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During the summer, my appetite for television is rather small save for daily viewings of Love Island UK. But, one random night in July when I was all caught up with the happenings of my favorite reality show from across the pond, I had a hankering for something more. I scrolled through Hulu until I found my teenage small screen crush, Jeremy Allen White, staring me right in the face.
So I started watching The Bear. Hard sell, huh?
The Bear follows the journey of James Beard Award-winning chef Carmy as he takes over his family’s Chicago sandwich joint. As a viewer, it feels like you’re thrown into the kitchen at The Original Beef of Chicagoland yourself. The frenetic energy and tension as the kitchen crew figures out how to navigate their next chapter is only soothed by the slow, almost sensual shots of delectable dishes being created. Safe to say, this show satiates.
Like a dish we’d expect from Carmy himself, The Bear is plated to perfection. The perfect balance of stress-inducing scenes, cinematography that sometimes adds more tension and sometimes offers emotional reprieve, character development, a really good soundtrack, raw, real-world issues, all accented by style that makes you look twice.
Whether you’re hungry to binge this show (which we highly recommend) or are already eagerly awaiting season 2, we’re paying homage to our new summer favorite with a guide of outfits inspired by Carmy and the gang.
This is where you say: yes, chef.
The Passion Project
Carmy may be the star of the show, but the character that has my heart is Marcus. While most of the kitchen crew finds fault with The Beef’s new direction, Marcus is inspired by it. His excitement about all things dessert and his eagerness to learn everything he can from his professionally-trained counterparts is as sweet to watch as the chocolate cake he puts out each day.
It wasn’t just his positivity in a sea of not-positivity that struck me, but his hats. In every episode, Marcus dons a cuffed beanie of some sort. How does he wear a knit hat everyday in a hot kitchen? And why? I don’t know, but I loved his signature look, and it’s an easy one to pull inspiration from.
If you’re looking to channel your inner Marcus, all you have to do is put on your thinking...beanie. Neff beanies are my go-to. They’re affordable, comfortable, can be worn folded or unfolded, and come in a wide array of colors, including maroon and teal just like the dessert king himself wears.
We’ve already talked quite a bit about Carmy, but what we haven’t mentioned yet is his t-shirt game. It seems that finding Carmy’s basic white t-shirts has become the talk of menswear circles everywhere, including reddit. Lucky for us all, with the help of The Bear’s costume designers and a deep-dive on menswear reddit, the Strategist did the grunt work and found the exact tees for us.
Carmy’s collection of plain white tees oozes old-school Americana: well-crafted, simple essentials that are built to endure. In the pilot he rocks a Merz B. Schwanen Loopwheeled T-Shirt ($55.80). Made in Germany, this t-shirt is crafted the old-fashioned way with loopwheeled cotton, a material that’s made using a slow, but thoughtful process. The result? A durable t-shirt that retains its shape and therefore lasts longer in your wardrobe. Another confirmed piece is the Whitesville Japanese-Made T-Shirts ($90, 2-pack).
Carmy’s kitchen-ready fit would not be complete without an apron. Hedley & Bennett’s Essential Apron in Jack Navy Denim ($95) looks and feels most true-to-form with its durable denim construction, and the addition of smart details like the adjustable strap, pockets, and towel loop.
I’m The Sous
Ah, Sydney. Even in some of her worst moments, you can’t help but root for this young woman as she tries to make a name for herself at The Beef. She’s smart, confident, and beyond talented in the kitchen, albeit impatient. One of my favorite quiet moments was watching Sydney get ready for work in the morning, getting glimpses of who she is outside of the confines of a commercial kitchen. Her style is practical and unfussy, the perfect subdued backdrop to let her culinary talents shine.
While simple, I really enjoy how all of Sydney’s looks showcase her personality. When I went back through the season, I was caught by the pops of color on her multiple headscarves and her ever-changing asymmetrical earscapes. Without a sous, no kitchen is complete, just like no outfit is incomplete without the help of some great accessories.
So, no matter where you work or what you love to wear, I think we could all take a cue from Sydney and up our accessory game. For curating an earlobe that feels totally you, my go-to is Studs. The brand has dangles, hoops, huggies, chains, studs, and more in unique designs that are made to mix and match – and the prices start at just $18, which is great if you like to switch up your earrings frequently. If you’re feeling uninspired, the brand also offers earscape sets with pieces curated to look great together.
Stone and Strand pieces are a bit more of a splurge, but it’s another great destination if you’re looking for fine jewelry options that will last. The site has a variety of simple pieces like minimalist huggies as well as more funky ones like colorful drop earrings and dinosaur-shaped studs.
And of course to top it all off, a silk scarf. Bien Abyé is a brand inspired by designer Dayanne Danier’s creole roots with a collection of hand-rolled, beautifully designed scarves.This Gelato Paisley Scarf ($110) immediately stood out to me as one I’d see on Sydney herself.
You Don’t Even Work Here
Neil doesn’t even technically work at The Beef, but he still makes it to the table at every family meal, and his desire to be a part of it all is nothing short of endearing. Because he’s in the kitchen not as an employee, but a…well, we’re not really sure what he is, he gets a little more funky with his fits. Trucker hats, vintage t-shirts that tell some sort of story, and durable overshirts are his usual uniform.
To make a Neil fit of our own, we’re starting at the top with this Topo Designs Corduroy Trucker ($32). Next up, a unique graphic t-shirt. This Chicago Bulls tee ($39) from Urban Outfitters has a vintage-inspired feel and pays homage to the city where this all takes place. Top it all off with a flannel like this one from Everlane ($90) and you’re good to go.
As I eagerly await season two of The Bear I guess I’ll be shopping, eating, and dreaming of the mouthwatering recipes in the show’s honor. Who’s with me?