In At Work, Discussions, Discussions, Money, Style

How do fashion bloggers afford all of their spending?

Okay, this is definitely not a post that I should be writing considering my own shopping craziness.

It should really be someone way more frugal who only owns 20 items in her closet and only one pair of earrings or something.

Nevertheless, I read a lot of fashion and style blogs, and every time I hear them list their purchases of 4 or 5 pairs of designer shoes in a row (Louboutins, Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos all at around $600 a pop), I think — HOW IN THE HOLY…!?

I totally understand that their money can come from these arenas:

  • Advertising & Blogging — Obviously fashion/style blogging pays more than PF blogging especially since you get better sponsors and you can get a lot more readers posting about yourself and your outfits
  • Free Swag — Not sure if designers give out free swag, but places like J. Crew, Modcloth, etc probably do
  • Side Businesses — “Free” advertising through their blogs, while working a 9-5
  • REALLY good jobs — 6-figures a year, I’m assuming
  • Family/Spousal money — Possibly?

Even so. I am not entirely sure that it’s 100% funded by retailers.

So…HOW!?!?

Wardrobe-Closet-Shoes-Ballet-Flats-Collection-Sandals

GUESSING AT THE NUMBERS

I wish they’d post their personal finances.

I know they’re probably saving away a solid 10% of their net income each month, maxed out retirement funds, bla bla bla… but I’m just one big fat nosy parker and I’d like to see the numbers. 🙂

I’m just thinking that if they buy 5 pairs of designer shoes a month, at $500 each, that’s about $2500/month, and for a full year, that’s $30,000 net a year, which is roughly (mentally) translates into about $50,000 gross income.


That’s an EXCELLENT gross salary for an individual, who would still have to pay for rent, groceries, transportation, etc.

UNREALISTIC SPENDING

For the other style bloggers who are not professionals (blogger or otherwise) and earn less money, I wonder how they afford such a wardrobe on their salary.

It’s seems like they get new stuff each week.. and even I don’t do that.

(Mostly because I’ve been working 10+ hour days in a compressed workweek lately and haven’t had time to be tempted..)

Wardrobe-Closet-Mochimac-Clothes-Tops-2

FRANKLY, IT MAKES ME WANT TO SPEND 😛

It does make me want to buy things, and I should probably unsubscribe to all of their blogs just for that reason, but like a moth to a flame….

I think that influence, is partly the reason why I spend more than I should, if I wasn’t being tempted.

See, I am well aware that what I spend, is unrealistic even for me.

Sometimes I look at my numbers and think: WTF HAVE I BEEN DOING?

I know it’s partly that I don’t own a car, a house, or eat out a lot that I channel that otherwise budgeted money towards my Wardrobe instead, but I realistically can’t keep up on $2000 of Wardrobe spending a month.

(And if I do, you should SLAP ME SILLY.)

….but even with that spending, I recognize am very lucky to be earning a more-than-amazing salary, still aiming to save 50% of my net income and hoping to have a $250,000 at the end of this year.

That $2000 I spend on occasion, is not my entire variable budget each month. I am not giving up basic things like Food and Shelter, to buy clothes.

But I wonder if they are.

(Also, $500 is NOT reasonable for a pair of shoes. The only designer items I will buy, are consignment ones.)

What do you think about all of this? Are you nosy like me?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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41 Comments

  1. Maria

    If you know how and where to shop, you can style your clothes to look very fashionable. You might be surprised to see what goodies you can find in your wardrobe if you dig properly.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’m definitely here. I’m shopping my closet and refusing to let more things in. I have so many.

      Reply
  2. nccjones

    I’m a few years late on this message board, but I googled fashion bloggers high end purchases because I’ve been following a few and most of them have like 5 Louis Vuttons (sp), a bunch of Chanels and Gucci’s. One blogger in particular I follow who is a house wife with a young daughter. I think her husband is in real estates, but she is constantly posting her shoes and purses on the Likeitnow app they average from $1200 to $2500! Some responders call her out on it, but she always responds it’s her job. Sorry, fashion blogging is not a job. Oh, and she has two bedrooms made into closets! Yes, displaying all her pretty expensive items. Am I jealous? YES I AM! I have a full time, well paid job, but I can not afford all those luxury items! I have a few coaches, but I think the most one ran me was $160? lol

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I think that if it is her job, she makes money off it to pay for those items…

      Reply
  3. Peggy Duncan

    I just started an Instagram page in September 2017 as a senior citizen who refuses to dress like an old lady. I’m finding bargains at thrift stores (haven’t paid more than $6 for anything), eBay, my own closet. I’m going to start shopping in friends’ closets.

    New Idea: This week, I’ll take photos, remove the backgrounds, then slide in a different one. You can try on an outfit in the store, take a selfie (they have great lighting and mirrors). Then remove/replace the background. PhotoShop out the tags.

    Reply
  4. Liana Ekawati

    That’s a good question. Sometimes I wonder about it. Most of them will say that they save money to be able to buy the stuffs but I do not completely believe them.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I suspect they buy, wear things, and return it after hiding the tags for the photos. I read that once in this book on how they styled a magazine shoot on the cheap.

      Reply
  5. Mary

    Hey girls, ok so I’m starting a fashion blog and also talk a lot about soul chats on different topics. For me I don’t have a huge amount of money and I have 2 properties to look after. I’m doing it for me, I’m blogging when I feel like blogging and when I can afford too. I will be reusing items also and some are designer some aren’t. Bottom line I think it’s important to just go at your own pace, no need to keep up and compare with other bloggers, I will do 1 outfit idea a week and 1 soul chat a week, simple 🙂

    Reply
  6. Sarah

    Most of the ones I follow either have wealthy husbands or parents. Like everything they post looks straight off Pinterest. One particular girl I follow is a grad student and I know they urge you not to work, so it has to be family wealth.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Ditto. I like fantasy 😉

      Reply
  7. Sheyna

    eBay and thrift stores can help you cut your spendings a lot. I recently bought a pair of YSL heels for $40 including shipping. They only looked used underneath. If it’s something simple like over the knee socks, you can get them for $2.50 from Chinese sellers on eBay.

    Reply
  8. iou

    A friend of a friend worked at Holt Renfrew and she said that a well known Toronto fashion blogger would purchase clothes from Holt Renfrew, photograph herself in them, and then return them.

    They either let her do it for publicity sake, and she linked to Holt Renfrew, or the managers had no idea it was going on.

    Reply
  9. Tania

    I see a lot of bloggers selling their stuff on poshmark and the description will say something like “just worn once for photos”. That doesn’t mean that they intended just to buy it to post on the blog but it ended up that way(god knows I have way too many “worn once” items too, total sign of a shopaholic).

    I really enjoy street fashion photography more now as it focuses less on one person and doesn’t even talk about what they are wearing really. It’s really just a cool shot with a cool city background and the focus is more on the personal mix rather than what they bought and where they bought it. Makes me want to take wonderful photos or get creative with what I already have. TheSartorialist is my favorite as well as the street collages in the NY Times style section.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if many items are also returned by fashion bloggers after they shoot pics, especially those hauls of new season collections to show their readers the fit. There are also some well known bloggers who have family money. I’ve read that Sea of Shoes is actually a rich girl (she has great creative style though I must say).

    Wendy’s Lookbook features some very expensive items but I do notice she has her favorite pieces which I think is a bit more like “real” life (like her SW over the knee 5050 boots). But when I first started watching her videos I wondered how the heck should could afford such expensive things.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Hmm.. *looks at her closet*.. I only have one dress I have not worn yet because it is a vintage silk Parisian custom made dress and I was saving it for a good occasion. Going to wear it to an upcoming wedding 😀

      I like street photography as well! But I also like it when they tell you where they bought everything…

      Sea of Shoes is DEFINITELY rich. She had her debut as a debutante which makes sense why she has so much stuff (her mother is a clotheshorse too).

      I don’t really know how I could afford all of their items though. I mean it’s really expensive, $2000 a bag here and there, even if you only have one of it. They must buy and return things but how do they photograph items without tags?

      Reply
  10. Jane

    I’ve wondered the same thing. I have a great job with fantastic pay, but I still can’t afford to buy all the items featured on these blogs without getting myself into some major debt. I also can’t justify a large clothing allowance because I wear a uniform most of the week.
    I think a lot of these people come from money or they don’t put the same emphasis on saving and retirement that I do. I’m happy to do most of my shopping at places like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      For me by not spending on stuff from F21, I am already spending a lot of cash just for basics let alone things like cots, bags and trendy pieces. I am sure they get a lot of stuff for free too.

      Reply
  11. Christine

    I must say fashion blogs is one of the reason why I am spending too much 😡 I enjoy reading blogs, it gives me new ideas and definitely new ideas on where I am gonna be spending my dosh next.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      It’s so dangerous for my wallet!! This is why I am trying to make the same outfit with what I already own.

      Reply
  12. Toots

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    I think you can tell with some blogs it is obvious that they
    come from very wealthy families.

     

    I’m from the UK and just subscribe to a couple of blogs. The
    one I do follow avidly is very down to earth and she has a great sense of style
    but I do sometimes wonder how she affords it all. She seems to be
    buying stuff every week and just recently spent £700 on a pair of designer
    shoes, which to be quite honest she wouldn’t get a lot of wear out of them.
    Anyway, I used to comment on her blog quite frequently and have helped her
    out with some non-fashion related stuff but I didn’t even get a thank you. On
    another note I am becoming a little weary of these blogs, as it tends to be
    feeding people’s ego’s more than anything else. Which brings me to the
    conclusion that they are spending all this money on clothes because they are
    lacking something in their lives. Is it a lack of confidence and self-esteem? I
    love clothes like the next person and have a passion for the brand All Saints
    and to be honest my wages don’t cover buying handfuls of their clothing each
    month. I have to wait for the sales or try and pick up bargains on eBay.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Ooo. Very true. For me, I love clothes but it is more of a need to get each perfect piece for my wardrobe (eg the perfect blaze) rAther than buying huge amounts in bulk.
      All saints is SO covetable. I just wish it was less black and more brown 🙂 black and grey are not 100% fab on me.

      Reply
    2. Savannah Martinez

      If you’re a top blogger you get A LOT of designer peices for free especially when you a large reach like Wendy’s look book does. And the commission you can bring can also explain how they afford all of it. Starting off however I would say that most bloggers who tend not to have as much money tend to he told things second hand from ebay and other world market places to be cost effective til they can bring in more of a commission.

      Reply
      1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        I’d agree with this as well. Consignment, or even just borrowing from other friends.

        Reply
  13. kittyk

    heck yes sister!! I have recently been reading fashion blogs nonstop.  I wonder the same thing too! I feel like these clothes really have to be given to them or the girls are filthy rich!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I am only curious because I can see what it costs for me, but I feel a lot of guilt buying half what they do and not designer items either!!

      Reply
  14. JD

    They probably come from affluent families. This one blogger put up a photo of her parents remodeling their front yard and it was a huge home, it looked like a mcmansion. Other bloggers will pose with their new swag right from the kitchen table, patio, living room, etc.

    You can tell that their parents obviously do well for themselves since the homes they shoot from tend to look nice, a lot of the bloggers tend to be fashion students in college. Another fashion blogger I like works in marketing so if they’re a professional, I can see how they could afford it. 

    Also a lot of kids that come from wealthy backgrounds and have parents that will pay off their houses, cars, etc. If they’re in college and the parents are paying for it then they don’t have to worry about working in the afternoons and probably get an allowance from their parents or if they do work then they use their spending money for clothes, accessories, shoes, etc.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I see.

      But even in marketing it doesn’t pay 6 figures until you get to the top. My friends in marketing and advertising are at $50k, max. They started at $30k out of school.

      Reply
  15. Timi

    I suppose it depends on the purpose of the person’s fashion blog. I blog to show how I made the gradual transition from college wardrobe to teacher-chic. So it doesn’t benefit me to showcase super-expensive designer shoes. 

    My audience is interested in affordable, yet cute options. I wouldn’t even look at $500 when I know I could revamp my entire wardrobe through thrift shopping and sales. 

    But then again, to each her own. 

    naturalechronicles.com

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I think even with bargain shopping it is nice to also know how bloggers reuse certain items and make do with a wardrobe of a few pieces.
      That’s where I struggle and try to become better by having less but making it look like a lot

      Reply
  16. Stephanie

    I’m a fashion blogger and I definitely can afford to be one! (Not with the numbers you came up with of course. Not eve CLOSE.)

    I’m just really good at budgeting and sale shopping. Plus, I’m not a label wh*re. I don’t care what the item is that I’m wearing. As long as I can make it look good, I don’t really care. I’d shop from the dollar store if I wanted to.

    -Stephanie from Chocolate Laced

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I think for me, it’s less about the label and more about the quality of it.
      If I close my eyes, and it feels great, then I’m willing to pay the price.
      If it feels thin, cheap, is badly made… forget it. It’s going back, even if it’s a designer label.

      I don’t actively hunt down designer labels in consignment shops, but they tend to be better made about 30% of the time, although sometimes their stuff is really FUGLY.

      Reply
  17. Kimberly @ Twen-Teen

    I can’t figure it out either. I was a fashion blogger for a few years and got deeply into debt (google “my secret double life as a fashion blogger”). And even when I got free swag, it was never enough to make up for what I was spending. 

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I will google your story!

      I think it is something everyone is curious about because most people don’t have a ton of disposable income to spend like that…

      Reply
  18. SWR

    I don’t think I read any of the “huge” fashion bloggers, but I am following several different bloggers who seem pretty popular.  I think that a few bloggers are pretty skilled at working the secondhand angle- the bloggers I read who have some sewing abilities are always adapting pieces that they bought secondhand.  There are also a few bloggers I like who do “dressing room reviews” – so they will make up lots of outfits and photograph them while at the store, but I don’t know how many pieces they actually buy.  

    Also- are some of the bloggers spokespeople for the brands?  Like someone mentioned, I think that fashion bloggers are often gifted free clothes in exchange for links/reviews/posts about their brand.  I’m not sure if it’s still online (the blogger officially closed it down early this year), but the blog Wardrobe Review had lots of posts about being a fashion blogger.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      True! I read those blogs too and they seem to wait for sales and delay purchases because it isn’t exactly what they wanted.
      I am thinking more about those bloggers who buy designer stuff all the time! I know some get their stuff via consignment or secondhand (what I do) but otherwise, $600 for some shoes every month is a lot of dough…

      Reply
    2. Theshopaholicdiaires

      I have been fashion blogging since an year ! Even though I purchase from high-end stores a lot.. but still a person can never have a lott of clothes in a limited income or pocket money!! I indulge in shopping through sales and Flea markets / Export surplus stores as well !!
      But yes there are many other famous fashion bloggers, who get sponsored outfits for the posts !

      Reply
      1. Mochi & Macarons

        What would be cool is to see how people shop and how much they spend on each item, and what their budget is for the year….

        Or that’s just the PF geek in me.

        Reply
  19. jeweliette23

     You can tell which part of the outfit was free swag because it will say “c/o Ann Taylor” for example (c/o = courtesy of).  Yeah I have no clue as to their spending, but from what I can see, some of them do come from wealthy families.  Also my theory is that unlike Extra Petite, some of the bloggers probably keep the tags on their clothes and then return them after a post. 😛

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Oh I never even thought about returning the items. I know Jane from Sea of Shoes is well off, but the others…..?

      Reply
  20. Diggingoutandup

    Jean at Extra Petite did a fashion spending recap on her blog in the last couple months. A lot of her clothes were purchased on sale, and a lot of purchases were returned, so it ended up being a reasonable amount of money. Some of the other blogs however, I have no clue. A lot of them must be going into debt at a frantic pace :s

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I wish they would blog more about how they manage their finances to look so turned out and have new stuff all the time. Especially designer stuff.

      Reply

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