Welcome to The Great Try-On. With spring well and truly in the air, we seized the opportunity to try on some of the best new-in pieces from some of your favourite brands, documenting the process along the way. We believe that the best way to shop online is to see an item IRL and to read candid reviews, so we hope that this leads you to your most successful purchases of the year.
I have over 15 years of experience working in the fashion industry and have spent most of my time as an editor and buyer, and to this day, the thing that still gets me most excited is deep-diving into a brand and going to see its latest collection. Knowing what pieces to pick out has always been something that comes naturally to me (or perhaps it was the weekly shopping trips to Selfridges with my mum at a very young age that helped me hone my craft), so when I was asked to take part in this season's Great Try-On and test out the latest arrivals from American label Reformation at its Covent Garden store, I was more than happy to oblige.
Now, I'm being honest when I say that I was familiar with the L.A.-based brand's laid-back aesthetic prior to this try-on but had never really tested many pieces out. Unsurprisingly, I'm officially a Reformation convert! Aside from being one of the very first brands to create cool occasion dresses that fast became the go-to for modern bridesmaids, the brand really does tick all the boxes when it comes to creating a stylish capsule wardrobe. Its cashmere cardi-and-bralette sets are a must-have for any discerning style maven every season, and its Cynthia jeans really are some of the best straight-leg jeans I've tried. This season, you may also be seeing its Remy leather knee-high boots filling your Instagram feed…
This try-on also reminded me about several styles of tops, many of which are super chic and so easy to wear with jeans, that had also completely fallen off my radar. It was hard to whittle it down, and if you head to the Reformation website, you'll see even more pieces than what I found in-store—like this amazing denim handkerchief top, which ticks two of the buzziest trends for spring; the Ezlynn off-the-shoulder top that has a bit of a retro feel; and the Spritz silk top, another incredibly timeless and easy wardrobe staple that's perfect for layering under blazers.
So what were my favourite picks from the new-season collection? Scroll on to discover the timeless pieces that I believe are well worth the investment and that I know I (and perhaps you!) will wear time and again.
1. DENIM MIDI SKIRT + TANK TOP
My Review: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you buy one denim piece this season, make it a denim maxi or midi skirt. This one is perfect. I usually struggle with pencil skirts, particularly in denim, as I have wide hips and a smaller waist, but this one fits like a glove.
2. CORSET TOP + STRAIGHT-LEG JEANS
My Review: I am a dress girl through and through, but this top reminded me just how easy a great top and jeans can be. This off-the-shoulder bodice looks super effortless but has hidden corsetry, so there's no bra required. That's all I needed to know.
If you have read my previous try-ons, then you will know I often find it tricky to buy jeans, especially when shopping for classic straight-leg styles. Enter the Cynthias. Worn by A-listers from Gigi Hadid to Emily Ratajakowski, I felt these fit really well (I wore a size 31) and sat at the perfect part of my ankle.
3. SILK HALTER-NECK MIDI DRESS
My Review: Okay, wow. I was a little reluctant to try this on, as it doesn't really allow for a bra (I'm not so comfortable going braless after having my daughter), but it was one of the most flattering and timeless pieces in the store. From my experience, the design team at Reformation must have taken some time to perfect the fit of this dress. I've tried it on here in a print so you could see the shape in more detail, but it also comes in black and is at the top of my wish list.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a bit of a magpie and rarely buy understated shoes, but these were just too good not to include. I always find white (or off-white in this case) lifts an outfit compared to black or brown, and a pair of minimal sandals will give most outfits a contemporary feel.
4. CASHMERE KNIT
My Review: If only I could tell you how much time I have spent searching for the perfect sweater this season, and this one is a strong contender. It has a really nice weight to it, wide structured cuffs, and just the right length to wear with jeans.
5. WHITE MINIDRESS + CARDIGAN
My Review: You can't beat a crisp white dress on a sunny day. And whilst it may not seem like it right now, spring (and the sun) is on its way. I layered it with one of Reformation's cashmere cardigans, and all that was missing were my sunnies and an Aperol.
This cardigan-and-vest co-ord is an investment, but spending on pieces that transcend trends and seasons is definitely one of the savviest ways to shop. I recently learned that global demand for cashmere has led to goats overgrazing in Mongolia turning grasslands into deserts, which is why Reformation set a goal to eliminate conventional cashmere in its supply chain by 2023. This set made of 90% recycled cashmere and has 87% less carbon impact than conventional varieties. Pretty neat.
6. SLIP DRESS + BLAZER
My Review: This blazer reminds me of one of my mother's suits from the late '90s in all the right ways! It is a super-easy piece to add to your wardrobe and will work hard for you. I like rolling up the sleeves to accentuate the slightly oversized shoulders.
7. WHITE MIDI DRESS + DENIM JACKET + KNEE-HIGH BOOTS
My Review: How to wear your white summer dresses before it's actually summer? Throw on a denim jacket and some black knee-high boots. (Oh, you might need some thermal tights, but no one will know!)