Thanks to the wonders of Instagram, I’ve been introduced to countless independent businesses and retailers from the UK and internationally. I’m always happy to be provided with even more outlets to celebrate plus-size fashion, and even more opportunities to shop! A few months ago, I began to see a lot of attention from @belovedendeavour on Instagram. Upon snooping, I found out that Beloved Endeavour is a UK based online shop created by Diane: a fat, fabulous, vintage enthusiast! The shop opened in December 2016, with a selection of original vintage items hand picked by Diane. Some of you may know how difficult it is to find plus-size vintage items, so she is truly dedicated to her aesthetic! The website is also full of new stock that reflects the brand’s style, with a choice of Hell Bunny dresses, independent designs, and handmade items. Here’s how Beloved Endeavour introduce themselves:
“Vintage is our passion but we love modern trends too. We don’t strive to be like every other plus size clothing company out there. We know want you to show your personal style and by mixing vintage with current trends we can help you to do just that. We are slowly growing our offering of modern clothing and you are at the forefront of our minds as we do so. Fashion rules don’t live here. We encourage you to be bold, mix it up and above all else- have some fun with it!”
As well as her shop, Diane runs the blog Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too! She’s clearly a busy lady, and I was flattered that she made the time to let me know how much she enjoyed my Instagram. We exchanged a few messages back in February, and my god that seems like a lifetime ago now. She sweetly offered for me to pick something from the online shop to feature on my blog and social media. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the Samarie in black was my jam. Also available in navy blue, and in UK sizes 16 – 26, it’s the perfect little party dress that is simple in design and fun yet elegant. I certainly haven’t seen it replicated by other plus-size brands on the high street, so plus-size fashionistas will know you’re wearing something unique.
Apologies to Diane for taking so long to post this, but we both know the Samarie is an all-year round type of dress and is still for sale at a tidy £45.00! With both of us having a hectic start to the year, Diane waiting for stock and my living arrangements changing, I didn’t get a chance to receive and try on the dress until May. Luckily, I was blessed with a sunny day in June to take pictures in my yard. Bonus points go to those who notice the photobombing cats!
Samarie is a sleeveless, knee length cocktail dress with a wide pleated skirt, sequined paneled hem and round neckline. It is made from a soft stretch jersey, which has a nice, thick, scuba-like quality. It means the skirt really puffs out at the pleats, accentuating the hips and creating more of an vintage silhouette. I originally requested the dress in a 24, thinking I should size up with an unknown brand, but Diane assured me I should order my usual size of a 22 and she wasn’t wrong.
As you can see, the arm holes are not too small that they pinch chub rolls, but not too wide that they gape at the bra. Perfect! The bodice fits just right, and although I would prefer it to sit a little lower on my natural waist, I know that I have a very long body compared to most women. Thankfully the skirt is still a lovely length on me, but I imagine this would fit more like a midi dress on anyone shorter than 5’7″.
One thing I would mention is that the beautiful silver sequin panel along the bottom is a much thinner fabric than the dress. On this bright sunny day, I noticed that when the sunlight hit my legs, the material went a little see through! This could easily be solved by wearing an underskirt, but as I always wear anti-chafe shorts with dresses and skirts, it didn’t bother me at all.
I chose to team this dress with my token pair of silver heels from Simply Be, which are now in the sale for £23.00! As always with Sole Diva, I’m wearing a EEE wide fit size 8. These have a decent sized platform to minimalize the pain of walking in heels, but I’d be lying if I said I could last all night in them without the help of my friend Mr. Al Cohol!
My silver handbag of choice this summer has been my Skinny Dip shell bag. They regularly release this style in a wide variety of colours, fabrics and textures, and they are always limited edition. My work wife Rio picked up a white iridescent version a few months ago, and I believe their latest offering is this pink bad boy!
I think we can all agree this dress is suitably lady-like for most special occasions. Although it’s black, it’s not too gothic for a wedding. Although it’s sparkly, it’s not too ostentatious for a christening. It’s modest enough for a church ceremony, but glamorous enough to tear up the town. It ticks all the boxes! I know many ladies will style this dress differently, but me being me, I chose to style it with a vintage flare. I know, surprise surprise! I’ve opted for some large statement earrings reminiscent of 1930’s costume jewellery. I added a beauty spot just for fun, but I think it quite suits me?!
A matte grey smokey eye suited the dress without detracting from the sparkle of the skirt, but my favourite part of this look is the lipstick. I was already in love with the formula of the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick, and regularly wear the shade ‘Soft-Spoken’ as my go-to daytime lippy. They extended the range of colours earlier this year and the one that really caught my eye was ‘Brooklyn Thorn’. It has notes of grey, brown, and purple, and completely transforms it’s shade depending on your skin tone. On my pale complexion its a medium-dark shade leaning more towards taupe, but I’ve seen it look a lot more purple on olive skin tones. It’s quite mystical and unique, which I love! Thankfully, NYX also brought out a range of matching lip liners for these lipsticks, which adds to the drama significantly.
If you’re in my house, you’re usually never more than 2 metres away from a cat. I couldn’t resist Darwin’s charm as my camera timer went off!
As Diane is very particular about the quality of what she stocks on Beloved Endeavour, I’m excited to see her collection expanding. The fact she is also a talented seamstress has me curious about further handmade items and one off gems. You go girl!
Thank you Beloved Endeavour for the gift of Samarie, and I wish you luck as the business expands!