Trying On Dresses from Reformation

In this video I try on dresses from Reformation. Reformation is a brand that I’d only ever seen on Instagram – barely anyone I knew offline had heard of it and I hadn’t picked up a fashion magazine in so long (too busy reading House & Garden, apparently!) that I was feeling quite out of the loop with what was trendy and what was not.

But dress after pretty dress kept popping up on my Instagram feed and more often than not the ones that caught my eye were from Reformation, so I decided to take the plunge (quite literally, as you’ll see) and order a selection of bits and pieces to try on. Mainly to find out what all the fuss was about, but also to pull myself out of what I’d started calling my gardening clothes comfort zone.

I’d already noted from my online research that many of the dresses were cut in a way that I could only describe as…challenging. At least, challenging if you’ve spent over a year wearing the same green shorts and loose t-shirt. To suddenly be thrown into the world of dramatic cleavage, exposed decolletage and high leg splits is no laughing matter!

So here’s my try-on of the random selection of Reformation dresses. Cost-wise, they were all around the £250-£300 mark, which brings them in at around the same sort of price as a dress from Me+Em. I have to say that in terms of finish and cut, there is no competition between the two: Me+Em pieces feel as though they have been tailored and are finished perfectly to the last stitch. The Reformation dresses are, how can I put it? More casually finished. You’re paying for the label and the signature body-con sort of style and cut rather than deftly executed draping and darting of materials.

This comparison was brought home to me last week when I was trying on dresses from various brands for a shoot and put on a beautiful autumn sample from Me+Em; it just felt so incredibly expensive and tailored – fully-lined, the pockets precision cut so that they didn’t interfere with the line of the seam. Very clever.

So I’d say that the Reformation quality is fine, but for the prices of the dresses I’d prefer a bit more attention to finish – the autumn collection on their website, I’ve noted, is far more expensive than the summer one. Maybe those dresses are lined and more weighty in the fabric department but then you’re really paying for it! Some of the dresses are at the £500 mark! The cotton floral strapless maxi-dress from my try-on was by far the most beautifully made; lots of voluminous fabric to the skirt, nice pockets and a well-structured bodice that had been thought out carefully.

Fit-wise, all of the items were as expected: there was a lot of boob going on. I felt like a medieval milkmaid, or an extra from Game of Thrones. Which was quite titillating whilst still in the relative security and comfort of my own bedroom but felt a little…exposed when I had to run into Sainsbury’s to buy milk. I’m not sure it’s really my vibe now that I’m in my forties: for going out-out, yes, but for lunches and trips into town and casual dinners? I’m not so sure. And because I rarely go out-out, it leaves me with a dilemma: if I buy something from Reformation, when will I actually wear it?

In fairness (spoiler alert!) I did keep two of the items I’d bought. I’ll mark them in the list below. But let it be known that it’s only the maxi dress that’s had any wear: the booby top has been relegated to the bad behaviour section of the wardrobe because it’s quite gapey. I should have kept the small and not moved up to the medium, but then the small was very stretched across my tudor barmaid’s gut and I feared for the buttons.

Which brings me onto sizing: I’m a UK10-12, but lean towards a 10 these days in most brands. The “small” size fit well in almost everything I tried, apart from the top which you’ll see was rather a close call in terms of decency.

I haven’t washed anything yet so can’t comment on longevity or ease of laundering, but with expensive things I tend to spot wash or handwash anyway. (By handwash I mean I dab at things in a half-arsed manner with a flannel and then keep shouting out “the stain’s not going, I’m going to put it in the washing machine and risk it!” until I finally give up and just live with the stain.)

Here you go then: my thoughts on Reformation’s dresses and a real life try-on. I hope you enjoy this – it’s a few weeks old I’m afraid, because I’m still running on school holidays time, which means no time at all, so there’s something of a blog post backlog.

Let me know what else you’d like to see try-ons of in the comments. I have some fun ones coming up really soon…

 

Roland Top*

Buy for £150

Nell Top*

I kept this – there are loads of versions but this is “Lima”*. Buy for £130.

Nikita Dress*

They do this in 15 versions, this one is “Ronan”*. Buy for  £248.

Kourtney Dress in “Tropical”*

Not on site currently but loads of patterns and colours*. Buy for £248.

Mica Dress*

Buy for £285.

Lissa Dress*

I kept this, it’s beautiful*. Buy for £285.

You can also watch my Trying on Me+Em Clothing video.

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 

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7 Comments

  1. K.
    September 12, 2021 / 3:23 am

    OMG, I hope you know how wonderful you are, Ruth. I really love and look forward to your posts. You had me laughing so hard with the historic reenactment bits, I was at risk of snorting tea out of my nose. :)

  2. Rachel
    September 11, 2021 / 2:51 pm

    If you are looking for the “Oh me? I am just wearing this old dress in a field of flowers” look, what about Dôen? They have a similar aesthetic and price point. Their tailoring and detailing feels considered and the cuts not so revealing, very flattering. Picture photo shoots with lime washed walls and mid century modern furniture.

    • September 13, 2021 / 9:15 am

      Oooh thanks, off to look!

  3. Beka
    September 11, 2021 / 1:05 am

    You are so lovely Ruth

  4. Monica
    September 10, 2021 / 9:42 pm

    The Roland top would be perfect for sitting on the front porch with a pitcher of sweet tea, and a really good book!

  5. September 10, 2021 / 7:06 pm

    I love Reformation dresses but I don’t feel like they work for me with a bigger bust!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

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