Mister Freedom® “ADVISOR” Jacket, 2×1 Army Denim & Tiger Stripe Twill, mfsc SS2021 “FROGSVILLE”. Made in Japan.

 

 

Mister Freedom® ADVISOR Jacket, 2×1 “Army” denim & Gold Tiger Stripe camo.
SS2021 mfsc FROGSVILLE collection.
Made in Japan.

For the “Advisor” moniker background, please refer to the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) briefly mentioned on this blog in 2014, while introducing the Mister Freedom® “Okinawa” Californians.

In a nutshell, “Advisors” were US military-trained personnel sent to strategic foreign shores, in order to train, support, supervise and fund local military forces and indigenous groups that had (or could be convinced of having) the United States’ best interests at heart.
Most US advisors trained at Fort Bragg’s “US Army Special Warfare School” and some of the elite was sent to Southeast Asia as early as 1950, initially to assist the French with their Indochina colonial empire situation and the post-WW2 “red scare”. France packed-up in 1954 following the Dien Bien Phu defeat, Viet-Nam was split in two between friendlies (South) and commies (North), and the US opted to take a bigger bite of that soup sandwich. Involvement rapidly grew and by 1963, some 16,000 American Advisors were “in country”. A year later, sparked by the controversial “Gulf of Tonkin incident“, the conflict was officially on…
For US Advisors, language barrier and cultural differences with their Vietnamese allies and counterparts greatly complicated operations in the field, and efforts to train the ARVN often proved frustrating and unsuccessful
The last US troops withdrew from Vietnam in 1975… There it is.

My favorite reads at the time of our 2015 “Saigon Cowboy” venture were the captivating “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam” (Neil Sheehan, 1988) – forget the TV drama and opt for the book instead- , and of course the must-read classic “Dispatches” (Michael Herr, 1977). Since I’m in the middle of reading it, some of the 875 pages of “About Face” written by one of America’s most decorated veterans, Colonel David H. Hackworth, offer a perspective of US Advisors realty in the field one might find interesting.

The vintage militaria collector knows to refer to “Uniforms & Equipement of U.S. Military Advisors in Vietnam: 1957-1972” regarding history and gear. Period photography show US Advisors in Vietnam wearing all kinds of cammies and gear, Beo-Gam (leopard), WW2 Duck Hunter, spray-painted “Tiger” Stripes, …, US commercial and local-made custom patterns.

As always, we were not going for a replica, so the design of the MF® “ADVISOR” is not about regulation field uniforms or authentic US Gov-issued period gear. Instead, we played around with the concept of a fictitious in-country tailor-made jacket that a US Advisor could have strut on R&R in Hong Kong, Thailand, or worn around the NCO Club while sipping a cold Bamiba, that fine local beer affectionally referred-to as “tiger p*ss” by ground forces and apparently brewed with formaldehyde according to several veteran accounts…

The pattern of the MF® ADVISOR Jacket was actually adapted from an unidentified vintage local-made mid-60s civvy jacket cut from a late 60s US Army ERDL poncho liner, maybe commissioned at the time from a Saigon Tu Do Street tailor or other SE Asia local-made options?

The inspiration behind Mister Freedom® “ADVISOR” Jacket, MF® vintage archives ©2021

We tweaked the pattern, details and fit to our liking, and opted for two distinct fabrics.

First fabric is a sixties-inspired “Gold Tiger Stripe” twill we secured from Buzz Rickson’s, the famed vintage US mil-specs Japanese experts. This fabric was previously featured on our 2015 “Saigon CowboyBoard Shorts. I believe this specific tiger pattern is referred to as TSP (Tadpole Sparse Pattern), although the whole camo classification and evolution tends to be quite confusing. The correct answer is inside Richard Denis Johnson’s “Tiger Patterns” (ISBN 0-7643-0756-8), for those interested in solving that mystery.

Second fabric option is a lightweight 10 Oz. 2×1 selvedge denim, a replica of 1940s US Army dungarees fabric, again developed by our friend Buzz.

We added two concealed iPhone/sunglasses pockets on the zip placket, cut from a contrast “signal yellow/emergency orange” twill. We figured we’d spice-up the tiger stripe edition with inside “rainbow” chainstitching, for an extra Liberty/shore leave vibe.

All the above historical ramblings aside, our denim ADVISOR will look to most like a rather classic 60s windbreaker type jacket, and the tiger version more of a head-turning hybrid, vintage Saigon Cowboy style meets modern streetwear.
They are both easy to wear and versatile, and should blend-in nicely with any classically-curated wardrobe.

The MF® ADVISOR Jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:

PATTERN: Original MFSC pattern, inspired by a 1960s zipper jacket, and the US military tradition of local-made custom garments.

FABRIC:
Two distinct fabric options:
a) Buzz Rickson’s “Gold Tiger Stripe” printed cotton twill, 60s-inspired TSP pattern, milled in Japan.
b) “Army” 2×1 selvedge indigo denim twill, 10 Oz., white with blue line selvedge ID, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Classic 1960s windbreaker stand collar zip jacket style.
* Raglan sleeve pattern.
* Unlined, all clean seams (no overlock.)
* 50s/60s-style “Universal” brass metal zipper with cotton tape, bell-shaped pull.
* Selvedge front panel facing for the denim version, and OD tape seams for the tiger stripe.
* Chainstitch construction, 100% cotton thread, OD color for the denim version, tonal/rainbow inside combo for the tiger stripe.
* Rear panel elastic waistband cinch.
* Two concealed chest pockets cut from vintage NOS “emergency orange/signal yellow” cotton twill, for iPhone or sunglasses.
* Classic USN-style “fouled anchor” CPO plastic buttons on cuffs/collar.
* Original mfsc “FROGSVILLE” woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
Both models of the MF® ADVISOR Jacket come unwashed and are cut so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an initial cold soak/line dry. We recommend this usual protocol before wear:

  • Turn garment inside-out. Cold soak for about 30-40mn with occasional hand agitation.
  • Washing machine spin dry.
  • Line dry. (No heat dryer)

I opted for a 38 (Medium) for a comfortable fit (5.7’’ / approx. 150 lbs).

Compare measurements with an unlined jacket of similar style you own and that fits you well to dial-in the size that will work best for you, according to your silhouette preference and layering habits.

CARE:
Launder when needed.
We recommend turning the jacket inside-out to avoid potential marbling of the fabric. Wash denim model separately from light-colored garments.
Machine wash with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

Available RAW/unwashed.
Sizes:
Small (36)
Medium (38)
Large (40)
X-Large (42)
XX-Large (44)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support, be safe, stay sane, stay cool.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2021

 

Mister Freedom® “FROGMAN” Jacket, navy blue HBT, mfsc SS2021 “FROGSVILLE”. Made in Japan.

“The Frogmen” (1951) Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Mister Freedom® “FROGMAN” Jacket, 100% cotton navy blue HBT.
SS2021 mfsc “FROGSVILLE”.
Made in Japan.

The pattern of our “FROGMAN” was inspired by a garment the US Army adopted in 1940, the short-lived P41 blue denim utility jacket. The iconic dungaree jacket/trousers utility set was quickly replaced by an updated pattern issued a more versatile olive drab HBT (herringbone twill), which could be worn both for chores and in the field. Surviving blue denim 1940-1941 specimen are quite sought-after today. Many went to outfit POWs.
I remember sporting an old authentic P41 denim jacket in the mid 2000’s, with P W stenciled on the arms, not sure I would today. PW markings have since become quite a “fashion decoration” for some Heritage style brands.
The name “FROGMAN” is a reference to the 1951 film “The Frogmen“, depicting exploits of Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) during WW2 in the Pacific. Throughout the movie, some of the elite combat divers on board can be spotted sporting USMC-stenciled P41 jackets (OD HBT models), including the new CO (Richard Widmark).
This film has sometimes been mentioned as a source of career inspiration by some real-life US Navy SEALs.

Not much brain activity was required from the MF® Design Dept on this op, full credits going to Uncle Sam’s Quartermaster Corps. Starting with a vintage P41 denim jacket from our archives, we just added two chest pockets (one outside and one concealed for your smartphone), and adjusted the fit to our liking. This is a no-nonsense, streamlined, utilitarian chore jacket pattern.

 In regards to our choice of fabric, one may remember the Saigon Cowboy 2015 Utility Jacket, for which our design approach had been to use 2×1 denim with a 1940’s US Army jacket pattern (PDQ 45) initially-issued in olive drab HBT.
For the FROGMAN jacket, we flipped things around again, we beaucoup dinky dau like that, and went with HBT for a pattern initially-issued in denim. Confused yet?

Instead of the classic OD color associated with WW2 USMC or US Army fatigues, we opted for a non-military navy blue HBT, following our “didn’t exist but could have” usual approach.

This dry 100% cotton HBT fabric is sulfur-dyed, a process quite in-vogue these days as it boasts low colorfastness resulting in quickly-fading garments. With a bit of normal wear and routine washes, the FROGMAN Jacket should get you that desirable ol’ salt look, without ever leaving port! Please note that the fast-fading quality of this HBT does not alter the fabric sturdiness, as “vintage” factory distressing (chemical or abrasion) does.

The keen eye will also notice we played with the HBT fabric grain again (as we did on the Swabbies, one of my favorite pair of dungarees!), featuring horizontal warp on all the patch pockets, contrasting with the traditional vertical warp of the body. This subtle detail, in time, should lead to interesting puckering and patina contrasts.

The MF® FROGMAN jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN: Original MFSC pattern, inspired by 1940’s US Army denim dungaree jackets.
FABRIC: Sturdy and crispy 100% cotton HBT (herringbone twill), vintage mil-specs, navy blue color, sulfur-dyed. Milled in Japan.
DETAILS:
* Vintage military utilitarian vibe.
* Two hip patch pockets with buttoned flaps.
* Single outside chest patch pocket, inside smart phone chest pocket.
* Curved pocket flaps with matching pocket fold.
* M-1941 style black-painted 13-star tack buttons.
* 100% cotton thread high-count stitching, black color.
* Original mfsc “FROGSVILLE” woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The FROGMAN Jacket in navy blue HBT comes unwashed and is cut so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an initial cold soak/line dry. We recommend this usual protocol before wear:

  • Turn garment inside-out. Cold soak for about 30-40mn with occasional hand agitation.
  • Washing machine spin dry.
  • Line dry. (No heat dryer)

The relative stiffness of the fabric following this process is normal and expected, and is due to the starch added during milling stage.  This temporary “crispiness” of the 100% cotton HBT will subside rapidly with normal wear.

I opted for a 36 (Small) for a still comfortable fit (5.7’’ / approx. 150 lbs). The 38 (Medium) felt too roomy for the silhouette I was going for. You may want to consider sizing down with the FROGMAN Jacket

See both 36 and 38 fit photos and refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Compare them with an unlined jacket of similar style you own and that fits you well to dial-in the size that will work best for you, according to your silhouette preference and layering habits.

CARE:
Launder when needed.
We recommend turning the jacket inside-out to avoid potential marbling of the fabric. Wash separately from light-colored garments.
Machine wash with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
DISCLAIMER: This sulfur-dyed HBT fabric has an intentional low colorfastness and will ‘age’ and look ‘worn-in’ rapidly with normal wear/machine wash routine.

Available RAW/unwashed.
Sizes:
Small (36)
Medium (38)
Large (40)
X-Large (42)
XX-Large (44)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support, be safe, stay sane, stay cool.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2021

Mister Freedom® STANLEY & SKIVVY Tees, Limited “SUNSHINE” Edition, Made & naturally sun-bleached in California, USA.

 

STANLEY Tees “Sunshine” Edition

 

SKIVVY Tees “Sunshine” Edition

 

Mister Freedom® RANCH KERCHIEF, western novelty print, selvedge cotton. New SS2021 colors! Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® “SNIPES” Shirt, OD cotton poplin, mfsc SS2021 “FROGSVILLE”. Made in Japan.