Ah, Reformation. I first became familiar with the cool girl brand in 2015, when they were heavily advertising on Facebook to the 20-something NYC demographic. At that time, I wasn’t ready to spend $200+ on their beautifully flowy (and sometimes revealing) dresses. I was re-introduced to the brand by way of ThredUp, where you can submit a Clean Out Kit and earn Reformation credit with a 15% boost!
After reading more about the brand, I learned that they practice sustainability through minimizing their environmental footprint. I had no idea they were an environmentally conscious brand, and they even produce a year in review report. Given that context, I feel a lot more comfortable spending $100+ on their beautifully designed garments. And I hope this review will help you feel the same as well.
Reformation Store Experience
After earning my ThredUp credit, I immediately went over to the San Francisco store in the Mission District to give their styles a try. I just made it before closing, and only had time to try on a handful of styles that were in stock. Initially, I was confused by how empty the store was – but realized that most shoppers were spending time in their tech-enabled fitting rooms. I usually find any “tech-enabled” claim to be gimmicky, but actually really enjoyed the experience here.
Each fitting room is equipped with an iPad where you can browse the in-store inventory and request pieces to be sent to your room. There is a large closet with two sets of doors – a store associate will pop in your pieces through the back and the iPad will let you know it’s ready to check the front doors. I loved not having to awkwardly poke my head out of the dressing room to request additional sizes or styles. They also give you different options for lighting, and have a cable for you to plug in your own tunes.
I ended up purchasing the Lilah dress in black, which is a great LBD staple for all types of occasions. I wanted to try out a few more of their styles that they did not have in store – such as some of their sale prints (this timed perfectly with their end of summer sale) and Petites styles (which is online only).
Reformation Clothing & Dress Reviews
I’ve reviewed the following Reformation styles listed below:
- Cuba Top in Brasilia Jungle Print
- Christine Dress in Conga
- Nikita Dress in Etienne Floral
- Addison Dress in Greetings
- Eileen Dress in Tropez
- Lilah Dress in Black
- Petites Gavin Dress in Emerald
For sizing reference, I am 5’4” and ~115 lbs, and typically wear a size XS or S, 2, and 26 in jeans.
I purchased this second-hand from eBay for over 50% off the original price. The jungle print drew my eye, as it’s perfect for both the summer months and for vacations. I opted for a Size XS after reading that it was a more comfortable fit. Overall this is a great casual top, except for one thing – it’s fairly low cut in the front, but nothing that can’t be fixed with some tape.
I had tried the black version of this dress in store, but ultimately decided to go with the Lilah dress as my LBD of choice. When I saw this fun print available on Rent the Runway, I decided to rent it for a weekend as a casual dress to pair with a denim jacket.
Pros: The print is fun, and it’s a very flattering silhouette. This is one of their many viscose/rayon styles with an elastic back, which makes it much more comfortable for eating :)
Cons: This dress is short. I’m 5’4” with a short torso, and this dress only came a few inches down my thighs. I know this style runs in Petite sizing as well, but I can’t imagine how short that would be!
This dress is a longer midi style version of the Christine Dress. The Etienne floral print is gorgeous, and was also available on Rent the Runway for only $39. I had a 25% discount because I’m also a RTR Unlimited member – if you’re interested in giving it a try (and don’t want to purchase the dress), you can use my referral link for $30 off your first order.
Pros: Like the Christine, a very flattering silhouette. It also has the elastic back, which makes it comfortable as well. I tried the black version in store, but it was too overwhelming with the solid fabric. I think this floral version of this dress is visually lighter.
Cons: This is the regular, non-Petites style, and it’s a bit long. I have to wear heels, otherwise it’s a little frumpy on me. I imagine this would be a great style to purchase in its Petites format if you’re 5’4” or shorter.
This print was part of the end of summer sale and was too cute to pass up.
Pros: Similar material to the Christine & Nikita, with the elastic back (yay eating). Very cute and fun print! The midi length is great for both regular height folks and petites, as it’s shorter than the Nikita.
Cons: None that I can think of!
The Tropez print was part of the sale as well, and I love a good summery print on a classic sundress style.
Pros: The linen material is easier to care for, and the silhouette is flattering. And pockets!
Cons: Unlike the previous dresses, there is no elastic backing on this dress, which makes it less comfortable for extended periods of time.
Pros: Though the stock photos would suggest otherwise, the fit is more of a relaxed fit. The length is not as short as their other minidresses, making this appropriate for personal and work related events. Very classic style.
Cons: Unlike the above dresses, there is only a single layer of fabric, it is not lined. However, if you wear appropriate underwear it shouldn’t be a problem.
I was bummed to see the Petites styles sold out in August – so when I received a “back in stock” alert from Reformation, I jumped on this right away. I ordered both the 2P and 4P, and decided to keep the 4P since it gave me a little more breathing room without being too big.
Pros: Beautiful deep emerald green color. Very flattering cut, and while there is no elastic in the style, it is not as restricting as the Eileen linen dress. The leg slit isn’t too high either.
Cons: None that I can think of!
Some Final Thoughts
Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the fit and the quality of these Reformation dresses. This is a dangerous slippery slope now!
Sizing: I fit most of their styles in a size 2, except for the Petites Gavin Dress in 4P. The Lilah dress I purchased in size S, since I wanted a looser fit.
Care: One thing that concerned me was the care of these pieces. The tags all say dry clean, and I’ve had sad experiences with rayon clothing in the past (read: shrunk terribly in the wash). I question how environmentally friendly constant dry cleaning is, so I tested washing my Lilah dress in cold wash via machine. It thankfully turned out fine – I lightly stretched it a bit after washing and then hung it up to dry. It’s maintained its size and shape, as you can see in the photo. I haven’t tried this with the 100% viscose pieces, so proceed at your own risk. But this is a promising experiment to say the least.
Hope this review helped – please comment if you have any questions!
August 2020 Edit: In light of the still recent exposure of racism in both the founder and the culture at Reformation, I would recommend that folks purchase the brand secondhand instead of new. There is a lot of inventory on both Poshmark and Mercari, so you will likely have luck on one of the two platforms, which also extending the life of a Reformation piece!
I think they’ve done an OK job addressing some of these issues to date, with the founder stepping down from the CEO role and the transparency in their latest Sustainability Report. Is that enough? Of course not – so I look forward to seeing their promised October updates.