Jeremy Allen White as Carmy Berzatto in his signature white T-shirt on FX’s The Bear. Photograph: Matt Dinerstein/FX Networks
Why has The Bear, a US series ostensibly about a restaurateur in Chicago, become the most talked about menswear show on TV?
The answer boils down to one item of clothing: a white T-shirt. In almost every scene its chef protagonist Carmy Berzatto, played by Jeremy Allen White, can be seen striding through the kitchen, temples bulging, sweat reaching sizzle point, in a perfect white T-shirt that makes him look like the James Dean of the kitchen pass.
The T-shirt comes from Merz b. Schwanen, a German brand who started making their signature white shirts after the brand’s current owners discovered their company still owned an old loopwheel factory from the 1920s, with the original loopwheel cotton cylinders. They got the factory working again, making shirts in a similar way to how they would have been made 100 years ago – knitted as a continuous loop of material. The only difference now? They cost just under $100.