Welcoming Back “The Bear,” a Show About Bootleg Tees

Spoiler alert: Carmy and company continue to cook with menswear gas in season two of FX's hit series

June 23, 2023 10:03 am
a photo of Cousin Richie from The Bear in a bootleg tee shirt
Is "The Bear" a show about clothes? Uh, duh.

Mise en place that Hulu login and break out the Skinny Pop, you starved, sick foodie freaks. The Bear is officially back. FX’s hit series, a glorious recipe of Chicago food porn and deep questions about the inherent slutiness of line cooks, returned to screens and IG edits everywhere yesterday (June 22), and already appears poised to repeat on its previous season’s James Beard-levels of success.

The 10-episode season promises a hell of a time: frenetic fine dining, bulky sex-god pâtissiers and mouth-watering cast that includes Jeremy Allen White and breakout star Ayo Edebiri, along with a host of new A-listers (Bob Odenkirk chief among them). And, like the first season, there’s a lot of menswear.

As you most likely remember from the first go-around, for a show ostensibly about the intricacies of a professional kitchen and the challenges of running a restaurant, there’s a fair bit of slick dressing going on in The Bear. Carmy’s sommelier-esque selection of r/MFA tees and Birkenstock Tokios sparked Twitter hubbub on par with the great “quiet luxury” debate and spawned numerous attempts to track down the multitude of baller clothing spotted when season one hit streaming last summer.

This time around, the standout garb isn’t a JAW special — Merz b. Schwanen is so last week’s menu — but rather, a “collector’s item” repped by drip god Cousin Richie (known jawns enthusiast Ebon Moss-Bachrach) that’s got us salivating for an official replica — although there are already a multitude of versions ready to be copped off Etsy before you can say “heard, Chef.”

a photo of Sydney from the bear dropping a stack of trays.
Fumbling trays, but never fits.

Spotted in the trailer (no spoilers here) Richie’s navy misspelled logo t-shirt is eerily similar to an Online Ceramics-era tee from one of the many “creative studios” printing irreverent Oasis bootlegs and heady graphics that you might spot downtown. And while we suspect King Richard does not know a pair of Levi’s from some A.P.C.s, the “BERF” shirt is nonetheless a tangible reflection of both the prowess of costume designer Courtney Wheeler, a known evangelist for the Bourdanian power that the food industry commands in the sartorial realm, and the fact that The Bear remains one of the best-dressed shows on TV.

The chef’s knife doesn’t stop with grail tees. Edebiri’s Sydney sports a pair of pristine Carhartt overalls — hot dungarees summer, anyone? — that put the “work” in “workwear”; Neil’s ratty getups rival Matty Matherson’s own GOATed levels of personal taste. There are taut black sweaters, button knits that look straight out of The Sopranos and the best-fitting collection of white tees you’ll ever see grace Hulu.

Even the writing talent behind The Bear is tapped into the sartorial scene — Christopher Storer and company are the newest faces of J.Crew (aka, cool clothes for guys 101) in a gutsy summer suiting campaign. Moss-Bachrach recently noted that director Storer frequently rocked a full suit while shooting season two. All of which to say, The Bear fucking bleeds menswear.

As you inevitably lose two-to-four days of your life binging season two, we implore you to remember three very important facts: chefs are the blueprint for every sick look out there, you can and should copy the masterclass of chef-forward fits The Bear provides and Chicago cuisine reigns supreme. Heard, Chef?

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