Australian fashion people on the most and least expensive items in their wardrobes

IMAGE VIA @matildaandersonn/INSTAGRAM


Bang for your buck.

For as long as I’d been spending money on clothing, I considered myself to be (at the risk of sounding like my mum) a bargain hunter. There was a certain art to it that I just loved – envisioning the piece, plotting out my shopping day and embarking on the search before finally landing on the perfect bag, boot or worn-in T-shirt.

For many years, nothing in my wardrobe cost over $100 – until I spotted the shoesThey were black leather with gold hardware, a kind of loafer/moccasin hybrid with just the right amount of block heel. They were also Gucci and priced just shy of $1000. After months of sleepless nights, tossing and turning and agonising over (I’m kidding, FYI) the potential purchase of these mid-heel Marmont pumps… the money came flying out of my debit account quicker than I could say “This is probably a terrible idea”.

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Thankfully, it wasn’t. I’ve gotten enough wear out of those heels to justify the wild price tag and they truly taught me the value of a thoughtful investment piece. In saying this, some of my all-time favourite wardrobe items cost me under $5. To better understand the monetary scope of our wardrobes, I asked five Australian fashion people to share their least and most expensive pieces.

Ella Taverner, Fashion Journal’s Partnerships and Campaign Manager


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My most expensive item is a recent purchase from Vestiare Collective. I bought these patent Burberry Mary Janes back in May and have honestly worn them non-stop since. They retail for around $1,000, but I got them for $265 (an absolute steal if you ask me). I didn’t think I’d be drawn to a patent leather shoe, and although at times I feel like Michael Jackson, I’m utterly obsessed with them.

My mum grew up near Warrnambool in country Victoria, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the years getting to know the quaint nooks and crannies of the surrounding small towns. Every time I’m down there, I stop by a number of the op shops and vintage stores that dot the coastline. They’re a secondhand shopper’s goldmine, and over the years I’ve picked up countless pieces that I now treasure. Some favourites include a lilac silk slip dress, navy cargo pants, an array of fun, printed short-sleeve shirts and a brown leather baguette bag, all of which were under $5.


Giulia Brugliera, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

The most expensive item in my wardrobe is my engagement ring. My partner and I chose it together soon after our engagement, which was really important to me – it’s such a massive investment and I wanted to be sure I loved it as much as he did. It also made for a really nice memory together. As cliché as it sounds, the ring itself feels very ‘me‘. We worked with the team at Cushla Whiting, using a reference image of two solitaire diamond rings (a round and an oval one) stacked on a single finger. The result feels understated, timeless and very much true to us.

The least expensive item in my wardrobe is a little harder to pinpoint. I’ve never loved op shopping, so most of the pre-loved pieces in my wardrobe have come from vintage curators, or are secondhand vintage that still had a decent price tag. Socks and undies aside, I think the least expensive item I own is my Uniqlo Heattech Thermal top. It set me back around $20 and has delivered brilliant cost per wear, especially this winter.


Jaye Edwards, founder of Edwards and Co


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My most expensive item is my Balenciaga jacket, which set me back $10,000. I got it for myself when I launched my haircare brand, Jaye Haircare. I felt like I deserved to treat myself. It’s super versatile, so I know I’ll get years of use out of it.

My least expensive item would be my fave pair of cargos from Tesco. They were about $7 and merch perfectly with my Balenciaga Jacket. Love me a little high-street-meets-high-end look.


Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor


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I lusted after a pair of Marni’s Fussbett sandals for close to a decade, so it was with absolute clearheaded certainty that I finally bit the bullet last year. I opted for the classic black with gold hardware. While they took a fair while to wear in and were eyewatteringly expensive (at $1010, they’re by far the most expensive item I own) they’ve already paid for themselves 10 times over in terms of wearability.

The least expensive item I own actually cost me nothing and has a memorable story attached to it that my friend Miki and I still reminisce over. In the early hours of the morning after being out all night at a house party, Miki and I crawled back to her sharehouse to retire our very drunk selves to bed. Miki has an exceptional eye for op shop finds – she truly finds the hottest stuff – and as usual, there was a pile of her purchases sitting in the corner of her room.

I immediately spotted a lilac, stretchy ’90s-esque singlet top and felt particularly drawn to it. I tried it on, and Miki and I were simply gobsmacked. Had any top ever looked better on me? Absolutely not. This top was made for me. It enhanced everything there was to enhance, and it felt like a second skin. She loved it on me so much that she leapt off the bed and walked backwards, to the furthermost corner of her room, so she could be far away enough from me to truly admire it (lol). Once we were done gushing about it, she insisted I take it. We both knew it – this top and I were meant to be.


Elle Wallace, Sśaint Creative Director and co-founder


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My most expensive item would be my Louis Vuitton bag, which was a splurge item after [my perfume brand] Sśaint officially launched in Sephora. I figure a bag is timeless and something I can eventually pass on to my daughters.

My cheapest item would probably be H&M denim jeans. They have the best fit options and millions of shades, which is perfect for me because I have a new favourite fit almost daily.


Matilda Anderson, editorial intern at Fashion Journal


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For my 21st birthday last year I bought myself a Fanci Club corset and matching sleeves. It was something I had my eye on for a while but was hesitant to purchase because I had never spent so much on one item of clothing before. I don’t regret buying it for one moment. I feel amazing any time I wear it.

I’m an op shopper to my core and I’d like to think I’m quite good at it. My best find would have to be a pair of chocolate-brown cargo pants I found in an op shop on the Gold Coast about two years ago for $4. They’re a staple in my wardrobe. And my most-complimented piece in my entire wardrobe is my brown cowboy boots with floral embroidery. I get very excited to tell people I found them for $10 in an op shop.


For more on building a thoughtful wardrobe, head here.

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