I have been shopping at Reformation for many years. I originally fell in love with the brand’s ability to make simple, feminine dresses that were priced reasonably.
When I first discovered Reformation, I was in my 20s. The brand was a breath of fresh air to me. It was young, feminine, and simple.
Many people complain that Reformation designs clothes to be “worn by models” but for me, that was exactly what I was looking for. I am tall and thin and despite what most people think – no, it’s not easy for me to find clothing that fits me.
Reformation was the first brand that I felt made clothing for my body type and my style.
It was the first brand that I could spend over $,1000 on in just one order.
To this day, I’m a big fan of Reformation, even as my style has evolved. I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I know that some pieces were totally my style in my 20s, but now in my 30s, I wouldn’t wear them.
Here is my in-depth Reformation review.
About the Reformation Brand
Reformation is based in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, a former model who comes from a local fashion industry family.
According to her, the site gained traction when Aflalo began styling the models in real-life rooms instead of in front of a traditional white backdrop. Pretty soon, celebrities like Karlie Kloss, Taylor Swift and Rihanna were seen wearing the brand’s clothing.
Reformation currently operates 40 retail stores across the US, Canada, the UK and South Korea.
What I Love About Reformation
Here is why I’m a loyal customer of Reformation.
Simple, Feminine Designs
The number one reason why I shop at Reformation is for the design. I know that Ref has cultivated an image of “sustainability” but that has nothing to do with why I shop there, personally. Reformation consistently churns out high-quality designs and flattering cuts that work for me. That’s why I’m there – and I suspect most of their customers feel the same.
Lots of journalists describe Reformation as “affordable” compared to designer clothing, and lots of Instagram commenters complain about the exorbitant price of a viscose dress that’s nearly $300.
I get it – affordability is relative.
As I have a healthy budget when it comes to clothing, I am in the former camp. Reformation is a solid, mid-range fashion brand. It is affordable for the quality you get as long as you buy well. Not everything at Reformation is worth the price.
An example of what I think is “worth it” to buy at Reformation is linen. Reformation excels at 100% linen clothing. I can buy Reformation linen online and trust that it’s going to be a good quality piece.
Cotton is another reliable fabric you can buy from Reformation. They don’t make many cotton pieces (or at least not ones that stand out to me), but the ones I’ve bought, like the Ezra Cotton Knit Mini Dress and the Nora Open Knit Mini Dress, have stood up well.
Another great wardrobe staple to buy at Reformation is a pair of jeans. For years Reformation has been my go-to brand for jeans. Reformation jeans are affordable and priced below most other premium jean designers.
What I Don’t Like About Reformation
There are a few things I don’t like about the Reformation brand. Here’s my opinion.
Reformation almost always designs their tops and dresses with a “smocked back bodice” which I hate.
They do this so that the piece fits snugly even if it’s the wrong size. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. Smocking reduces customer returns since the piece can adjust to the body wearing it. It gets bigger or smaller as needed.
However, it completely ruins the beauty of the piece and makes it look cheap. I will sometimes buy a linen piece with smocking on the back just because it’s linen and it’s a casual fabric anyway.
But Reformation even uses smocking on their silk dresses which is just unacceptable to me. If you’re going to wear a premium evening fabric like silk, it should at least fit right without the need for smocking.
Again, from a business standpoint I completely understand this decision, but as I get older, smocking looks more and more like the clothes I wore when I was in middle school.
I hate viscose and Reformation loves using this fabric. Viscose feels super cheap to me. It’s rough and feels synthetic. There’s no joy in touching viscose.
Reformation says it’s better for the environment, but come on. Producing clothes in any way isn’t good for the environment at all.
I’ve also noticed my Reformation pieces in viscose just don’t last as long as the ones made of linen or cotton. The fabric ages quickly and doesn’t stay in good condition, which means they need to be replaced more often. Not so sustainable if you ask me.
I will only buy Reformation viscose if it’s a dress I really love the design of and typically it’s something I’d wear for a special occasion like a wedding.
I won’t buy a viscose piece meant to be a “regular” in my closet that needs to be dry cleaned several times a season. It just won’t last. Something I wear once a year is fine, though.
Sometimes Reformation doesn’t line their clothing or only lines half of it. I can’t buy pieces like this as I know they aren’t up to par.
Take the Miso Linen Dress for example. I clicked this dress right away because I love the design. But upon closer inspection of the photos, you can tell that the upper body is lined while the lower skirt is not.
I won’t go for a piece like that which is weirdly half-lined, half-not. It’s a shame because the sweetheart neckline design of this dress is really on point and exactly what I’m looking for.
Reformation has steadily increased their pricing over the years. To be fair, so have most brands. I think this is an industry-wide phenomenon that is mirroring what’s happening in the economy but nevertheless, it’s very disappointing.
Reformation Return Policy
Reformation has a standard return policy which allows customers to return their purchases by mail within 30 days.
Reformation does not include prepaid shipping labels in their orders, however they use FedEx for returns and FedEx will print and attach the label for you for free if you pack the items up in the box you need to send!