Redbook Magazine and My Brief Status as a Fashion Icon

by Katy on June 26, 2013 · 28 comments

Katy Wolk-Stanley, Fashion Icon

Like money savings ideas? How about interviews with me? Well then, you’re in luck, as the current Redbook Magazine features an interview with me about the buy-nothing-new Compact and how it saves me money. Titled The Money Habit That Saves You $1,378 Every Year, the article is written by the wonderful Sandy Fernández. (Who is now my official biographer, as I think this was third interview I’ve done with her!) the article profiles three different women who have taken on unique challenges that led to big savings.

I try and get hard copies of all my interviews, so I stopped at Walgreen’s on my way back from dropping off my son and a friend at the arcade. This was in the midst of painting stripes on my son’s wall, so I was dressed in my special painting outfit which is smeared with the paint from a thousand different projects. It’s also weirdly baggy and stretched out. (Take a good long at the above image for reference. Sexy, no?)

So the clerk looked at the magazine and said “Redbook, huh?”

To which I replied “Yes, I’m in the magazine.”

And she proceeded to ask in all honesty “For fashion?”

For fashion?! For fashion!

On my very best day, I could be described as an “okay dresser,” but no one has ever used the words “fashionable” and “Katy Wolk-Stanley” in the same sentence!

I about died laughing. Right there in the Walgreen’s in front of strangers and all the Kardashian-krusted tabloid magazines. I took a step backwards so the clerk could properly assess my fashionability and understand why I was about wetting my pants with mirth.

Me? Featured in a fashion magazine!

I drove home and immediately relayed the story to my seventeen-year-old son, to which he replied in a deadpan voice:

“Mom, I’ve seen homeless people dressed better than you.”

Someone should interview that kid some day. His refreshing frankness is just what this country needs.

Click HERE to read my Redbook interview, which is about saving money, not fashion.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan June 26, 2013 at 10:20 am

Oh snap! Love this. Hey, here in Shelton, you would blend right in.


Maureen June 26, 2013 at 10:30 am



Linda M June 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

Congrats on being in Redbook! Hope several people are motivated by the article.
Also, if you want brutal honesty….ask a very small child Or a Teen!
Too funny! Frankly, I think you were dressed “to the nines” for painting….is there any other way!


Diane C June 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

Loved the articles, this one and the Redbook one. I do think you deserved to have a Redbook-style photo shoot, though. A non-consumer makeover? Oh, yes please. (Not that you NEED one, you are WORTHY of one!)


Katy June 26, 2013 at 11:11 am

I agree. *Love* makeovers, whether it’s a lamp, a room or a person!



Susan Graunke June 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

Dear Katy,
Laughed a good solid five minutes over this. I am forwarding this to everyone I know. I love you & your blog!


Katy June 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Thank you so much!



cathy June 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I liked the article. I’m always fascinated by people who shop a lot, like the one woman interviewed who said she used to go to the mall 2x/week. I have to get motivated to even go to the thrift store.

I am curious about one thing. You’re quoted as saying you estimate you save $10k/year by participating in The Compact. I find it hard sometimes to estimate my savings–especially if I buy something I don’t *really* need because it was an awesome deal in the thrift store or on Craigslist. How do you go about estimating your savings?


Katy June 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Reporters always want to know how much we save per year, and that’s my standard answer. It’s not just from buying used, but also from all the other frugal stuff we do, such as:

Not going on expensive vacations.
Not replacing our older cars. (1997 and 2005)
Not buying cute new clothing.
Rarely eating dinner out/take out.
Rarely, if ever hiring out our home maintenance jobs.

etc, etc, etc.



cathy June 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Thanks. The way the article read, it sounded like it was a $10k savings just on stuff you buy–as opposed to the things you don’t buy (like new cars, expensive vacays, etc.). That makes more sense. I especially like the part about not hiring out home maintenance jobs. Though I can do some stuff, my husband is the real expert. Over the years he’s saved us THOUSANDS on home maintenance, installations, etc. I’ve always said it was way better to have married someone handy than to have married a doctor…!


cathy June 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Oops! Accidentally clicked twice.


Lori from Michigan June 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

“Kardashian krusted” magazines – perfect description.


Katy June 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Needless to say, I am NOT a fan.



Barb @ 1SentenceDiary June 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Tears in my eyes from laughter. That is all.


Katy June 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I seriously looked like I woke up in a pile of garbage.



AnnW June 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Well, you Do live in Portland. I heard it was pretty laid back there. Are scrubs your best look? Ann


marie June 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Gotta love the honesty of teenagers. My son is 27 now, and when he was 15-16, he could make me laugh like no one else could. So, enjoy him, Katy


Elle June 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

What a fab story! Congrats on the Redbook piece, and on your newfound fashion-icon status.


Chris June 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Congrats on the Redbook article and spreading the good concept! By the way, I keep a size 22+ shirt in the closet for just such occasions – painting, messy yard work, major cleaning, even hair dyeing ( I work). Not too fashionable, but least it saves my more presentable clothes!


Elaine in Ark June 28, 2013 at 7:18 am

Ooo, what a good idea for using my new bigshirt, on which the color ran. I need a new painting shirt anyway.


Practical Parsimony June 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Congratulations on the RedBook article. I have a painting outfit. I wore it for a week to a civic center where I was holding a children’s craft camp. I did wash it every other day. Your son is so funny. Kids can certainly put things in a hilarious way.


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares June 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Hilarious! I got an item in a fashion magazine once, which I also found pretty funny. It was a used plastic flatware tray, of all things.


Alan Locklear June 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Redbook is a –fashion — magazine. When I was a kid in the 50’s Redbook was a homemakers’ magazine (new Jello recipes and how to sew children’s school clothes). When did it become a fashion magazine?


Elaine in Ark June 28, 2013 at 7:21 am

I stopped reading it years ago when it had a trashy-but-not-quite-porn fiction story every month.


Kristin June 27, 2013 at 4:42 am

Great article! When I clicked over to it, an offer to enter a contest for a “Fashion shopping spree” popped up! No joke.


Katy June 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

I am not cool with the pop-ups. I don’t know where they’re coming from, and I am certainly not profiting from them.

Grr . . .



Lorraine June 27, 2013 at 5:59 am

Your son’s comment was priceless… And your comment Kardashian Krusted tabloids was also priceless. I just don’t get it with them (and so many other celebrities) – but them in particular. Isn’t their claim to fame only because their dad was a famous attorney? I just don’t get it… But that’s ok. Congrats on the article…


Katy June 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

Some day sociologists will research these important questions. 😉



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