The Bear: Carmy’s White T-Shirts and Checkered Jacket

Jeremy Allen White as Carmy Berzatto on The Bear


Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, award-winning chef-turned-sandwich shop owner

Chicago, Spring 2022 and 2023

Series: The Bear, Seasons 1-2
Creator: Christopher Storer
Costume Design: Courtney Wheeler; Cristina Spiridakis (pilot episode only)

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


The Bear is not a cooking show, it’s a family drama set against a restaurant backdrop,” wrote Chef Daniel Patterson for Esquire. “It’s dark and disturbing. It asks questions, most compellingly about how we can break generational patterns and heal trauma through transformation. It wonders, as I do, if that is even possible in an environment as challenging as a restaurant. The show evades easy answers, even as the Internet rushes to supply them.”

After an excellent Emmy-nominated first season that debuted in 2022 and could have stood on its own as a complete story, the acclaimed Hulu series returned this summer with a superb second season. Like the best contemporary TV dramas (e.g., Breaking BadMad MenThe SopranosThe Wire), The Bear balances its poignancy with extremely funny moments, deriving comedy from both chaos and quieter moments. Ultimately, it centers around the importance of belonging and—whether our protagonist has time to discuss it or not—of purpose.

The stress-inducing first season follows Carmy Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a celebrated chef de cuisine who returns to the Windy City to run his family’s scrappy sandwich shop, The Original Berf Beef of Chicagoland, after his brother’s suicide. “I’m trying to do something here,” Carmy insists to his sister Natalie (Abby Elliott), though the restaurant’s stubborn crew—including his streetwise “cousin” Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), who relies on either Xanax or his Glock to keep his cool—that worked for his more lax brother is initially unwilling to bend to his style, at least until he hires the ambitious sous-chef Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri).

In my opinion, the chain-smoking Carmy is one of the best characters on TV, though I could say the same of Richie, Syd, the good-nature Marcus (Lionel Boyce), or really any of The Bear‘s ensemble. “People took one look at his fitted T-shirts, motley tattoos, and greasy hair, and swiftly cast him as a textbook no-goodnik; the kind of emotionally unavailable jerk that your parents—and therapist—urged you not to try to ‘fix’,” Marley Marius writes for Vogue. For all his faults, Carmy indeed wants to be a good person, and much of The Bear‘s best moments derive from his sincere attempts to repair relationships in his life.

The series’ title derives from the first syllable of Carmy’s last name, as “Bear” is a shared nickname among the Berzatto siblings and the name he has long wanted for a restaurant of his own. After the first season unites the kitchen crew of The Beef into something resembling harmony, the second season throws this team into another “frying pan of adversity” (per Rotten Tomatoes) as they rush to open Carmy and Sydney’s shared vision for The Bear, including advanced trainings for all of its staff, flashbacks to traumatizing holidays, and long-overdue apologies and reassurances.

What’d He Wear?

Readers interested in finding where to buy clothes like Carmy’s can click here to skip ahead to a “Shop the Look” section at the bottom of this page, researched specifically to help you find the exact fits worn by The Bear’s executive chef.

“[Carmy’s] rarely seen not wearing a white shirt and black pants—a classic combo, sure, but also a meticulous one consisting of a perfect (yet niche) tee and just the right fit of pants for a character that is obsessive and habitual and appreciates craftsmanship and history,” writes Trishna Rikhy for Esquire at the start of her excellent interview with series costume designer Courtney Wheeler. (Cristina Spiridakis had been the costume designer for the pilot, when Wheeler was assistant costume designer. Beginning with the second episode, Wheeler was elevated to primary costume designer.)

The amount of Esquire and GQ articles I’m citing should be some indication of the degree to which The Bear is more of a style-driven show than its characters’ attire would suggest. While Carmy et al wear neither the slick mid-century menswear seen in Mad Men or the evocative knitwear and bold prints of The SopranosThe Bear serves a slice of reality where clothes don’t need to be flashy to be effective—where a chef wears a $90 T-shirt not because he’s the lead character on a TV show, but because he knows it’s what’s suitably comfortable for him while sweating BOH in Carhartt work pants and Birkenstock clogs.

“Jeremy walked into the fitting and it’s literally just white T-shirts and black work pants and Birkenstocks,” Wheeler recalled in her interview with Rikhy. “He looks at us, like, ‘This is what I’m doing?’ We said, yeah, this is what you’re doing, and he said, ‘Okay, great.'”

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

The T-Shirts

Carmy’s deceptively simple white short-sleeved T-shirts were the subject of much web speculation after The Bear debuted as fans investigated everything from sleeve to seam to try to identify who made them. Costume designers Cristina Spiridakis and Courtney Wheeler have confirmed that—after testing a range of brands ahead of the pilot—the screen-worn T-shirts were primarily the Merz b. Schwanen 215, though the first season also features similarly styled short-sleeved white T-shirts from the Supreme x Hanes collab and the Japanese company Whitesville. (Radhika Menon reports for Vulture that Wheeler also purchased Hinoya “Sugar Cane” shirts as backup, though I don’t believe any of these made it to the screen.)

Jeremy Allen White and Eben Moss-Bachrach on The Bear

The “cousins” illustrate two different kinds of T-shirts: heritage loopwheeled organic cotton shirts from Germany vs. mass-produced cotton/poly blends with your company’s logo screen-printed on the breast and back.

Merz b. Schwanen is a historic German brand dating back to 1911, though the modern iteration relaunched in 2011, three years after the original company ended operations. The Berlin-based company specializes in loopwheeled garments informed by classic workwear and produced using almost exclusively 100% organic cotton from Greece. Although he cycles through the Supreme x Hanes and Whitesville shirts throughout the first season, the Merz is the canonical Carmy white tee.

“Wearing Merz b. Schwanen tees is the type of choice someone makes after cycling through dozens of other white tees in search of the absolute perfect one,” concludes Cam Wolf for GQ.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Note the loopwheeled cotton’s distinctive weave.

Carmy specifically wears the “Classic Fit” model 215, from Merz b. Schwanen’s “Good Originals” collection, made of 8.6-oz. loopwheeled cotton prone to showing a “calendar crease” due to the two-thread fabric process. The shirt can be differentiated on screen by its narrow ribbed crew-neck, triangular armpit inserts for comfort, and the rectangular outline of the Merz b. Schwanen label centered just below the back of the neck-line—manufactured on 19th century jacquard looms from hand-made punch cards, these woven labels are a brand signature.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Carmy keeps his hands free and clean of watches or rings (likely an asset when so involved in food prep), resulting in his sole piece of jewelry being a round gold curb-link chain necklace worn under his shirt.

The Apron

Especially if you’re the sort of chef who wears $90 white T-shirts, you’ll want to protect yourself with a high-quality kitchen apron. Not long after taking over The Beef in The Bear‘s first season, he issues the staff identical blue aprons—an established restaurant tradition said to originate at the Napa Valley restaurant French Laundry. The only holdout among The Beef’s BOH crew is the stubborn Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas), who takes pride in her novelty “Mrs. Always Right” apron… though not enough pride to keep it clean. “Don’t wipe your hands on your apron, chef,” Carmy advises Tina in the pilot episode, to which she responds only in confusion to the honorary title: “…Jeff?”

In their quest for authenticity, Spiridakis and Wheeler purchased a batch of French Laundry aprons that the restaurant had considered to be the “wrong” shade of blue. “They sold us ones that they considered imperfect, but they were beautiful,” Spiridakis explained to Radhika Menon for Vulture.

The French blue aprons have a chest bib and lower portion that extends down to the knees, with dark-blue straps around the neck and waist that tie together to close. According to Culinary Agents, the French Laundry aprons are a blend of 50% linen and 50% cotton made by kitchen-supply company Bragard.

Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Work Pants

Carmy values his vintage denim enough to keep it away from the splashes and sweat working BOH at the Original Beef, instead dressing regularly in black work pants—rotating between Carhartt WIP and Dickies, both classic brands more rooted in workwear than fashion.

Courtney Wheeler shared with Trishna Rikhy for Esquire that “for the second season, Jeremy and I streamlined him a little bit more. He truly only really wears the Merz white T-shirt, and he has a bunch of the Carhartts. Sometimes he’ll wear his Dickies, but we wanted him to be focused more.”

Through the second season, his black Carhartts have reverse-facing pleats, suggesting the Carhartt “Abbott Pant”, made from a mid-weight 8.8-oz. Denison twill composed of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. These trousers have single reverse-facing pleats aligned with the forwardmost belt loop on each side, as well as large squared patch pockets in the back; Carmy’s have evidently had the Carhartt label removed from the back-right pocket. The trousers feature triple-stitching and a tapered cut down the legs to the plain-hemmed bottoms.

Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri on The Bear

He holds up his trousers with heavy-duty black leather belts, cut with elongated notches and fastened through a silver-toned squared single-prong buckle.

The Shoes

Inspired by the footwear that Spiridakis and Wheeler observed in actual kitchens, Carmy and Syd each sport the functional Birkenstock Tokio Super Grip leather clogs—Carmy in black while Syd wears both white and black pairs.

“Designed as a workman clog, the Tokio sports the same cork footbed and leather upper as the Boston, but differs prominently and noticeably in a leather ankle backstrap that adorns the back of the shoe,” writes Paolo Sandoval for InsideHook. “There’s an additional rubber outsole—dubbed the super grip—that adds additional traction and durability for cranking out covers.”

The adjustable straps over the instep and around the heel each close through a black-finished metal single-prong buckle. Though the slip-on design and contoured cork/latex-blended footbed can allow for comfortable sockless wear, Carmy wisely wears black socks—both a hygienic and a functionally protective choice for his duties in the kitchen.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Ich bin ein rude boss.

As Carmy’s work shifts in the second season from food prep to construction and planning, he swaps out the Birkenstocks for white sneakers or black work boots, reserving the Birks only for when rehearsing his food prep movements for Richie’s timer in “Pop” (Episode 2.05).

Most clearly seen in “Beef” (Episode 2.01) and “Bolognese” (Episode 2.08), Carmy’s heavy-duty work boots have black leather uppers, derby-laced through four sets of eyelets and additional sets of brass-finished speed hooks.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

The Jacket

Carmy layers some color and visual individuality over his white tees and black work pants with the NN.07 “Gael 8267” waist-length jacket in a brushed blend of 74% wool and 26% polyester. “Inspired by the fit and fabrication of an old school stadium jacket,” the coat follows a relatively simple design with a straight-zip front from hem to neck, large shirt-style collar, and large patch-style pockets that cover the lower half of each side of the jacket, with a set-in hand pocket behind each. The sleeves are gently roped at the sleeveheads and plain at the cuffs, lacking any snaps, straps, or zips.

As of 2023, NN.07 offered the Gael 8267 in two checkered colorways: one in five shades of khaki (#715), and the “brown checkered” colorway (#726) that appeared on The Bear. The latter pattern consists of colliding color blocks in olive-green, rust-brown, and dark-blue.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Although the “NN” in NN.07 stands for “No Nationality” (and the fact that it was founded in 2007), the brand is based in Copenhagen—where we know Carmy worked in The Bear‘s universe, and thus likely picked up the jacket during his time there. We also get to spend some quality time in the Danish capital as Marcus learns to perfect his pastry skills alongside Carmy’s one-time rival Luca (Will Poulter) in “Honeydew” (Episode 2.04), an episode as comforting, rich, and fulfilling as a cherry donut, right down to its “Tezeta (Nostalgia)” needle-drop from famed Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke… but I digress.

Like his T-shirt, this raggedly rugged coat is deceptively expensive, though its $650 price tag wouldn’t have dissuaded Carmy, who keeps his personal wardrobe relatively limited as he chooses to invest in hard-wearing pieces that last. After the jacket debuts in “Hands” (Episode 1.02)—though much more prominently in “Brigade” (Episode 1.03)—we never see Carmy wearing any other outerwear throughout the series run. As a colorful change of pace from his white tees and black work pants, the distinctively checkered Gael 8267 coat gives Carmy a more head-turning visual identity when he leaves work—the one place he really feels he has a sense of identity.

Jeremy Allen White and Abby Elliott on The Bear

The Cap

Jeremy Allen White’s barely restrained locks are a signature characteristic of Carmy’s looks, though he briefly covers them when putting the “Anon” in Al-Anon for his first meeting in “Brigade” (Episode 1.03). Like the plain baseball caps in Succession (but certainly less expensive!), Carmy pulls on a fraying-and-faded teal-green twill six-panel baseball cap with a yellow adjustable back strap.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Out of Office

Outside of work, Carmy continues a subdued appearance—if somewhat more dressed up—with solid-colored sweaters that befit both seasons’ timeline of winter-to-spring in the Windy City. In the first season, this consisted only of a navy-blue wool crew-neck sweater worn to Al-Anon meetings in “Brigade” (Episode 1.03), “Review” (Episode 1.07), and “Braciole” (Episode 1.08)—it was in the latter episode when Jeremy Allen White delivered Carmy’s excellent opening monologue connecting the trauma of his brother’s suicide to the comfortingly creative routine of working in kitchens.

He eventually cycles through a trio of similarly colored dark-blue crew-neck sweaters: the aforementioned navy jumper in “Braciole” (Episode 1.08), another with cable-knit set-in sleeves in “Pasta” (Episode 2.02), and a plain-knit raglan-sleeved sweater in “Pop” (Episode 2.05).

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

As with his white tees, Carmy cycles through several similar dark blue crew-neck sweaters as seen in (from left to right) “Braciole” (Episode 1.08), “Pasta” (Episode 2.02), and “Pop” (Episode 2.05).

“Especially for this season, we’re kind of playing with the idea that he’s moving in now. So instead of the one blue sweater, you’ll see him in the gray one. Maybe he has another sweater. He’ll start playing with it more, just because he probably unpacked, but unless you see him in flashbacks, he’s pretty focused and established in what works for him,” costume designer Courtney Wheeler shared with Esquire, particularly in reference to interviewer Trishna Rikhy’s question about White’s much-Googled light-gray cable-knit cashmere J. Crew sweater seen in “Sundae” (Episode 2.03). To Wheeler’s point, he also wears a dark-green crew-neck sweater in “Bolognese” (Episode 2.08).

Originally, Carmy was planned to be a sneaker collector before this was changed to be denim for the pilot episode. Still, he finds occasion to wear all-white Nike Cortez Basic sneakers when not at work, as seen in “Brigade” (Episode 1.03), “Review” (Episode 1.07), and “Sundae” (Episode 2.03).

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

His gray cable-knit cashmere J. Crew sweater got plenty of attention across the Internet, but Carmy’s fellow Al-Anon attendee seems understandably interested in his clean white Nikes.

Despite his relatively limited day-to-day wardrobe, Carmy keeps an extensive collection of vintage denim—jackets and jeans—that come in handy when he needs to barter for meat in the pilot episode. “This is original, big E, red-line self-edge… from 1944. You can get $1,250 for that on eBay,” he explains to one vendor, sweetening the deal with “a 1955 blanket-lined Type III… pleated.”

In addition to the in-demand denim lining his closet, he stores the carefully folded overflow stock in his oven, as we see in “Pasta” (Episode 2.02) when he quickly runs to empty the oven when Sydney comes back to his apartment to brainstorm the chaos menu.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Carmy’s precariously stored stash of overflow vintage denim.

Carmy’s appreciation for classic denim occasionally sneaks out of his oven and into his actual wardrobe, particularly for the brief vignette of his preparing the titular dinner for his love interest Claire (Molly Gordon) in “Bolognese” (Episode 2.08). This scene also features the only instance of Carmy following Richie’s example of wearing a T-shirt from The Original Beef of Chicagoland—though not the misprinted “Original Berf of Chicagoland” collector’s item.

Courtney Wheeler explained to Rikhy that “I don’t think we see more than the waistband of them. Accounting will kill me—they know, they saw the receipt. It’s a pair of $2500 vintage 1950s Levi’s that were beautiful, they’re gorgeous, Jeremy was obsessed with them because they fit him perfectly. We didn’t have to do anything to alter them, they were just perfect.” In another interview with Mike DeStefano for Complex, Wheeler added that the jeans were sourced from Chicago vintage shop Knee Deep.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Earlier in that episode, we got the rare glimpse of the comfortable Carmy, spending a post-coital morning with Claire dressed down in a mid-blue cotton T-shirt with darker blue contrasting seams, white crew socks, and dark-blue microfiber polyester jogger pants.

Jeremy Allen White and Molly Gordon on The Bear

Sydney’s aforementioned visit to Carmy’s apartment in “Pasta” (Episode 2.02) also brings her attention to the elegant white twill chef’s coat from his days as a celebrated chef de cuisine, monogrammed “CB” on the gauntlet-style cuffs.”I wanna hate it, like I don’t get me wrong—I do,” she states, “but… looks sick. I bet it felt really good wearing it.”

The Bear

Her appreciation leads to Carmy purchasing Sydney her own custom-made Thom Browne chef’s coat to wear as The Bear’s chef de cuisine.

The coat ties together several Thom Browne-related strands of The Bear lore, beginning with Syd’s secondhand Thom Browne shirts at the start of the first season and continuing through Claire’s recollection of Carmy drawing “really short pants… like Dickies, but cuffed, and made with worsted wool” in their ninth-grade algebra class. Carmy completes the story by recalling that the pants had already existed at a “high level” thanks to a designer whom he eventually met when he started frequenting Carmy’s restaurant—that designer being Thom Browne.

You could argue that Carmy’s Palace x Polo Ralph Lauren rugby shirt and A.P.C. jeans during the Christmas flashback in “Fishes” (Episode 2.06) also qualify as an out-of-office look, but I’ll reserve that entire ensemble for a later post!

What to Imbibe

Water from a plastic takeout container. But keep some Fernet-Branca and Pepto-Bismol around. Indeed, the episode “Bolognese” (Episode 2.08) along seems to be quasi-sponsored by Walmart’s Pepto-inspired Equate Stomach Relief.

Jeremy Allen White on The Bear

Need to pass a fire suppression exam in order for your restaurant to open in less than two weeks? You got this, chef.

If you have the time and ingredients (cut-up fruit and Xanax), you can also take a stab at Carmy’s homemade Ecto Cooler recipe.

How to Get the Look

Jeremy Allen White as Carmy Berzatto on The Bear

“The chefs I’ve come across and met are some of the most stylish people in a way that’s so effortless,” The Bear costume designer Courtney Wheeler explained to Eileen Cartter for GQ. Indeed, Carmy’s plain white tee, black work pants, ragtag-looking jacket, and clogs all seem effortless… but are all time-tested, quality pieces that serve Carmy well whether he’s sweating over a hot beef sandwich BOH or ambling to an Al-Anon meeting in his color-blocked wool jacket.

  • Olive, rust, and slate abstract-checked brushed wool-blend waist-lenght zip-up jacket with shirt-style collar, large patch pockets, and set-in hand pockets
    • NN.07 Gael 8267
  • White loopwheeled 8.6-oz. organic cotton crew-neck short-sleeved T-shirt
    • Merz b. Schwanen model 215
  • Black poly/cotton twill single reverse-pleated work pants with belt loops, slanted side pockets, patch-style back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
    • Carhartt WIP Abbott Pant
  • Black heavy-duty leather belt with silver-toned squared single-prong buckle
  • Black leather clogs with cork-latex footbed and buckled straps over the instep and heel
    • Birkenstock Tokio Super Grip
  • Black socks
  • Gold curb-link chain necklace with lobster-claw closure
  • French blue linen/cotton bib apron with dark-blue neck and waist ties
    • Bragand

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the series, currently streaming on Hulu.

Corner! You can also read more about The Bear‘s costume design from these articles used to source this post:

  • Complex — “Meet the Woman Making ‘The Bear’ One of the Most Stylish Shows on Television” by Mike DeStefano
  • Esquire — “How The Bear Became High-Key Fashion Television” by Trishna Rikhy
  • Esquire — “The Story Behind Carmy’s Fantasy Pants on The Bear Season 2″ by Ben Boskovitch
  • GQ — “Actually, The Bear Is a Menswear Show” by Cam Wolf
  • GQ — “The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White Loves Good Denim Just as Much as Carmy” by Eileen Cartter
  • InsideHook — “Carmy’s Wool Jacket On FX’s “The Bear” Is the Real Star of the Show” by Paolo Sandoval
  • InsideHook — “What Shoes Are the Chefs of “The Bear” Wearing? We Found Out.” by Paolo Sandoval
  • The Strategist (New York) — “We (With Some Help From Menswear Reddit) Found Jeremy Allen White’s T-shirts From The Bear” by Liza Corsill
  • Vulture — “How The Bear Injected Personality Into the Standard Kitchen Uniform” by Radhika Menon

Also, if The Bear has taught me anything, it’s to be very patient with restaurant staff!

The Quote

I felt like I could speak through the food, like I could communicate through creativity. And that kind of confidence, you know, like I was finally… I was good at something, that was so new, and that was so exciting and I just wanted him to know that and, fuck, I just wanted him to be like, “Good job!” And the more he wouldn’t respond, and the more our relationship kinda strained, the deeper into this I went and the better I got. And the more people I cut out, the quieter my life got. And the routine of the kitchen was so consistent and exacting and busy and hard and alive, and I lost track of time and he died. And he left me his restaurant. And over the last couple months I-I’ve been trying to fix it cause it was in rough shape, and I think it’s very clear that me trying to fix the restaurant was me trying to fix whatever was happening with my brother. And I don’t know, maybe fix the whole family because that restaurant, it has and it does mean a lot to people. It means a lot to me. I just don’t know if it ever meant anything to him.

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