood. After that, a host of secondary decisions: does it need a crinoline? Which shoes will match? How should I do my hair and makeup? Then there’s jewelry, accessories, a purse, hosiery, and various underthings. It’s dress-up, but for adults: less “witch-queen” and more “grown-up glamour” – but still full of whimsy and pleasure. Admittedly, getting “dressed up” like this can take a lot of time, and most of us wait for special occasions when the extra effort seems worth it. In the meantime, our dresses end up relegated to the back of the closet, on hold until a special dinner, wedding, or some other equally fancy event crops up. But wearing a dress is not always the same as getting “dressed up.” Believe it or not, wearing a dress can be just about the simplest wardrobe decision to make, and the most comfortable and efficient way to get dressed and out the door in the morning.
Everyday Easy Dresses
Without fail, when I wear a dress someplace casual – like picking up the kids after school or having a quick coffee with a friend – I get a compliment for taking the time and energy to get “dressed up.”
But pulling that dress over my head and popping on a pair of shoes was likely much more simple - and more comfortable – than any other outfit I might have chosen. More often than not, the dress was the easy solution. Pants and tops have to be coordinated. Waistbands pinch and pull. Shorts ride up uncomfortably. Trousers rarely fit properly in length or inseam without tailoring. Blouses come untucked, skirts twist around. To be honest, it feels like I’ve cheated my way into this compliment when I get it - and I almost always confess this sentiment to the person offering it. People see a dress and assume it’s taken a lot more effort because we’ve married the idea of dresses to the notion of being dressed up. Or, even worse, we’ve concluded that dresses themselves are uncomfortable and unwieldy – usually because we’ve worn styles that didn’t suit our bodies, made out of unpleasant or cheap material, or were constricting and uncomfortable in some way.
Keep It Simple
Obviously not all dresses will do for everyday wear. Leave the satin and sequins for evening glamour and fancy events. Instead, go for less structured shapes (I like an empire waist because it feels so comfortable for my body type) and try a cotton dress, in a simple colour or with a fun, lighthearted print. Skip the fancy hair and makeup. Pop on a cardigan and wear it with a pair of white Keds, simple sandals, or even flip-flops. Pull on a pair of matching capri or full-length leggings underneath, if the weather is cooler; in warm weather, don’t worry about hose or tights at all. Finish with a ponytail or messy bun. No doubt, dresses won’t work for everything. You’ll still need the right kind of clothing to hit the gym or weed the garden (although I’ve been known to mow the lawn in a simple t-shirt dress). But for almost all other settings and activities, don’t overlook the ease of a dress. It really can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be.
Fancy is Still Fun
Wearing a dress doesn’t need to be a major production – it can be as easy as pulling on a pair of pajamas, but just a lot more fashionable. The notion that a dress is complicated, fussy, or time-consuming is largely a reflection of how we perceive fashion, and the abundance of ill-fitting, constrictive, overly stuffy or too-formal dresses many of us have in our closets. But if you find the right dress, the simplicity will surprise you … and you won’t want to keep it tucked away in the closet for a special occasion anymore. And if even the easiest of easy dresses still leaves you feeling a little bit fancy? Take a deep breath and just go for it anyway: you’re never too old for dress-up, even if you’re only going to the grocery store.
Cherry Velvet dresses are super easy to care for. With minimal fuss, our high-quality cotton dresses will last you for years. They don't shrink or fade and are so timeless they can be worn over and over. You don't need to save them for a special occasion!
Here are a few tips to help you keep your Cherry Velvet dresses looking their best:
Care of Cotton Dresses
- Machine Wash, gentle cycle on cold or warm with regular detergent. It's important to wash your dresses with items that will not bleed out colour onto your dress. (For example, if your dress is black with a white print, don't wash it with other darks, wash it with old towels or sheets - something that will absolutely not transfer colour to the white part of your dress)
- Hang to dry
- While still wet, smooth out the wrinkles.
Yep, that's it. It's worth spending a few minutes on #3. Taking the time to smooth out the wrinkles after hanging it up will go a long way toward being iron free! Smooth the collar, put your hands in the pockets, run your hand along the hem until it's hanging straight.
If you're going somewhere special or your dress has come fresh out of the box, go ahead and iron it with steam on a cotton setting.
When it's time to hang up your dress, be sure to give it a little room in your closet so it can hang freely. That way when you are ready to put it on again it will be crease free and ready to go when you are!
Wear your dress!
It's very important to take your dress out and wear it whenever possible. You'll want to accessorize in a way that's appropriate to the destination although not having a destination in mind is perfectly alright. You may illicit wistful stares and long lingering looks when wearing your dress. This is quite normal. You may also be approached by other women demanding to know where you found your dress. Just send them our way and we will look after the rest. Don't forget to smile and say "Thanks!".
One of the advantages of being a small business is getting to know your customers. We love meeting you, seeing your photos on social media, and hearing your feedback. You told us that you want dresses with three-quarter sleeves, so here they are!
Many women tell us they feel more comfortable with covered arms, often because of perceived flaws. Those wonderful upper limbs that we use to carry and dance and hug get subjected to endless scrutiny. Of course, we love your arms (and all your other beautiful body parts!), but feeling confident is paramount. If you feel your best with coverage between your shoulders and elbows, we’re here to help.
Our Shelly dress has been one of our favourites in recent years. With a deliciously full skirt, Shelly has excellent twirl potential, and the buttoned cuffs finish the sleeves perfectly. The star of this design is the neck detail – three sweet buttons and a two angled straps draw the eye. This dress is currently available in three lovely prints.
Roxy joined our collection last year. This dress has a wonderfully vintage vibe, with an open portrait collar and a crinoline-ready skirt. The Roxy comes in five solid jewel tones, and blends beautifully with a multitude of accessories.
Our newest 3/4 sleeve dress is the Stacy. This cut was created to highlight your assets, with a ruched bodice and a chevron shaped underbust design that emphasizes your waistline. Right now, you can get Stacy in a spicy, fire-engine red, and a deep, regal purple – stay tuned for black and navy pinstripe versions coming soon!
Remember, we also sell shrugs, so sleeves can be added to any of the dresses you love. And please keep telling us what you want to wear, because we’re listening!
XOX Cherry Velvet
Let’s face it – Valentine’s Day can be stressful. If you’re in a relationship, there are so many expectations built up around creating a perfect date. If you don’t have a significant other, you’re inundated with media messaging about how supremely important romance is supposed to be in our lives. How did it all get so complicated?
Remember when we were in grade school, and we used to give out Valentine’s cards? They were handwritten and sweet, and we all gave one to everyone in the classroom.
Let’s get back to celebrating friendship. Get ready to celebrate Galentine’s Day!
Did you know?
We did some homework, and learned that the Galentine’s Day tradition originated in 2010 in an episode of Parks and Recreation. The show’s lead character, played by Amy Poehler, throws her annual "Galentine's Day" party for her female friends. This festive event takes place on the day before Valentine's Day, and is all about celebrating the unique bonds between women.
How do I celebrate?
Make a plan to celebrate the fabulous women in your life.
We lean on our female friends, because we know we can. These are the ladies who are there for you through every crisis, every celebration, every upheaval, everything! Think back to some off the best times in your life, and we’ll bet that your girlfriends were involved in more than a few.
On February 13, gather your besties and enjoy the laughter and joy of an epic girls’ outing.
What should I wear?
A night out is more fun when you all primp and prep and sparkle! Choose a Cherry Velvet dress with flowers or hearts, like our Brigitte dress in Sacred Heart, for a themed look.
We’re having a Studio Shop on Friday, January 25, 2pm-7pm, and on Saturday, January 26, 11am-5pm – bring your friends and find the perfect outfits for your Galentine’s Day celebration.
XOX Cherry Velvet