Fashion / Shopping

Inside Houston’s Brand New Reformation Store — New Tech, the Twilight Dress and Sustainable Shoes

Trade In Your Old Reformation Clothes Too

BY // 08.07.22
photography Hannah Swiggard

On a recent trip to the newly opened Reformation boutique in the Montrose Collective mixed-use development, a group of shoppers were agog over the store’s massive touch screen. It allowed them to shop from the monitor easily.

It’s a perk they didn’t find on recent Reformation shopping trips in London, so it was a thrilling find in their new hometown Houston store.

It’s just one of the reasons why the environmentally conscious California import is a favorite among those who appreciate Reformation’s take on modern, pretty and sustainable fashion. Houston’s Reformation is the brand’s first Houston store and its fifth in Texas overall. That equals only New York in the number of stores.

“We’re thrilled to expand further into the booming Texas market following a great response from our communities in Austin and Dallas,” Reformation CEO Hali Borenstein says. “Houston is a fast growing city and one of our strongest e-commerce markets.”

First-time venturers to the boutique, take note. The shop is across a street in the Montrose Collective, so look for the sleek storefront with green and white tile out front. 

Once inside, the boutique is sunlight and cool breeze, nature and technology all-in-one. Clothing collections are grouped by color and tone, making browsing easy. The racks feature one of each style on the sales floor, so when a shopper sees something they like, they can select items (in the color and size they want) to try on — and continue to browse while the items are loaded into their dressing room.

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Sales staffers are also available to scan items and have them sent to one of the six dressing rooms.

One wall houses the brand’s selection of Ref Shoes—including the recent launch of fully closed loop sneakers. In consumer terms, they’re designed, manufactured, used and handled to eliminate the concept of waste.

Shoppers can explore the new Reformation Houston store and pick clothes on the touch screen.
Shoppers can explore the new Reformation Houston store and pick clothes on the touch screen.

The sustainable design concept behind Reformation’s Montrose Collective store incorporates natural and recyclable materials, including sustainable dressing room carpets, vintage furniture, eco-friendly fabrics, hangers made with FSC-certified wood and reusable deadstock totes. The store will also offset 100 percent of its electricity usage with wind energy.

Reformation and the Tech Life

Reformation’s embrace of tech-driven retail began in 2017, maximizing the best of online and in-person shopping. The goal, Borenstein says, is to remove shopping frustrations found in traditional stores.

“With this model, we’re also able to stay smarter about in-store inventory and deliver what our customer wants on a more localized level,” Borenstein says.

Much of Reformation’s offerings are ideal for Houston’s climate and style sensibility, but the Reformation team takes the localized approach a step further at the new Houston store, stocking up on summer staples like skirts, shorts, mini dresses and sleeveless tops. 

A full-length screen runs playful brand videos, showing models of all sizes in Reformation clothing. Size inclusivity is another priority for the brand, with clothes available in extra small to 3X and petite sizing. The initiative launched in 2017 and continues to evolve.

“Size diversity is important to us at Reformation,” Borenstein says. “We always want everyone to look and feel their best in our clothes, regardless of shape or size. We’ve started rolling out a full-size range of styles in select Reformation stores, and are focused on raising awareness on in-store size availability to build consistency so shoppers know what to expect moving forward.”

The one Reformation style that needs no introduction is the much-beloved (and imitated) Twilight dress. It’s a universal favorite, flattering and ideal for multiple occasions. The Twilight dress is made from Reformation’s Better Viscose, a breathable, rapidly renewable fiber sourced from sustainably managed forests for the lowest environmental impact.

“The Twilight dress has been a huge hit with our customers,” Borenstein says. “It has a fitted bodice with a relaxed skirt, so you’re able to get structure and comfort all at once.

“We’ve started offering the silhouette in a range of colors and prints, including our rich Emerald colorway available at Ref Houston.”

For those who have any older Reformation pieces hanging in their closets, the store is honoring their RefRecycling program at the Montrose Collective location. 

Bring in pre-loved Reformation goods like shoes, jeans, sweaters and activewear and receive Ref credit for future purchases. Shoppers receive $25 for old shoes, $15 for denim, and $10 for both sweaters and activewear.

Sustainably chic and technically savvy, Reformation’s Houston boutique is trying to set a new standard for shopping’s next wave. The best part? You don’t have to hop across the pond — or go to California — to experience it.

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