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Tobi review | Could its clothes make me feel like an Instagram baddie?

Sun-soaked styles for on and off the grid.

You never know what you’re going to get with a brand that’s popular on Instagram. Like two-dimensional photos on the grid, are the clothes wearable in real life — or nothing more than a veneer under good lighting and the Gingham filter?

Fortunately, the LA-designed brand’s struck that balance with trendy yet high-quality styles. Though the brand’s been around since 2007, it’s made its name mostly on Instagram — its social grid shows a sea of crop-top-sporting influencers in faux-candid shots around the city.

As an undeniable non-influencer, I picked out two dresses and a skirt on the brand’s new arrivals page to see how the clothes fit and compared to other similar brands like OOTD Fash and Fashion Nova in terms of quality.

Tobi sent me clothes to review. All opinions are my own.

Maddie Black Bodycon Dress in size large

With a v-neckline, asymmetric hem and thigh-high slit, this slinky dress was my favorite of the three. Though it came in several colors — including a rich green à la Reformation — I chose classic black.

The dress is a little sheer and fit like a glove, accentuating every curve. I was impressed by the quality of this piece.

It fit well and was very flattering — though it runs slightly small. I normally wear a medium in most brands but sized up to a large, which fit perfectly.

One tip: If you’re gonna go braless, some double-sided tape will come in handy. At any given moment I was only a slight breeze away from a wardrobe malfunction.

Show Some Effort White Mesh Bodycon Dress in size medium

With mesh being a trend mainstay right now, I picked this romantic, white ruched little number with a drawstring tie detail at the bust. I thought this dress was so pretty and feminine, and I loved the flattering fit. It hits about mid-thigh — I’m 5’6 for reference.

The shoulders have a little pouf and kept slipping down on me. My shoulders are on the smaller side, so this could simply be my frame causing it to slip. Although, the dress would also look great worn off the shoulder.

It’s also a little sheer but bra-friendly — simply choose a bra that matches your skin tone.

All That Fuzz Plum Sweater Mini Skirt in size medium

This one screamed winter in L.A. — a barely-there mini in a fuzzy sweater fabric. I didn’t get the matching crop top to go with it, so I paired with a BCBG sweater I already owned.

I thought the skirt was just OK — I loved the rich plum shade and the fluffy material was fun, but the fit was nothing spectacular. However, it was a cute and comfy skirt I’d throw on with a pair of sneakers and a denim jacket for running around — northeast weather permitting.

A note on Tobi’s sizing

It definitely runs small. While I normally wear a small/medium, I had to size up to medium/large in this brand. Unfortunately, Tobi has no plus-size options. And many styles I looked at were only available up to size medium — or the equivalent of a size 6-8, according to Tobi’s size chart.

When in doubt, I’d recommend sizing up.

Tobi vs. similar sites

I found the quality was on par with Nordstrom, and definitely better than other brands I’ve shopped like Fashion Nova and OOTD Fash. However, Tobi’s also generally a little more expensive than those two sites.

As much as I love the matching sets from OOTD Fash, I’d recommend Tobi if you’re looking to get more mileage out of your outfits.

The verdict

I’d definitely shop at Tobi if I were looking for a fun dress or a new look for a night out. I love the flirty designs and southern California vibe — and also that you can shop by trend.

Aside from the items I received, lots of other styles caught my eye. Sweaters with lace-up detail, dresses with interesting cut-outs and sleek midi and maxi styles were anything but cookie-cutter.

I also found the quality great for the price. Tobi frequently holds a sitewide half-off promotion, and all of my picks are on sale for under $40. I’ve also seen higher-end brands like Free People sold on the site.

Overall, I was really happy with how the clothes looked, in real life and in the photos — I wasn’t even tempted to apply a filter.

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