How Much Do 'Bachelor' Contestants Really Spend On Wardrobe?

If there’s one thing I hate most in this world, it’s packing. And every time I watch The Bachelor, my body practically breaks out in hives thinking about how the hell anyone packs for this ridiculous show. Like, these girls don’t know if they’re going to be there for one week or two months. Not to mention, they have to pack for anything and everything: casual, formal, beaches, snow, farm, tornados, the zombie apocalypse, you name it. And, the worst part of all??? Everything has to fit into two bags. TWO BAGS. Like, I took three bags when I went to Miami for a long weekend and I basically spent the whole time in swimsuits! Basically, the packing anxiety alone is enough of a reason for me to never want to go on this show, regardless of how single I am or how many Insta followers I secretly want.

So then naturally, my next question is, how much do Bachelor contestants spend in preparation for the unpredictable amount of time they’ll spend on the show? Like, you don’t want to be overconfident and blow thousands of dollars on gowns you’ll never even get to actually wear. And, at the same time, you don’t want to go into the competition underestimating your time there, just to get to the dramatic season finale wearing your competition’s night one dress. So how much do they actually spend? I had to know.

According to E! News, contestants spend anywhere from $1,800 to $8,000 in preparation for their time on the show. Former contestant Jillian Harris has said in several interviews that she spent $8,000 for her wardrobe and even re-mortgaged her house to do so. Like, sis, how desperate are you for love?

Bekah Martinez, known for being the spunky, short-haired, once-MIA and now-pregnant 23-year-old pixie from Arie’s season, told Glamour magazine that she was broke after competing on the show, and returned everything she hadn’t worn that still had tags on it. Knowing that there was no way she could afford all of the necessary clothes while being out of work for potentially two months, she told Glamour that she managed to borrow outfits from friends, local brands, and a contact in the fashion industry. Even doing so, she said she still spent $800 on heels. This bitch must be Tinkerbell or something if she wasn’t able to borrow any shoes from her friends, sheesh.

And, if you think $800 on shoes is a lot, there were apparently rumors of Olivia Caridi and her gaping mouth spending $40,000 on her wardrobe for her stint on Ben Higgin’s season. She’s since debunked this rumor on her podcast site. She said her bestie, who happens to be a stylist, helped her look that good, but she still didn’t admit to how much she actually spent. So maybe it was just like, a cool $20k???

Reminder, that these girls don’t get paid to be a contestant on The Bachelor. So, all of these expenses are really only worth the investment if they actually get the final rose (or at least get a Diff Eyewear sponsorship at the end). It’s a risky game to play, but hey, anything for love right???

If you’re thinking about going on the show, or more sanely, just need a gown for an upcoming wedding or something, I’ve found a few under $150. But reminder, if you are planning to go on the show, then you’re going to need at least 10 of these.

1. Lovers + Friends Danica Gown ($109)

2. PrettyLittleThing Bandeau Folded Detail Extreme Maxi Dress ($50)

3. Lulu’s So Enchanted Burgundy Off The Shoulder Dress ($128)

4. Missguided Lilac One Shoulder Maxi Dress ($42)

5. Forever21 Glittered Front-Slit Gown ($42)

Fortunately (and unfortunately), with today’s mass production economy, you can find gowns at much more affordable prices. A lot cheaper than back in the day, when I was trying to buy myself a trendy prom dress. No, not salty at all. My $500 dress that’s currently sitting in my closet and worth jack sh*t doesn’t make me mad at all. But hey, if you need another dress for your Bachelor arsenal, you can borrow mine! Please, take it. Please.

Images: Revolve; Pretty Little Thing; Lulus; Missguided; Forever21

Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick (previously under the alias of 'Betch Dressed') is a self-proclaimed fashion expert with a sick obsession for all things Bravo. She primarily writes about everything fashion, but also dabbles in other areas because she's a talented overachieving Virgo. Follow her on Insta (@shanmccormick) and comment/DM topics you want to hear her incredible take on next!