How Rich We Should Be To Follow The Advices On These Magazines

The holidays are upon us, which means newsstands are filled with publications pushing luxury goods in the form of “gift guides.” Tallying up the total cost of these guides from major magazines, the consensus is this: Magazine editors think you are rich. So rich. So. So. Rich. Yet Gallup reports that the average American expects to spend $786 on holiday gifts this year, which means they can afford about two-and-a-third of a gift from this month’s InStyle guide — never mind the 28 separate “price on request items” that Vogue recommends for all the people on your shopping list.

The Cut stubbornly tracked down unlisted price tags (when companies would share them, which was not as often as you would think) and crunched all the numbers, so click through to see the financial analysis of this year’s magazine gift guides, including the nominations for most ridiculous gifts (don’t worry, we included ourselves too). A blinged-out KitchenAid mixer! A 48-karat-gold-plated Xbox! A Virgin Galactic space-shuttle flight, available for $250,000 per seat!

T Magazine
T Magazine



Total: $1,709,568.00*

Average: 40,704.00 per gift

Most Expensive: VeryFirstTo’s trip to dine at every Michelin-three-star restaurant in the world, $275,000 (includes reservations, flights, and hotels; meals not included)

Cheapest: Russ & Daughters Gaspe Smoked Salmon, $38 per pound

Most Ridiculous: Porsche Ice-Force driving camp in northern Finland, where “expert instructors will teach you how to master an obstacle course at temperatures as low as 30 below,” $6,500 for five days

*not including 2 items for which prices were unavailable



WSJ. Magazine

Total: $719,654.35*

Average: $6,602.33 per gift

Most Expensive: Van Cleef & Arpels diamond, garnet, tourmaline, and onyx earrings, price upon request

Cheapest: Landbrot Bakery & Bar Cakes, $3.80-$5.90

Most Ridiculous: Tiffany and Co. Cocktail Shaker, $2,500


*not including three items for which prices were unavailable



Total: $389,442.00*

Average: $5,812.57 per gift

Most Expensive: Virgin Galactic Suborbital Spaceflight, $250,000

Cheapest: Anthropologie Palace Trellis Glass, $12

Most Ridiculous: Jay Nelson Custom Toyota Camper, which, it turns out, is not actually for sale


*not including eleven items for which prices were unavailable


Harper’s Bazaar

Total: $241,598.87*

Average: $3,716.90 per gift

Most Expensive: Nam Cho Earrings, $157,000

Cheapest: Dominique Ansel Bakery Lychee-Coconut Pavlovas, $6

Most Ridiculous: “Poetry by Derek Lam” Wine, $210


*not including one item for which price was unavailable



Total: $205,100.00*

Average: $2,412.96 per gift

Most Expensive: Vinsja Jewels Diamond and Platinum Necklace, price upon request

Cheapest: Rocket Tea Infuser, $7

Most Ridiculous: 24-Karat Gold-Plated Xbox 360, $4,995


*not including seven items for which prices were unavailable




Total: $86,486.00

Average: $6,652.77 per gift

Most Expensive: Audemars Piguet Watch, $29,400

Cheapest: Iomoi Personalized Stationary, $78 for a set of 20

Most Ridiculous: The fact the most expensive item on W market editor Karla Martinez de Salas’s gift guide is one for herself (“With a watch like this, I would never be late — I swear!”)




Total: $94,139

Average: $333.83 per gift

Most Expensive: Hermès Men’s Steel Watch with Alligator Strap, $7,500

Cheapest: Mustache Pens, $3

Most Ridiculous: KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Crystals, from $1799


New York
New York

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