NEVERWORNS Conversations
Closet Psyche: The Shopping Newsletter Maven With a Lonely Pair of Lace Leggings

Closet Psyche: The Shopping Newsletter Maven With a Lonely Pair of Lace Leggings

Laura Reilly of Magasin tells me about a pair of Puppets and Puppets lace stirrup leggings that she has worn…once.
Laura Reilly of Magasin in her NEVERWORN leggings…well…once-worn!

I’ve long been fascinated by the shopping habits of

who runs Magasin, a newsletter that includes trend reports and first-person fashion reportage, sometimes through the gaze of a great mirror selfie. The newsletter also famously boasts a cornucopia of carefully chosen shoppings links for industry and non-industry people alike who love to shop, soak up discounts, and need to know whether or not an off-brand suede satchel can hold up to The Row’s. Laura loves to shop— including for new things, that is!—which is foreign to me. We both agreed that we are opposites in this case. I have some mental block that makes it difficult for me to justify purchasing anything new. I’m a vintage/secondhand rat and in the past two months, I’ve really only bought a leather jacket. One day, I’ll dig into my own psychology behind this. But enough of me: Laura is my hot guinea pig on Closet Psyche today. So for the woman who is famous for shopping, what item has gone south in her closet?

We did this interview in the back of a hulking town car wafting of leather, en route to the Burberry show on a warm London night, swaddled in our trench coats with the unmistakable check lining of the British house. Chic backseat gab, right? Super ‘90s-era Vogue, don’t you think? Uh huh, not so much. I was recovering from a disgusting flu, and if it is possible to soar so high you can touch Jesus while tripping on DayQuil, then I certainly was. I think…I still am? 

On the audio component, we go a bit deeper into industry gifting, which is standard, and shopping for situations.

On that note, happy listening and happy reading! 

Name: Laura Reilly 

Profession: Founder of the rabidly followed shopping newsletter, Magasin.  

NEVERWORNS item: A pair of Puppets and Puppets black lace leggings “with an underwear built in as kind of a pantsless moment.” The leggings connect in between the toes with thong stirrups, which Laura notes, “is comfortable.” The leggings, especially in white, remind me of the lace curtains that are in every single apartment block in the post-Soviet Union. And that wasn’t a dig…I do love those curtains.

When did you buy them? April 2023.I did a post on my newsletter about finding the ROI [Return on Investment] of all my purchases for that year and that had zero wears over however many dollars I spent on it, so it was awful ROI; the worst ROI.” 

Where did you buy them? “I got them from a Depop girlie.” Fun fact: The leggings were NWT [New With Tags], meaning Reilly bought one of the highest forms of someone else’s neverworns. 

Reilly wearing the leggings in the wild...once!

Why did you buy them? Laura was slowly but actively looking for the leggings after seeing Puppets and Puppets designer Carly Mark step out at the end of her show in a pair. “She always wears them coming out for her little clap-bow situation. She looks amazing,” says Laura, adding. “I was like, okay, ‘maybe I could or, or would have fun with these in my closet.’” Typically, the pantsless stirrup leggings are around $500 but Laura managed to find them from the Depop girlie for around $200. 

Ok, that’s nice but when is the last time you wore them? Laura wore them to the last Puppets and Puppets show this past February. Keep in mind: She had them for several months before she wore them.

What emotional state were you in when you bought them? I can’t say that I detected some tidal “emotional state” that was present when Laura bought the piece. She had seen the pantsless lace leggings, wanted them, and then searched for them for several months. What I did notice about Laura was that she created scenarios in her head where she could wear the leggings before she even received them. “I was like, ‘I’m going to wear these.’ As if I go out in a situation where I would wear that, which is not the case. I was like, oh, ‘I’m going to wear these to a fabulous fashion party at Chapel Bar.’ When in reality I go to these kinds of things and I’m wearing just the most clothes possible. I’m not trying to be sexy but in my mind I’m like ‘This would be so fun and flirty for a Flash Photo.’” Note: The definition of a Flash Photo is anywhere where there will be a form of press release photos. Usually in New York or Los Angeles. Bless this city.

Why ultimately don’t you think you’ve worn them? “I think they’re just so specific. It never felt like the right audience to wear them, but then if they’re Puppets and Puppets and you’re going to the Puppets and Puppets show, that is the built-in audience for the tight. It was like a celebration of the brand, but it’s weird to not have a situation to celebrate the brand, independent of the brand.” Also, Laura notes that the leggings are made to be shown off, which is hard to do because she is often wearing pieces over them. (See the first photo.)

There’s a self-medicating moment that we need to touch on. Laura mentions that she has a habit of hacking the tags off of pieces to force herself to wear them. “I took the tags off [of the Puppets and Puppets leggings] when I was leaving the house to make sure I was actually going to wear them. I’ve done this before where I’ll have tags on something that I could have returned, but then I take the tag off when I’m trying it on and I’m like, ‘I don’t actually like this.’” 

The Diagnosis

1. Laura mentions that she saw Carly Mark wearing the thick lace pantsless pants at her Puppets and Puppets show. Interest piqued, she searched for the pantsless wonders and found them on Depop. She ended up buying the leggings that retail for about $500 for less than $200. On the surface, this is an obvious case of Sale Hypnosis

But, of course, this pantsless leggings buy goes deeper than a minor case of Sale Hypnosis. At first, there doesn’t seem to be a riveting emotional component that influenced Laura: No breakups; no life epiphanies; no vacancy that needs to be filled by way of retail therapy. Instead, Laura mentioned that she actually sat on buying the leggings for a few months until she found them low enough on Depop. Sounds thoughtful, right? Taking time to think and search rather than rushing to rabidly plop an item of interest in the shopping bag may come across as a very intentional purchase. Though in Laura’s case, it’s a form of a Logic Box Buy, which is when we use mental gymnastics to justify a purchase. Examples of using Logic Box Buy thinking can include dreaming of all the potential places where we’ll wear the item or all the various ways of how we’ll wear the item. 

I consider Laura to be a methodical shopper, which is her power, but in the case of the P&P leggings, it is her downfall. The long marination period of searching for a discounted pair gave her ample time to convince herself of the item’s potential; basting in all the different delicious situations that she could wear the knit leggings, even though she admitted that she doesn’t really wear pieces like this and they are made for hyper specific situations in her world, whether that is a Puppets and Puppets show or a Flash Photo. 

A thinking shopping girl, Laura meticulously weighs the pros and cons. Hell, she put all of them in a spreadsheet for us to see! Our friend Max the Carrot Man is a similar type of shopper who does Sale Hypnosis-induced math to justify holding onto pieces. This is why the duo got along so well. Both Laura and Max utilize mental gymnastics that go against their gut, which is our most honest form of decision-making. 

2. As mentioned, Laura slices tags off of new pieces to force herself to wear them, which is a form of self-medicating. This concept is a good idea in theory, but in Laura’s case it is not helpful and instead, she is left with an item that will be sitting in her wardrobe, unworn, whether or not it is tagless. Let’s call this Cutting Tags To Force Wear. The habit to create intention (cutting tags off) is negated by another habit (simply never wearing the piece) so the whole process over time eventually loses its purpose. This reminds me of when we use a Post-It to mark a long term goal and put it onto our desk or mirror. The words wane in poignancy because we see it everyday and eventually, the Post-It—and the goal—blends into the mundane scenery.

The Prescription 

When it comes to methodical shoppers like Laura (and Max!), I suggest going back to our primal instincts; our gut. Thinking too much, whether about numbers and sales and situations, is going to cloud any sort of meaningful decision-making. The key is to pay attention to when Logic Box Buy thoughts start to trickle in as we are debating a purchase. This is a fabulous time for us to realize that we aren’t thinking with our gut but rather deploying a round of mental gymnastics to convince ourselves to press “buy”. 

As I’ve mentioned, Laura is a methodical shopper more than an emotional shopper, so I suggest she actually take less time and apply no friction when deciding whether or not to go forward with her next few purchases. There will be no “sleeping on it” or “walking away”. She should go with her gut and decide in that very moment if a cashmere-blend coat or a leather loafer is going home with her.

Instituting a time limit is a good tactic to apply here, which means purchasing something—or not—within one to three minutes of wanting to buy it. This time limit will help her make quicker decisions and not give her the room to dream up an item’s potential. There might be some mistakes made, but that’s fine.

Also, stop cutting off the tags! Do a dose of Happily Ever After Shopping, which is when you shop like you’re going to marry whatever you are buying. Can you live with it? Forever? Are you going to hold onto it tight? Will you save it from a fire? Bringing something home not completely sure if you’ll wear it is like getting married while simultaneously gearing up for a divorce. And with a divorce, there comes annoying paperwork, which in the shopping world translates to listing the neverworn item to sell (photographs, descriptions), packaging it to return it, and then schlepping to the post office. No one wants to do it, and the money in the end usually isn’t worth it. (Remember the whole Max debacle about time wasted being more valuable than money spent?) Besides, the issue starts with buying in the first place and not after. Right now, the DayQuil I’ve chugged isn’t getting rid of my flu, it’s just burying my symptoms and making them more bearable. Laura cutting off tags from her neverworns is her sartorial DayQuil. 

I’m going to follow up with Laura in the next few weeks and see how she’s been doing. Laura, you still there?

Stay tuned for a new episode of NEVERWORNS coming soon…!

NEVERWORNS Conversations
Talking about nothing and yet everything.