How Much You Should Really Be Spending On Clothing Every Month

We can confidently say we spend a substantial amount of our paycheck on clothes, but what exactly should we be spending? To be quite frank, we had no idea, which is why we were excited to research this story. And just in case you’re in the dark about your spending habits as well, we thought we’d bring the matter to light with a super simple equation. Get ready for your reality check…


5% Of Your Take Home Pay

According to award-winning financial planner, Pete Dunn, you should spend 5% of your monthly budget on clothing. To find the exact dollar amount you should be spending per month, multiply your take-home pay by .05.

?For example, if your monthly take home pay is $3,000, you should spend around $150 per month on clothing. While everyone has a unique financial position and you likely know your own situation best, we find that the 5% guide is helpful for reeling in oh-so-tempting shopping sprees. Read on to see the types of purchases that are appropriate for every income bracket.


If your annual salary is around $30,000…

You likely don’t have much cash to spare on non-essentials, so focus your spending at more affordable stores that are still high quality, such as Zara, Topshop, and ASOS.

For example: Zara Leather High Heel Geometric Pattern Sandal ($100); Topshop Lazer Cut Satin Skirt ($84); ASOS Dog Collar Bangle Bracelet ($23).


If your annual salary is around $60,000…

Your disposable income is growing, but your expenses might be too, if, for example, you’ve upgraded your car or apartment. Accordingly, keep your thrifty shopping haunts in regular rotation and choose one clothing item a month on which to spend slightly more.

For example: MICHAEL Michael Kors Graham Cutout Leather Oxford-Style Flats ($150); Warehouse Cutabout Floral Print Swing Dress ($71); Janessa Leone Sara Hat ($170).


If your annual salary is around $90,000…

You likely are feeling relatively comfortable financially, and have the freedom to purchase a few nicer items for yourself. At this bracket, clothing and accessories from mid-priced boutiques like are a good fit.

?For example: Rag & Bone Roseburg Velvet Blazer ($550); Loeffler Randall Milla Flats ($325); Tibi Striped Crepe De Chine Camisole ($200).


If your annual salary is around $120,000…

At this point, you can afford to splurge on a luxury item that you’ll have forever. Consider adding a classic Burberry London trench or similarly timeless items to your closet. Just make sure to limit these clothing purchases, so you don’t exceed 5% of your take-home pay.

For example: Proenza Schouler Extra Small Lunch Bag ($685) in Snakeskin/Leather; Chloe Beckie Pumps ($462); Burberry London Cotton-Twill Trench Coat ($1495).

Another great way to save money? Shop a little smarter. Here's how to never regret a clothing purchase again.

Editor in Chief

Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings worked on styling projects for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.