Mister Freedom® GYMSTAR Sweatpants, all-cotton yarn-dyed fleeced jersey.
FW2021 mfsc PODIUM collection.
Made in Japan.
The Mister Freedom® GYMSTAR Sweatpants are inspired by a pair of 1991 US Army-issued PFU (Physical Fitness Uniform) sweatpants, with a design origin in 1951 courtesy of the mighty Champion®.
As an improvement over bygone “Utes & Boots” PT outfits (un-bloused utility trousers, regulation undershirt and combat boots), by October 1991, all US Army active duty soldiers were required to own a regulation set of PFU grey T-shirt/trunks/sweatshirt/sweatpants.
Issued to new recruits in basic training or as a mandatory purchase via PX for active duty personnel, heather grey was the latest makeover of US Army physical training gear. The 1990s PFU ensemble underwent several modifications until it started getting phased-out in 2014, officially ending in 2017, to be replaced by the IPFU (Improved Physical Fitness Uniform). Hard to keep-up with military “fashion” sometimes…
Most of us civvies, especially those haunting vintage clothing stores rather than malls, are familiar with the undershirt part of the 1990s PFU: the common silver heather grey T-shirt silkscreened in black ARMY lettering in front. The PFU sweat bottoms, although not uncommon in the used market, are somewhat scarce these days.
Two characteristic features are the reverse-weave leg construction, and the four-point star-shaped crotch rib gusset.
The PFU contract may have been scored by Champion® at the time (need conf on that), although the iconic brand had by then off-shored most production, contrary to US Department of Defense policy to favor domestic manufacturing since the 1941 Berry Amendment, an effort to promote made-in-USA as the provenance of choice for US military uniforms.
On a side note, the iconic Champion® brand, American maker of traditional athletic apparel and today both a sportswear and hip streetwear staple – the ultimate revival success story – was once a small privately-owned company founded in 1919 by the Feinbloom Brothers. Abraham and William Feinbloom were two American football fanatics from Rochester, NY, and had an educated opinion on how to better equip sport amateurs and pros. Both Champion® and competitor Russel Athletic® pioneered in the inception and introduction of the classic cotton sweatsuit (aka warm-up suit) in American athletics during the 1930s.
In 1938, Champion® devised a clever way of cutting circular jersey knit fleece in a cross-grain manner. This technique limited vertical shrinkage and guaranteed long-lasting fits of their products. The company managed to get a patent granted from the US Patent Office on their ‘Reverse Weave’ technology in 1952 for both sweatshirt and sweatpants.
Champion® has been engulfed since 1989 in the Sara Lee Corporation, a conglomerate specializing in frozen food, and apparently keen and skilled at diversifying!
For our Mister Freedom® GYMSTAR, we played around with an original 1991 US Army PFU sweatpants pattern and fit. We adopted the expansion “action gusset”, cross-grain wrap leg (displaying horizontal wales), elastic cinch bottoms and draw-string elastic waist, and tweaked it all to our liking. Our gusset is cut from the same fancy all-cotton 1×5 needle-out ribbing featured on our MEDALIST, and is ideal for French Can-Can training.
For practicality, we wanted pockets, so we drew-up an original simple pattern using flat lock stitch construction, and flanked the GYMSTAR with a smartphone-size side pocket and a rear patch pocket.
The fabric of our GYMSTAR is old-school sweatshirt material to keep it simple, and technically a single-knit fabric with a flat texture jersey on the face (outside) backed with French Terry reverse with loops mechanically shredded/brushed into a soft fleece pile (inside). More specifically, a yarn-dyed heather grey heavy weight 12 Oz. 100% cotton tubular fleeced jersey knit. Same fabric as our heather grey MEDALIST.
The MF® GYMSTAR Sweatpants, in all-cotton tubular fleeced jersey knit, is designed by Mister Freedom® in California, USA, and produced in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
Heavy weight 12 Oz. 100% cotton tubular fleeced jersey knit, yarn-dyed Heather Grey, soft brushed pile back for warmth and absorbency. Milled in Japan.
* Inspired by vintage US Army PFU sweatpants and other vintage athletic garments.
* Cut from tubular knit fleeced jersey.
* Cross-grain wrap leg displaying horizontal jersey wales.
* Expanding “Action gusset” on inside leg seam/seat/crotch, with double layer of all-cotton 1×5 needle-out ribbing.
* Elastic cinch bottoms.
* Elastic waist with cotton draw-string cinch.
* Original construction patch pockets, one smartphone-size side pocket and one back pocket.
* Flat lock stitch construction.
* Four-needle flat lock stitching construction.
* Original mfsc “PODIUM” rayon woven label.
* Made in Japan
The MF® GYMSTAR Sweatpants come raw (un-rinsed) and we recommend this protocol before wearing, so that the garment shrinks to tagged size:
* Full machine wash, cold water, delicate cycle, no detergent necessary.
* Use a tumble dryer on low heat until fully-dry.
These are not Lulu Lemon leggings. The cut and length are quite generous, and the size that will work for you will depend on your desired silhouette and intended use. I opted for a size SMALL, with ample room to move around and an old-school fit. I am approx 5’7 /145 lbs.
Low maintenance garment. Launder when needed.
Machine wash, normal cycle, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Tumble dry on low heat.
Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
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