Who Pays for The Gorgeous Dresses on ‘The Bachelor?’


ABC/John Fleenor Bachelorettes lined up in their gorgeous gowns.

Many fans assume that all of the beautiful designer dresses worn on “The Bachelor” are provided by the show. Those fans would be mistaken. Contestants are required to pay for their own dresses, according to Vox. Since they want to stand out when they exit the limo, most contestants spend a fortune on their first-impression gowns.

According to Vox, producers tell contestants to bring at least 10 weeks’ worth of outfits with them, in case they end up being on the show for the duration. However, if they go home night one, they wasted a lot of money, not to mention all of the time they spent picking out their show-stoppers.

That is exactly what happened to Daria Rose, who appeared on Clayton Echard’s season of “The Bachelor” (season 26). She spent over $2200 on the designer dresses she brought with her to the mansion. But Echard sent her packing on the first night. Since she went home on night one, she never got to show off her beautiful dresses on TV. So, she modeled them in a viral TikTok video instead (WATCH below). At the end of the video, the Yale Law student quips, “if anyone needs to borrow a dress, let me know.”

Looking Stunning on “The Bachelor” Can Cost a Fortune

When Jillian Harris was on season 13 of “The Bachelor” (prior to her own stint as Bachelorette) she spent a great deal of money on dresses as well. On her blog, Harris recalls, “I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing.” She then professes, “The funny thing is, [the Bachelors] don’t give a sh*t!!! I bet you they don’t even notice a difference.”

Not only do the contestants have to bring a lot of dresses, they also have to prepare for various seasonal scenarios. They do not know if they are going to be whisked off to the snowy mountains or the white sandy beaches. So, they need to choose a variety of outfits that are ready for any occasion, Seventeen magazine reports.

Contestants also have to make sure their clothes are camera friendly. Former Bachelor Sean Lowe explained in his book, “For The Right Reasons” that “stripes, small checkered patterns, big patterns, and solid white” are all no-nos.

How Do the Contestant Afford These Dresses?

Some contestants actually go into serious debt from funding their “Bachelor” wardrobe, according to Vox. Others borrow from friends and family.

Another increasingly common strategy is to borrow the dress from the label, promising to wear it on national TV, or at least highlight it on social media. Established “Bachelor” blogger and spoiler king, Reality Steve told Vox, “There are some women who already work in the fashion industry and go to shops and say, ‘Hey, lend me a dress, I’ll wear it on the show, and once it airs, I’ll put it on my Instagram [and say] where I got it from. I don’t think they get paid to actually wear it, but the company lends it to them for advertisement on the show.”

While this may seem like a win-win approach, the problem is it can put contestants in breach of their non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The contract they sign does not let them tell anyone they are going to be on the show. Season 22 contestant Chelsea Roy was able to work around this issue. She told Vox “I was able to reach out to a couple of people, local people, and say, ‘I would like to support your store in exchange for some exposure in the next few months. Just trust me. A lot of my dresses were borrowed; they weren’t given to me. It’s a trust thing that you have to build while also remaining secretive.”

The stars of the show, the Bachelor or Bachelorette themselves, do not have to worry about providing their own wardrobe, explains Seventeen magazine. They are assigned a personal stylist who helps them with their fashion choices, as well as their hair and makeup. In fact, the budgets for the stars can be astronomical.

According to Seventeen, “Emily Maynard, who starred on The Bachelorette’s eighth season and The Bachelor’s 15th season, was allotted $350,000 by ABC to spend on clothes for the show when she was the bachelorette.” Maynard’s was the biggest wardrobe budget ever provided at that time.

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