How The Bear Revolutionised the ‘Plain White Tee’ - thanks to a loop-wheel masterpiece from Merz b. Schwanen

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Throughout popular culture history, there are a select few sartorial pieces which have earned such gravitas through an actor’s performance, that they become synonymous with the film, show, album, artwork etc. that they are represented in. We are talking here in the realms of James Dean’s red Harrington Jacket in Rebel Without a Cause, Bruce Springsteen’s Levi’s 501 jeans on the cover of Born in the U.S.A, or Steve McQueen’s cut-off sweatshirt in The Great Escape. But in recent years, the pinning of a particular garment to a revolutionary piece of art has become more rare; that is, until the grippingly raw drama of FX’s The Bear.

Just when we thought the icon that is the ‘plain white t-shirt’ couldn’t rise any higher, along comes a show which breathes new life into it, but in a surprising way. But why are we all so envious of this particular wardrobe staple, modelled by the world’s new found heartthrob, Jeremy Allen White? Well, the reasons are numerous, but why don’t we start with a little bit about the show itself?

Having moved away from home to both escape family strife, and to pursue a successful career as a fine-dining chef, White’s Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto character is forced to return to his hometown of Chicago to rescue a family business which has fallen into ruins after the death of his older brother. His reappearance in the city sees the talented young chef pour blood, sweat, and tears into pulling the restaurant back from the financial brink, to transform it into one of the country’s most popular spots. That really isn’t to say though that this is a show about cooking, but more about people, and the relationships which ricochet between them. The gang of loyal employees at ‘The Bear’ restaurant all have a special relationship with one another, with most of the character’s arcs boasting a coming-of-age sensitivity. White’s character seems to be the glue which holds this group of reprobates together, but there is one stand-out theme which shines like a beacon throughout the show; and that is Carmy’s perfect white tee.

Of course, we would be foolish not to point out that Carm is in pretty good shape (to put it modestly), but the trick here is really in the consistent simplicity. His well-fitted tee is never crisp and white, instead, it serves as a symbol of his graft, and the complete focus which is put into his task, often to his own personal detriment. The remnants of his trade are strewn across the tee, in streaks of oil, and sauce, his attention never faltering. But perhaps it is exactly the lack of trying to be cool, which makes it effortlessly so?

Now, we can’t promise that donning a new tee before entering your kitchen will make you a better chef, but we can advise that your ‘plain white tee’ game can be monumentally improved with a little help from your friends at Son of a Stag. That is, of course, because we happen to know that the very same tee that Carmy rocks in the series is produced by our favourite German loop-wheel manufacturers; the good people at Merz b. Schwanen.

Photograph by Mr Chuck Hodes/FX Networks. All rights reserved

We’ve stocked this brand’s 215 tee for many years now, and while it has become a go-to basic for those in the know, it seems that the bubble has now burst on its brilliance. Cut from a traditionally woven, 8.6 ounce cotton, this comfortable mid-weight tee boasts a standard silhouette, and focuses much more on the fit that the frills. The brand have allowed for shrinkage, by leaving the hem 2cms longer, and have even designed underarm gussets for added freedom of movement when on the go.

The brand insists on using only vintage loop-wheel knitting machines in the manufacturing of this model, a method which produces a quality and feel which far out-strips the world of fast fashion production, while an organic cotton boasts a springy hand which is designed to fit you better with every wear.

We are fully stocked up on this icon of the modern age, but don’t rest on your laurels, because these beauties sell out as quickly as seats in Carmy’s new restaurant. Don’t be left without a reservation!