INfrequently Asked Questions: T-shirt collector keeps on buying

  • Paul Platt, T-shirt collector

    Paul Platt, T-shirt collector Courtesy of Paul Platt

  • This is one of Paul Platt's favorite T-shirts.

    This is one of Paul Platt's favorite T-shirts. Courtesy of Paul Platt

  • Paul Platt, 43, of Arlington Heights, says keeping up with the T-shirt laundry is a challenge.

    Paul Platt, 43, of Arlington Heights, says keeping up with the T-shirt laundry is a challenge. Courtesy of Paul Platt

  • These are more of Paul Platt's favority T-shirts.

    These are more of Paul Platt's favority T-shirts. Courtesy of Paul Platt

Updated 11/10/2015 11:11 AM

Paul Platt

Age: 43


Town: Arlington Heights

Why him? Platt, who works for an event planning company and does hotel reservations for major city events, has amassed a collection of more than 600 T-shirts that he stores in a spare bedroom known as the T-shirt room.

Q: How did your T-shirt collection start?

A: "It started with the TV show 'Chuck.' He kept on calling his brother-in-law Captain Awesome. So one day I just Googled Captain Awesome T-shirts and that's where I found there were websites that just make T-shirts based off TV shows and those sort of things.

"Then I subscribed to their newsletter and it just sort of cascaded from there into every site sending me stuff and me buying an average of about three or four T-shirts a week."

Q: What is the dress code at your job?

A: "I get to wear my T-shirts on Friday."

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Q: What's your favorite type of T-shirt?

A: "Most of my T-shirts are mash-ups where they take something from one genre and put them in another one. It would be between 'Star Wars' and 'Marvel.' Probably 'Star Wars' wins out."

Q: What is it about Ts?

A: "The first is if I find it interesting or amusing. But then I think, 'Is anybody else going to understand this T-shirt if I wear it out?' Some of them are obscure references of things, so I don't like when people come up to me and say, 'I don't understand your T-shirt.' The joke is never funny once you have to explain it."

Q: Where do you keep all your T-shirts?

A: "That is problematic at the moment. I have a two-bedroom apartment and I live alone. So the spare bedroom I refer to as the T-shirt room. It has milk crates with the T-shirts and there's a piece of paper over them that says what the genre is. Over the last few months, I've become lazy and so there's stacks and stacks on my dressers. And then down in the laundry room there are three hampers filled with T-shirts that I still have to do laundry on."

Q: What does it take to be a favorite?

A: "I have a rotation of 20 or so that are my favorites. It's usually the ones that get them most comments from other people."


Q: Where do you get most of your Ts?

A: "Most of my T-shirts are one-offs, where they have them for a 24-hour period and then they're not available again. So I also like being able to brag that it's a limited edition. Because I have issues that way."

Q: Are you going to keep collecting the Ts?

A: "Other people have suggested taking some to Goodwill I don't see me ever getting rid of them unless space becomes such a huge problem. Not that it's not a minor one already."

Q: Would you consider getting a bigger apartment to accommodate the collection?

A: "I don't think I'd go that far."

Q: Should we be concerned that in a few years we might see you on an episode of 'Hoarders?'

A: "Yeah. I would be very concerned that that may happen."

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