Buying Every Item In 'Vogue' Will Cost Less Than You Think, But It Still Ain't Cheap
If you're anything like me, combing through magazines inevitably leads to a strong desire to own the products featured in the issue. I can't tell you how many times a magazine has (briefly) convinced me my life would be so much better with that dress or this It bag. Noah Veltman, a journalist and developer for WNYC radio, felt my pain. He did his research and found out how much it would cost to purchase every item in the recent issues of magazines ranging from women's fashion to GQ and the results were surprising. For example, it would cost you $343,368 to shop the entire June issue of Vogue.
That number is surely not chump change, but I couldn't believe the figure tallied below half a million dollars with the amount of serious luxury fashion Vogue features in their pages each month. The numbers only account for editorial images, not ads, and for products where the price was listed in the magazine (no "price upon request" merchandise was counted). Vogue was the most expensive by almost $200,000, with InStyle coming in second at $148,909 followed by GQ at $85,810. The median price of products featured in Vogue's editorial is $850.
At The Atlantic they show a cool side-by-side of an InStyle page versus a Vogue page. The InStyle image shows 14 products for a total of only $1,481 on one page, while Vogue keeps editorial far more sparse with only six products, but they total $7,162. "In a sense, this speaks to Vogue ’s positioning as an “aspirational” magazine, as opposed to a relatively practical guide to products that readers can actually buy."
Along the same lines, InStyle actually has the largest percentage of ads per magazine — 53% to Vogue's 51% — proving that the real goal of the magazine is to get readers to buy, buy, buy! Magazines, fun as they are to read, are mostly about encouraging consumers to make purchases. That's why every time you pick up a magazine you're treated to pages upon pages of products that are supposedly "necessary" or will "change your life." You know that you won't instantly be transported to a steamy Caribbean beach because you bought the cover-up in the Vogue spread, but you're tempted anyway.
As long as you keep your eye on that credit card bill, you'll be fine, but maybe skip the $850 silk blouse. You don't need to own something just because it's Anna Wintour-approved.