plaint-shirt.com is a fashion blog for guys that don’t like fashion blogs. We talk to the man behind it, Jace Lumley, a twenty-three-year former college basketball player from a small town in Pennsylvania about keeping it real.
Milk Made: So what were you doing before you set up Plain T-shirt?
JL: I was transferring between several universities, enjoying the life of a collegiate basketball player and studying photography.
MM: So you were chosen by Tumblr to attend NYFW - what are the benefits?
JL: Ok so being one of tumbler’s chosen bloggers is actually amazing because it means that I get access to most of the shows. I get access to Tumblrs headquarters I get to meet some extremely creative young people that work in the headquarters but mainly it just means very, very good and fun exposure at the end of the day.
MM:Yeah but how will that benefit you in real life? Does it pay the rent?
JL: Well my blog definitely doesn’t pay my bills, I studied photography in school and only just graduated in May. This is a good opportunity to showcase my work, because of the exposure online and the shows are a very good network situation. I met an editor of GQ earlier who talked about maybe hiring me for some freelance stuff so that’s how I’m looking to monetize this.
MM: So you’re not just some bored rich kid?
JL: No that’s the problem, I don’t come from that type of family so for me this is a very big leap, like I said I quit my bus-boy jobs so I can come here.
MM: And you get to go to parties and hang out with Victoria’s Secret models?
JL: No, I haven’t hung with any models, which actually kind of sucks!!
MM: Does it mean you get free sunglasses and clothes?
JL: No it doesn’t mean that either, actually there are companies that offer me that stuff but it doesn’t fit the groove of what I do so. I mean a lot of bloggers get sent free clothes but I think that you have to choose who you work with wisely.
MM: Yet on Sunday night you were still working from our office at 9pm
JL: I was editing pictures. I care, I have to do that as a photographer. At the end of the day I am a photographer, at least I think I am a photographer. Yesterday I probably uploaded three, three hundred and twenty five images.
MM: And how many of those did you use?
JL: On the blog I’ll use maybe ten to fifteen. There are a lot of good pics from the shows, to me its like a constantly updated portfolio that potential employers will be looking at.
MM: Can you explain Plain T-shirt’s aesthetic?
JL: I wanted it to express a down to earth lifestyle. I’m from a small town where fashion is not necessarily relevant. And I felt like the internet was a good place to explain fashion to people outside the big cities. I don’t really focus on brands. As long as you’re confident in what you’re wearing, then go for it. For some people, that’s a Rick Owens skirt. For others, it’s their old varsity jacket. For me, it was just a plain t-shirt. The people just happen to be people I find interesting, it’s all just a good excuse to talk to interesting people.
MM: So who where those interesting people?
JL: I had a talk with Aaron Levine who is designing at Club Monaco clubmonaco.com and man was he a down to earth guy. I know a lovely couple in PA that style and creatively direct and they have a gorgeous house. The best part is that both the couple and Aaron talked a little about fashion related things and more about life in general. It’s people like that, who are doing well in the industry and living interesting lives but are very welcoming and pleasant to meet that inspire me to keep creating.
MM: Whose work are you most excited about right now?
JL: I’ve been a Billy Reid fan for the longest time. I remember listening to his interview on J. Crew’s website jcrew.com/billy-reid a while ago and kind of identifying that real life tone I look for the site. The clothes have a classic aesthetic combined with amazing fits .
MM: Is there anything that’s exciting you in fashion right now
JL: Whatever trend is going to pay my rent and a sandwich from the deli on my corner.
MM: And is there anything you’re hating?
JL: The part where I’m still unemployed.
MM: What’s made Plain T-shirt such a success?
JL: Man, that’s a question I might have to leave up to the people who follow me. It’s funny to reflect back on when I started and the followers that have been there since day one. They’re all just real cool people. It’s all about your tone. You want to relate and let people know that I’m taking small steps and meeting great people, but it’s possible for everyone else to do the same. You just have to love what you do and immerse yourself in it.
Jace Lumley: plaint-shirt.com