TV Outfits: Could the Characters Afford Them IRL? | CenturyLinkQuote
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Could TV Characters Afford their Outfits IRL?

Last Updated on March 17, 2022 by Zoi Walker


You might be surprised how lavish the budget gets for TV show outfits. Glance at, the most extensive database of outfits worn on TV, and you’ll see the numbers add up fast.

Can’t afford the iconic “lewks” of your favorite TV stars? (Hello, inflation!) Don’t feel bad—most of the characters couldn’t afford their TV show outfits in the real world either. We know. We ran the numbers.

But you can still rock outfits inspired by TV shows. Just take notes while you watch TV, then use search engines or apps to adapt the luxe versions into beautiful and affordable outfits for yourself.

Interesting Findings

  • Out of all of the characters that we analyzed, only four could afford the iconic outfits from their TV shows: 
    • Chloe Decker, the LAPD homicide detective whose mortgage-free lifestyle would definitely help her afford Veronica Beard jackets.
    • Rory Gilmore, who works as editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette in Gilmore Girls and dresses in the “accessible luxury” brand Maje.
    • Matthew Casey, a fire captain in Chicago Fire who sports classic plaid tops from Rails.
    • Sylvie Brett, a paramedic in Chicago Fire whose wardrobe flies under the luxury radar with practical pieces from Madewell.
  • Rory Gilmore, who has about $1,000 more disposable income per month than her mother, would have to save for 3 months (and not spend her disposable income on much else!) to afford Lorelai’s Alexander McQueen bag.
  • It would take most characters at least 4 months to save up for Emily Cooper’s Libellibotta boots by Christian Louboutin—while again, not spending their disposable income on much else. 
    • Only Chloe Decker, with a mortgage-free home courtesy of her mother and a monthly disposable income of $2,368, could afford them without having to save.
    • Matthew Casey, who has the next highest disposable income, would have to wait at least 2 months to afford them.
  • To afford the printed blouse and pink blazer that Amy Sosa wears to interview for the store manager position, she would have to save for a month and a half on her new salary—the one supported by real-life statistics, not the fictional $109,000 salary she makes on the show.


First, we compiled a list of popular TV shows, along with major characters and the iconic outfits they wear on TV.

  1. We compiled a list of 40 popular TV shows featured on, the most definitive source for where to find outfits from TV shows, and then used SEMrush to find the search volume for each show.
  2. We narrowed our list to 5 shows with the highest search volumes, eliminating shows that rated under 6.9/10 on IMDb.
  3. We then found the most-watched episode of each show on IMDb and compiled data on the cost of two outfits worn by main characters in that episode.

Next, we pulled the numbers on whether each character could realistically afford their signature outfits as seen on TV.

  1. We found the salary for each character’s profession using and considered tax deductions by state using a salary paycheck calculator from ADP.
  2. We created a cost-of-living budget for each character consisting of rent, utilities, groceries, gas, entertainment, and public transportation in each state.
  3. We determined how much disposable income each character has and compared the amounts to the cost of their most iconic TV outfits.

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