Talking about money can be awkward, but I’m a firm believer that being transparent about things like savings and spending is important.
I often get asked how I can afford all those outfits I post on my Instagram, and told that I must be spending a fortune, so I thought I’d broach the subject of how much money exactly I spend on clothes.
Firstly, I’d like to point out that I’m in a very privileged position thanks to the job I’m in. I have great relationships with a lot of fashion brands, who sometimes send me clothes as a gift, or lend me some for events like weddings or big holidays.
For example, on my last trip to LA (main picture, dress borrowed from De La Vali, and below, dress borrowed from Kalita), about half the clothes I packed were borrowed rather than bought, although it looked like I’d spent a small fortune on a holiday wardrobe – the magic of Instagram.
Another perk of the job is discounts. Some brands offer influencers and editors discount cards they can use throughout the year, so I don’t always pay full price. If a brand or designer doesn’t do that, then I’ll usually wait until they do a flash sale or discount code – something instilled in me during my early career at MoneySavingExpert.com.
How much do I spend on clothes a month?
But back to the point: how much do I spend on clothes every month? It fluctuates, but it can be anywhere between £200 to £400. For example, today I spent £200 in the Net-A-Porter sale: I bought a Ganni dress (60% off) and a Cult Gaia bamboo tote (50% off).
I am a clothes horse, and can never resist a pretty buy, especially when half my job includes curating shopping edits for our readers. I will admit I don’t always invest in ‘sensible’ clothes, eg, a camel coat or jeans I’ll wear forever. I am partial to trends and would be on first name basis with the staff at Zara if I actually shopped in store (the online experience is second to none).
The months where I spend closer to £400 are those where I buy mid-range rather than high street, and I will usually consider carefully whether it’s something I need or not. Last month, Joseph had a flash sale and so I bought a timeless spaghetti strap summer dress.
I usually spend a little more at Christmas or my birthday as I’ll get vouchers or money as gifts, and my most expensive purchase was the black mini Celine trio handbag that I bought in Paris at the end of last year, which was around £750 once you do the conversion rate.
That is a huge amount, I’m aware of that, but the reasoning was that I’d wear it lots (cost per wear etc), and I did and will no doubt do again come next autumn, as I’m not a fan of wearing black accessories in summer.
A quick poll around the office tells me that I’m not the only one who spends on clothes, with the average being around £200. And in all fairness, whilst that is a lot, I never spend money I don’t have, and still make sure I save money every month.
As I’ve gotten older however, I’ve become more conscious of the impact of fast fashion, and do think twice about buying things I probably wouldn’t wear more than once. I also try and practice circular fashion by donating clothes I no longer wear to friends and family or charity shops, and I also do car boot sales twice a year.
Hopefully that’ll give you a bit more of an insight into someone else’s spending habits, and perhaps make you feel less guilty about that payday treat!