Plus, how she's getting her finances together after her "realistic hauls" landed her in debt.
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Remi Bader
Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

If you've spent hours of your life a bit of time scrolling through TikTok, it's possible you've come across one of Remi Bader's realistic haul videos. A little over a year ago, the influencer and curve model began trying on clothes from various brands, simply showing people how certain pieces fit. Soon, she was able to turn the hobby into a full-blown career.

Still, as Bader's follower count grew, so did her debt. After all, clothes cost money, and in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, she was laid off from her job at Tidal.

"I started racking up my credit card bill — I was always a little bit careless with my money, to be honest," she tells InStyle over the phone. "I literally got down to $0 in my savings."

Although she eventually began bringing home paychecks through modeling jobs and, later on, formed her own business, Remi Jo LLC, she says it was Credit Karma that truly helped her turn things around. She's now partnered with the financial planning company to sing its praises.

"People think it's just an online tool where you can figure out your credit score for free, but you can look at anything when it comes to your finances," Bader says about the app and site, which also has information about loans, credit cards, and saving money. "It's good for someone who might have college debt, or someone like me, who just racked up my credit card bill and was like 'How do I pay this off?' Or, now that I was able to pay it off, 'How do I manage my money better?' It's a free and easy online tool to get the information you need."

Remi Bader
Credit: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

These days, Bader is doing much better finance-wise, and her career only continues to grow. Aside from filming realistic haul videos, she's also partnered with fashion brands for sponsored content, and even hosts her own show, Impulse Try With Remi Bader, which you can stream on Peacock and the NBC app. It's impressive, to say the least — especially considering Bader wasn't even into TikTok at first.

"In the beginning, my TikTok was all dancing," she says. "My sister would show me these videos and I was like, 'Why am I on this app? I refuse to be on it. I'm never doing TikTok. I don't dance!'"

After a few months, however, Bader's algorithm changed, and she began seeing fashion hauls on her For You Page, which sparked inspiration.

"Everyone was just pretending everything's perfect. Why don't we show the good and the bad? I was inspired to do that."

The 26-year-old has now become a go-to for clothing recommendations. Seeing her shop and try on things — and then give her hilarious and honest opinion — is helpful for those wondering about sizing and fit.

"Anywhere that has my size, I am open to — I'm not picky," she admits when asked about where she likes to shop. "If someone tells me they have a size 16, I'm like, great. If it's cute, I'll go online and I'll buy something from it."

Still, Bader does have a few favorites, and her list is always growing.

"Abercrombie has been having great stuff," she says. "People think it's just jeans that Abercrombie makes well, but they have body suits, trench coats — really cute winter stuff — so I've been looking on there. I also just got a huge package from Missguided and a bunch from GOOD AMERICAN. Then Target, Walmart — still shopping there. Free People could be a hit or miss, but for me, their XLs run a little bit bigger. I've actually been getting great stuff from them. They also have a CRVY section on their website, which a lot of people don't know about either. I'm pretty sure their jeans go up to the size 35, which is my size. It's been exciting to get some stuff from there when I used to think I couldn't shop there. And ASOS — there are just so many different places.

Bader is also trying to branch out and invest in higher-end clothing. She says she recently discovered that Reformation and For Love and Lemons sell extended sizing, and she's even looking into designers like Norma Kamali and Veronica Beard.

"I don't really like to stick to one thing," she admits. Instead, her shopping motto is simple. "I just wanting to feel good in what I'm wearing. I definitely get feedback from people — 'This is too expensive.' 'This is so cheap.' I don't care. I'm going to show whatever looks good on me and you can determine from there. Is this affordable for you? Will this look good on you? I'm just doing it for my experience."

At the moment, Bader is on the hunt for more winter clothes. She says she's recently gotten into layering with vests and blazers, but is hoping her hauls lead her to a specific outerwear option.

"I've been on the hunt for some trench coats," she says. "I just ordered a bunch. I hope that one is good because it's been so hard to find one. Even if they're a bigger size, the arms are always too small. I've just been having such a hard time with getting trench coats, leather jackets, things like that, which is frustrating. I have nothing warm. I literally walk around like its summertime. People are like, 'You need to put warmer stuff on.' I'm like, 'Well, once I find things that fit me, I will.'"

For those hoping to follow Bader's lead and pursue TikTok more seriously in 2022, she does have a few words of wisdom to share.

"I think once you have your own niche, and come up with your own idea that you're truly passionate and want to talk about and put out there, that's when people are going to gravitate towards you," she advises. "There are so many people that recently just blew up — GirlBossTown, Emily Mariko. They blew up out of nowhere on TikTok and it's because they did their own thing. I think that's the most important, finding your niche."