‘The Bear’ Examines What Restaurants—And Men—Really Are About
Yes, of course. The Bear is a television series about a chef and the often terrible experience of working in kitchens. But after watching all eight episodes, most viewers have reached the same conclusion: Jeremy Allen White’s portrayal of Carmine “Carmy” Berzatto, the show’s protagonist, looks fantastic. The “hottest show of the summer” is this one. Carmy is really hot. The “new boyfriend of the internet” is Allen White. The show’s covert sexiness is appreciated (even by New Yorker cartoonists). This sex appeal may be attributed to Carmy’s many tattoos, always unruly hair, and impeccable sense of style. My assumption that The Bear, which seems to be a culinary show, is actually the next excellent menswear event was verified by some research on that front.
An Unexpected Turn?
Carmy’s intense interest in clothing is made very clear in the show’s pilot. He raids his collection of antique selvedge denim when he runs out of steak and is short on cash before the restaurant opens. He enters his flat quickly and begins to open the kitchen cupboards and closets, showing a collection of old denim jackets and pants. His supply of denim goods must be stuffed into the oven since he has so much denim. Then, about Levi’s brief but adored American-made denim line, he ends up arguing with his beef man over Big E selvedge denim. Suddenly, we’re given a history lesson on menswear: the lack of rivets on the jeans resulted from the restricted usage of copper during World War II.
Only the addition of a 1955 pleated Levi’s Type III trucker jacket closes the deal and provides Carmy with the necessary meat. He asks his sister to deliver the coat when he calls her. In the way that only a real menswear fanatic could, he welcomes her by staring down at the jacket and saying, “You didn’t put it in a bag or anything?” as their brother recently passed away.
Carmy paints a picture of someone preoccupied with apparel, even with his essential selections. He dresses in a carefully selected uniform of black Dickies and white T-shirts. His t-shirts are from Whitesville and Supreme’s Hanes collaboration as well as the obscure German brand Merz b. Schwanen. When someone decides to wear a Merz b. Schwanen t-shirt, it’s usually after trying on hundreds of different white t-shirts in pursuit of the ideal one. The company was established in 1911 and relaunched in 2011 after its new owners learned that the company’s old facility in Germany, which still housed the original loopwheel equipment, was idle. Carmy’s internal narrative, if we could hear it, may sound a lot like Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, which is about a “cool hunter” who is fascinated with fashion.
On the other hand, the Supreme x Hanes collection seems like a deadpan joke that could only be made by someone who understood the hieroglyphics of menswear. Carmy would obviously need to wear anything from Supreme, the official clothing line of sexy fuccbois worldwide, if he is the archetypal “awful yet insanely hot [guy], every large city has to offer,” as Mel claims.
Not exactly on purpose, this. According to Courtney Wheeler, who worked on The Bear’s costumes for episodes two through eight, “the chefs I’ve seen and met are some of the most gorgeous people in a way that seems so natural. “Given his upbringing, it’s no wonder Carmy is as well.” A generous serving of menswear pâté is served on crostini, which acts as the kitchen’s backdrop.
The costume designer for The Bear’s pilot, Cristina Spiridakis, expressed it thus way in an email: “A white shirt, black Dickies, and Birks is a typical appearance among cooks. It was never the objective to be stylish per se. A person who values quality and classics, durable goods that aren’t fussy or fashionable, and things made with regard for the object itself are Carmy. The words “classics,” “items that last,” and “clothing impervious to trends” seem to have been lifted verbatim from posters on StyleForum (or the pages of this magazine).
Naturally, aficionados of menswear have developed a particular fixation with the program. It became a joint mission to find those wonderfully clean white T-shirts. The shirts were identified as Velva Sheen by Jake Woolf, a GQ contributor. He manages a well-liked menswear TikTok account. “From the makers of the show: Velva Sheen and the Men’s Brando shirts, with the excellent white Hanes,” James Harris of the Throwing Fits podcast posted on Reddit. This investigative effort was the foundation for a piece on The Strategist about Carmy’s shirts. Carmy did wear Supreme x Hanes, according to Spiridakis, but he never did use Velva Sheen. Instead, according to Spiridakis, he wore Whitesville t-shirts produced in Japan and the 215 t-shirts by Merz b. Schwanen.
And although while Carmy gets the most of the style attention in The Bear, he’s not the only one who takes menswear seriously. Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who plays violent “cousin” Richie, admitted that he shared a similar interest in what his character would wear in an interview with the menswear magazine Blackbird Spyplane. He agreed with the costume designers that Richie’s black Members Only jacket would take a lifetime to get, as well as his fabulously swishy track trousers and high-top Adidas. The shoulders are still relatively rigid, and it’s at least 20 years old, according to Moss-Bachrach. Crates might be balanced on them. Richie appears to be wearing restaurant clothing that Pete Davidson would approve of.
Spiridakis expressed her “pleasant surprise” at The Bear’s growing popularity. In fact, the most significant influences on men’s design are frequently found in unexpected shows. Such shows perfectly capture the real-life characteristics of the men they desire to dress like. Mannequins are not the most critical menswear icons in entertainment. Their attire has a function. Everyone in SoHo has a different outfit for their favourite spy, New Jersey gangster, melancholy adman, destructive gambler, or even ’90s comic.
Carmy’s path to success in menswear follows a similar model. It just so happens that we all want to appear hot like a chef this summer. We’ll have to wait and see how far The Bear’s influence over menswear can take us. Its influence may be seen in unexpectedly modern innovations in the menswear sector without going very far. At this point, it scarcely seems coincidental that Aimé Leon Dore just sold out of an apron currently reselling on Grailed like a hyped-up shoe.