When the temperature rises, and I start stashing my fridge with summer fruits, away go my pants and out come my summer dresses.
My favorite color is red, so, naturally, I had to pick up this stunning red fit-and-flare dress from Reformation, and I already had this super-cute, budget-friendly midi from Amazon.
Setting them side by side in my closet, I had to consider which one I would recommend and why. Below, I’m breaking down the pros and cons of each, so you can have a red-dress moment of your own this summer.
Is Amazon’s Red Midi Dress Just As Good As Reformation’s?
Both dresses are midi length, meaning that they hit me (I’m 5’5” for reference) below the knee but above the ankle. I love the length of these dresses because I’m never worried about accidentally giving others more of a view of undergarments than I meant to. Plus, the hemline hits me at a point where people can see that I have legs — maxi dresses tend to overwhelm my frame and make me look shorter than I am.
Both dresses are ruched in the back, which helps them fit perfectly. The Amazon dress is ruched all the way across the back, whereas the Reformation dress has a ruched panel that runs down just the section of the back. Both dresses fit snugly on top, which I love.
Apart from the basics of the design, however, the two dresses have a lot of differences.
The Fit: Notes On Sizing
I’ll be writing an article on finding the right size at Reformation, but ultimately, the best fit for me in the Tagliatelle dress style was a size 10. I typically wear a size 14 in pants, so you can see that my dress size and true pant size are not the same.
Fortunately, the sizing on Amazon’s red midi dress was simple: I ordered a size large, and it fits perfectly. The dress is snug around the bust, however, so do be aware that if you have a larger bust, you might want to size up.
Difference 1: The Neckline
The Reformation midi dress features a square neckline with subtle lace trim, whereas the Amazon dress has a gentle V-neck design. With the Reformation dress, I need to wear a demi-cup or balconette bra to avoid the top of my bra cup showing.
With the Amazon dress, the neckline is higher, and I can wear a full-coverage bra. I like demi-cup bras, so that feature of the Reformation dress doesn’t bother me, but it’s worth noting in case balconette-style bras don’t work for you.
Difference 2: The Straps
The straps are also significantly different. The Amazon dress has spaghetti straps, making it difficult to conceal bra straps if you’re bothered by your lingerie showing. The Reformation dress has wider straps that will hide your bra. Also, the Tagliatelle dress straps are adjustable but can only be two lengths because they’re adjustable via two buttons that allow you to length or shorten the straps. The straps on the Amazon dress aren’t adjustable — this doesn’t bother me since the straps are an appropriate length for my frame, but it is a consideration.
Difference 3: The Pockets (Or Lack Thereof)
Another crucial difference? The pocket situation. The Amazon dress has pockets, and the Reformation dress doesn’t. As much as I appreciate a pocket, I think pockets would look odd on the Reformation dress, and I’m glad they aren’t included. Some designers place pockets on the hips, which I don’t love because it can add extra material and bulk to an area where a smooth line is most flattering.
Difference 4: The Front Details
Besides the pockets, the red midi dress from Amazon also has a series of tortoiseshell-colored buttons running down the front. The Reformation dress, on the other hand, has a hook-and-eye closure running vertically down the bodice of the dress (the hook-and-eye closures aren’t functional — the detail is purely aesthetic).
Difference 5: The Fabric
The red Reformation dress is made of 100% pure linen. The fabric feels tightly woven and dense — not in a bad way, but in a way that signals that the dress will stand the test of time.
The Amazon midi dress, however, has a nice feel as well, but it’s certainly not as high quality as the Reformation dress. The Amazon dress is 85% polyester and 15% cotton. The fabric doesn’t feel flimsy, in my opinion, and I’ve washed the dress numerous times. So far, the dress has held up well, and I’ve had it for about a year.
What’s The Cost? Under $250 Vs. Under $35
There’s quite simply an enormous difference in price. Amazon’s affordable red midi dress clocks in at under $35 (and is often discounted even further), whereas the Reformation dress is a cool $250. If your budget allows you to invest in a couple of really beautiful and high-quality pieces for summer, the red Tagliatelle dress is a great option.
If you’re more interested in saving your cash to invest in other pieces that you might love more, the Amazon dress is a fantastic budget-friendly option.
Red Midi Dresses From Amazon & Reformation: Color & Print Options
Both dresses come in a number of different colors and patterns. I have a blue-striped version of the Amazon dress that I love and wear frequently, and I tried on the floral-print version of the Tagliatelle dress as well. Simply put, I love both dresses and, in my dream world, would love to have multiple colors and prints of each.
Amazon Vs. Reformation Midi Dresses: Final Thoughts
So, which dress do I love the most? Honestly, the red Reformation dress wins for me for two reasons. First, the overall design is more beautiful than the Amazon midi dress. The lace trim, subtle hook-and-eye closure, broader straps and square neckline are just a bit more aesthetically pleasing to my eye. To me, the overall effect is “sexy French lady on a picnic date.”
The second reason is the quality of the fabric. Pure linen is a beautiful material. I feel confident that the Reformation dress will be in my closet for a long time, and I like to invest in pieces that’ll last when my budget allows me to.
Ultimately, both dresses are gorgeous, and you can’t go wrong.
Which dress do you love?? Happy summer.