A minor subplot on the hit FX series The Bear is that Jeremy Allen White’s Carmine “Carmy” Berzatto is obsessed with vintage denim. A high-octane chef by night, a covert jeans fanatic by day, Carmy keeps stacks of mid-century selvedge Levi’s folded up in the oven of his home kitchen. He’s fluent in collectors’ lingo, and deep enough in the denim scene that he manages to trade a 1955 Levi’s Type III trucker jacket (blanket-lined, pleated) for a cooler full of meat he needs for dinner service in season 1. “The chefs I’ve come across and met are some of the most stylish people in a way that’s so effortless,” Courtney Wheeler, the show’s costume designer, told GQ last year. “It’s no surprise Carmy is as well given his background.”
The Bear beefed up its sartorial credentials in season 2, from sous chef Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) wearing Thom Browne-designed chef whites to a young Carmy dreaming of worsted wool trousers. But behind the scenes, White—who dressed himself for his own GQ shoot last summer—is a high-caliber laid-back dresser, well-versed in the baseball-cap-and-camp-shirt uniform ubiquitous in his usual stomping grounds of North Brooklyn. Last week, he even took his casual rodeo on the road while running errands in Los Angeles, where he was seen shopping at fancy-ish local grocer Gelson’s Market while wearing a washed-out, just-slightly-buttoned linen summer shirt, a khaki Yankees cap, and a pair of slouchy faded jeans, which he cuffed a couple of times over his white Air Force 1s.
White’s ability to make every outfit of his look perfectly lived-in is a big reason why Carmy’s plain white T-shirts became the breakout style star of The Bear’s first season. (Costume designer Cristina Spiridakis, who outfitted the show’s pilot episode, confirmed to GQ that Carmy’s chef tees were a mix of Supreme x Hanes, Merz b. Schwanen, and Whitesville.) And even if the actor doesn’t quite share his character’s devotion to pristine vintage denim, it’s clear he still knows a good pair of jeans when he sees one.