Reformation Try-On: Will Those Gorgeous Linen Dresses Actually Fit Me?

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For years I listened to Shana rave about Reformation linen dresses — but I never tried any! There’s something about how incredibly gray spring was here in Portland this year that made me want all the pretty linen dresses this summer. So…I finally ordered some Reformation dresses to try out!

I think part of me had always been afraid of the fits and sizing — some Reformation clothing I’ve tried in the past was way too small and just wildly off. But I fell in love with Reformation’s cashmere sweaters last fall. And I LOVE that Reformation is one of the few Climate Positive clothing brands.

I really wanted to find some pretty, summery pieces so I ordered five linen dress styles, plus one ribbed jersey dress, one matching knit skirt set (Spoiler: LOVE the knit set!) and one cargo skirt.

So…we’ll call this a try-on! There’s plenty to dive into, friends.

I finally ordered some Reformation dresses to try out! I think part of me had always been afraid of the fits and sizing.

Dress (8) | Sandals

Do Reformation Dresses Fit A Short Torso & A Butt? A Try-On.

If you want to get right to the pieces, here’s a little round-up of everything I ordered:

My Sizing Info: I’m 5’4″, 45 years in age, 34D bust and typically a 6/8 in dresses, though I’ll be honest I don’t shop for a lot of fitted dresses these days, so an 8 is probably my typical size in those. That’s what I ordered here in most of the dresses, but needed a 10 in a couple.

I’m not overall petite unless it is in pant rise and sometimes length, but I’m finding I am petite in the upper torso, as straps and bust in some of these Reformation pieces were too long.


Reformation Faves: Skirts & A Two-Piece Set

Before we get to the linen dresses — which were a mixed bag — I want to start off with the things I loved most…the Foster Knit Two-Piece Set, the really cute Ethan Cargo skirt, and the Cassi dress. All three are amazing, fitting me and my style well.

1. Foster Knit Set

I love this set. The green color & the neckline of the top drew me in. I've often loved a bodycon dress because it flatters my shorter frame, but this two-piece set is even better!

Reformation Set (M) | Sandals

I love this set. The green color and the neckline of the top are what drew me in initially. I often love a bodycon dress because it flatters and fits my shorter frame, but this two-piece set is even better! Not only does it fit well but it offers even more styling options since it’s separate pieces.

I love that I can pull the skirt up or down depending on how I want it to fit that day and even though it’s a column skirt it isn’t too restricting when I walk. I’m over dealing with shapewear at this point in my life, but I recently got some lovely thin Cooling Shorts from Thigh Society and they’ll be perfect under this skirt.

Reformation Set (M) | Cargo Skirt (M) | White Tee (M) | Sandals

I honestly don’t know why my face is so focused here, haha. You can tell when something is going on in my brain by my facial expressions. I really loved this set!

2. Ethan Cargo Skirt

This cargo skirt is great. It's so comfy & has a nice structure without being too stiff.

White Tee (M) | Skirt (M) | Sandals

This cargo skirt is great. It’s so comfy and has a nice structure without being too stiff. However, the fabric is a little thicker than I want for summer. It is a TOTAL find, but I’m thinking I will wear it more in cooler temps or just generally when fall comes around (check out the styling on Reformation’s site!)

3. The Cassi Knit Dress

Okay, this Cassi dress is fab. It's a soft, ribbed jersey fabric with a seam at the lower bust and waist for just enough structure in the bodice.

Dress (M) | Sandals

Okay, this Cassi dress is fab. It’s a soft, ribbed jersey fabric with a seam at the lower bust and waist for just enough structure in the bodice. If I didn’t have so many black tank dresses already this would remain in my closet!

The straps were aaaaaallmost too long (but not) and the leg slit is super cute. I’d probably grab a different shoe color than these, but they worked alright. Grab this dress if you need a black midi dress! I felt held in without having to wear shapewear but it’s still stretchy and soft.


Reformation Linen Dresses: Beautiful But Not For Me

As I mentioned, Reformation’s linen dresses have been Shana’s favorite for summer and travel for years. I fell in love with a Madewell linen dress (similar to this one) a couple of summers ago. But didn’t see many there I loved this year, and so Reformation for me it was — and thus this article was born.

So many of us have trouble with the fit of off-the-rack clothing and I’m finding that’s especially the case for me when it comes to pieces like these linen dresses. I’m down for getting pieces altered when needed, but what’s also tricky is deciding if they’re worth the investment AND then the cost of alteration on top of that. That’s why I’m on the fence about a couple of these dresses below.

1. Tagliatelle Linen Dress

Where To Buy: Reformation (the most colors) | Nordstrom | Saks (white)

This Tagliatelle dress was so nice I ordered it twice...in two colors.

Dress (8) | Sandals

This Tagliatelle dress was so nice I ordered it twice…in two colors. I think I prefer red, but black is also great. Honestly, this is the dress that fits me the best overall but I will have to get the straps altered. It does come in Petite sizing, but it’s selling quickly and the red doesn’t seem available anymore. The straps have buttonholes to adjust the length but even on the shortest setting, they’re still too long for my torso.

The only thing about this dress is that it feels like a lot of dress. For summer-plus-linen, I want less fabric in the skirt, but if this is your style, it’s fabulously made and totally gorgeous. Maybe the white would feel less visually heavy?

Honestly, this is the Reformation linen dress that fits me the best overall but I will have to get the straps altered. T
In this Reformation try-on, I'm wearing a strapless bra with the black dress and no bra with the red dress.

Dress (8)

In these photos, I’m wearing a strapless bra with the black dress and no bra with the red dress. I think if the straps were altered, I would feel just fine without a bra (the strapless bra showed just a tiny bit at the neckline in the black dress.)

A balconette bra would most likely work with this neckline though, and there are always stick-on options too if you prefer. Honestly, I’d just pop in some cup liners from one of my sports bras and call it good to go.

The straps on the Tagliatelle dress have buttonholes to adjust the length but even on the shortest setting, they're still too long for my torso.

Dress (8) | Sandals

2. Mar Linen Dress

I LOVE the red, the buttons up the side on this linen dress. But the way it fits doesn't fit like it was intended to on me.

Dress (8) | Sandals

Haha. My face tells no lies. I feel like I was literally trying to wear an apron as a dress here. Shana said she liked it in our meeting the other day, but I think it didn’t lay properly where I wanted it to.

I LOVE the red, the buttons up the side, and the intention of the fit. But it doesn’t fit like it was intended to on me. It’s not supposed to drape at the neck. I tied it fairly tight as well, but I have a short upper torso (above my bust) and I think that’s the issue here.

It is really a cute style. Or for summer travel I'd pop it over a bathing suit top.

Dress (8) | Sandals

The back would also be tricky if you want to wear a regular bra, but again, stick-on bras would work if you’re down for that. If it fit in the top, I’d maybe go that route for a special event. It is really a cute style. Or for summer travel I’d pop it over a bathing suit top.

3. Allira Linen Dress

Since this Allira linen dress is fitted in the bodice with no stretch or ruching, I sized up to a 10.

Dress (10) | Sandals

Since this Allira dress is fitted in the bodice with no stretch or ruching, I sized up to a 10. It fit great in the torso but then was too big in the bust and the straps would also have to be taken in. Womp womp. It’s a gorgeous dress though.

Dress (10) | Sandals

I even tried crossing the straps in the back, but that didn’t make the bust fit any better either. Can you tell I was getting annoyed at this point?

4. Marcie Linen Maxi Dress

This is the dress Shana has in white & it looks breezy on her. I really wanted to love this. Instead, I was pissed haha.

Dress (M) | Sandals

If you couldn’t tell before, you can tell here — I’m over it. Normally I’d have tried a bit more to remove some of those wrinkles #petpeeve but this was so tight on my butt I just didn’t bother. Alas, when I bent down to buckle my sandal the side seam even ripped a bit. Freaking hell.

This is the dress Shana has in white and it looks breezy and easy on her. I really wanted to love this. Instead, I was pissed haha. I like my butt and I do a lot of squats to keep it that way, but I’d like it to fit into dresses too. Dammit.

Normally I'd have tried a bit more to remove some of those wrinkles #petpeeve but this was so tight on my butt I just didn't bother.

Dress (M) | Sandals

5. Seaside Linen Dress

I even put on a red lip for this try-on, but this style was way too small in the ribcage for me.

Dress (8) | Birkenstocks

Well, dammit again. I even put on a red lip for this try-on, but this style was way too small in the ribcage for me. I’ve had this problem since high school when empire waist prom dresses were all the rage.

Alas, I do love the skirt cut on this style with the slit, but the bodice style isn’t totally me. The square neckline knit Cassi dress above fit much better and was more my style.

Conclusion? Reformation linen dresses do not fit me.

Dress (8) | Birkenstocks


Back to top

So, I think we can tell what the conclusion is here…Reformation linen dresses do not fit me. I think my subconscious knew this all along hence not trying them until now. They do have a lot of styles and perhaps I chose some of the most fitted options that are the trickiest, but I just ordered what I thought was cute.

They do offer items in Petite sizing on Reformation’s site (as well as Plus sizing) but only one of the linen dresses I was interested in were available there (the Tagliatelle dress – sizes are going quickly.)

I love Reformation as a brand and love some of their other pieces, but I guess I’ll stick to Madewell and Everlane for linen dresses for now.

xo,

L

If you care to follow more of what I’m up to –> I’m on Instagram @laurajansenstyle.  I talk a bit more fashion over there…along with sharing my love for all things food, funny pet memes, social justice, sarcasm, astrology, probably too many vids of my pets and a peek into daily mom life in Portland, Oregon. C-ya there!

I have a short torso but I'm not usually a petite size. I like my butt & I do a lot of squats to keep it that way. Reformation, what do you have for me?

19 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for these reviews. They cracked me up! Fellow short upper torso person who does lots of squats, so I am very familiar with these fit issues.

  2. I absolutely love and appreciate your very honest reviews on these dresses. This was very enjoyable to read. Thanks for keeping it real.

  3. This was a great read! I’ve eyed these dresses for a while now, but I’ve held off due to most of them looking deeply uncomfortable (non-stretch linen with fitted bodice? no thanks). I’m also very curvy, so I’m sure I would have the same issues.

  4. You aren’t alone — I have similar fit issues with Reformation. I think they aren’t cut for straight or athletic figures, especially if one has less waist definition.

    • Agreed. As I lift more weights I’m finding this to be even more true. But if I stick to items with stretch it seems to be better!

  5. Laura, I feel your pain (though that set does look absolutely stunning on you). Since getting serious with resistance training, I have really come to realize how few women’s clothes are made for more athletic bodies. I’d love to hear you share about brands you think do especially well with more muscular legs!

    • I think I’ve realized it’s more about the specific cut of pants or jeans etc. than the specific brands, but I have found Everlane and Gap and Madewell have styles that work!

  6. While I also want to love the reformation dress I find they do not fit my body type. Large bust here. But I like Abercrombie dress that look like reformation dresses. They have a whole host of dresses that fit a more alethic body type while also looking fancy.

  7. Thank you for taking one for the team. I’m curvier, pear-shaped, and I have a butt that I love, too. Yes to Barre3 and resistance training. Yes to Leg (and Glute) Day! I’ve never tried Reformation but I’ve wanted to. Now I can target my search better. Oh, the knit set looks AMAZING on you.

  8. Omg thank you for this ! I have a very short torso. I bought a jersey knit in a light color big mistake you can see everything it requires so much foundation just so I don’t have lines going everywhere you can see and yet holds my girls in. I am a pear shape size 7-8ish? I loved the linen dress called the Tagliatelle dress in white. I think it looks better on girls with no chest and no hips. It looks surprisingly frumpy in the back! I remember I tried on another one like that same thing it looked frumpy on me. I have lost 12 pounds so maybe it might be different but I dunno. This helped me make my choice and save money thank you so much !

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