So…my dad sang “Lady in Red” at me when I turned up today 😛 Perfect choice of song, of course, because this dress is the most impressively vivid red when seen in person.
What: “Elly” wing bust/petal bust dress in red jacquard, from the pinup repro brand Cherry Velvet.
Where From?: Canadian brand Cherry Velvet. I couldn’t find any Australian online stockists, so your best bet is the brand’s own website.
Sizes: I am wearing a size large in this dress. Cherry Velvet, whose motto is “retro class with modern sass”, specialise in curvier sizes, but their range covers from XS to 4X, with the XS fitting a 34-36 inch bust and a 26-28 inch waist, while the 4X fits a 56-59 inch bust and a 50-53 inch waist. Note that Cherry Velvet’s size range includes a 0X, so that the 4X is more like a 5X in other brands.
The size I am wearing, Large, fits a 40-42 inch bust and a 32-34 inch high waist. Interestingly, my waist is an inch or two bigger than that, but the dress still fits perfectly! I’ll put that down to slight stretch in the fabric.
Price: I was lucky enough to purchase this dress secondhand on Facebook, so I didn’t pay full price. If you wanted to pick the Elly dress up from the brand’s website, you’d be paying Canadian$175, which is ~AU$185 at current rates (plus shipping, of course).
Wear: Having never owned anything from Cherry Velvet before, I now have them firmly on my “worth saving up for” list. This dress just works. The colour is incredible, the fabric is just the right weight to hang properly, and the cut is perfect for my figure.
Sometimes you find that “plus sized” clothes are just scaled up versions of the smaller sizes, which often means that the bust-waist-hip ratio is wrong for a larger body, which may often have a larger difference from bust to waist and waist to hip than a slimmer person. This dress doesn’t have that problem – it has been cut with a good eye for shape, and fits perfectly from top to bottom.
This dress comes to mid shin on me, which is about the most flattering length, I find, as well as being 1950s-appropriate (remember that I’m 5’2″, so it may be a little longer or shorter on you). The bust wings are made of a doubled layer of fabric and are stiff enough to sit in place without needing constant fiddling.
The dress is unlined but because of the density of the fabric it does not need lining, anyway. It does up with an invisible zip up the centre of your back and I was able to get it zipped and unzipped unassisted with minimal awkward stretching of arms.
I wore this dress out today for a morning of coffee and grocery shopping with my mum, and it garnered several compliments as to it’s colour and general “lovely”-ness, which is always nice! Suitable for a dressy occasion when paired with black heels and matching gloves, it was also fine for a day out when dressed back with nude heels and simple hair. It’s also helpful that this dress has pockets for your mobile phone or change.
For those interested, I wore a fairly slimline two layer black petticoat underneath (Legs Avenue brand), which provided just enough fullness for daytime wear. If I were wearing this dress out at night, I’d go for a fuller, fluffier two layer petticoat to give it a more dramatic fullness. Although it does not have a full circle skirt, the skirt is full enough to give a suitably retro look. This is definitely a dress that I’ll be wearing a lot. As to purchasing more items from the brand, I’d love to do so, but will be looking for Australian sellers, as the only Australian postage option from the brand’s website is a 6-8 day $89 option – too steep for me!