Actually ‘The Bear’ is a menswear show

The Bear — Pictured: Jeremy Allen White as Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FXCopyright 2022, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

This was not exactly deliberate. “The chefs I’ve come across and met are some of the most stylish people in a way that’s so effortless,” Courtney Wheeler, The bear‘s costume designer for episodes two through eight. “It’s not surprising that Carmy is as good given her background.” The kitchen background is simply the crostini, on which you can serve a heaping portion of men’s pâté.

Cristina Spiridakis, the costume designer for The bear‘s pilot, put it this way in an email: “It was never meant to be ‘stylish’ per se – a white t-shirt, black Dickies and Birks are a common look among chefs. Carmy is a person who appreciates quality and classics, items that last, that are not picky or trendy – things created with respect for the item itself.” Classics, things that last, clothes immune to trends: these phrases feel borrowed straight from StyleForum’s posters (or the pages of this magazine).

Naturally, the show has become something of an obsession among menswear fans. Identifying the perfectly crisp white T-shirts became a group project. Jake Woolf, a GQ contributor who runs a popular menswear TikTok account, stated tees like Velva Sheen. On Redditwrote James Harris of the Throwing Fits podcast: “From the creators of the show: ‘Velva Sheen and Brando shirts for men, plus the supreme white roosters’.” All this detective work became the basis of a story dedicated to Carmy’s shirt on The strategist. Spiridakis confirmed that Carmy wore Supreme x Hanes, but clarified that he never actually wore Velva Sheen. Spiridakis instead said he carried Merz f. Schwanen’s 215 tee and Japanese made Whitesville t-shirts.

And while Carmy soaks up most of the style spotlight, he’s not the only one who takes menswear seriously in The bear. Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who plays the aggro “cousin” Richie, said in an interview with the menswear newsletter Blackbird Spylane that he was similarly invested in what his character would wear. He and the costume designers were on the same page about Richie’s Adidas high-tops, wonderfully swishy sweatpants and Richie’s black Members Only jacket you could spend a lifetime saving up for. “​It’s at least 20 years old and the shoulders are still so stiff,” Moss-Bachrach said. “You could balance boxes on them.” Even the restaurant merch Richie wears looks like something Pete Davidson would stand.

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