CL Marine Nationale, Indian Ocean (1986)
“Blouson de Quart”, indigo jungle cloth issue
Fall 2016 mfsc Anniversary Collection
Moving along with our Fall 2016 Anniversary Collection, marking ten years of collaborations with our friends at Sugar Cane Co (Toyo Enterprises).
Here is a popular classic pattern we have been playing with for years: the USN Deck Jacket, aka N-1.
Our version is not a period replica, those being abundantly available today from various brands, but rather our twist on several vintage Government-issued foul weather jackets. Freely mix-matching models and types from the US Navy and Marine Nationale (French Navy) of the 1940’s through 1960’s, we released the first iteration in 2008, the original Type N-1H deck jacket of our 2008 “Naval Clothing Tailor” early mfsc adventures. The Type N-1H never existed as a USN-issued garment, but after mixing deck jacket models for our original design, we simply added the “H” of hook to “N-1” for the name.
A Troy blanket-lined version followed for Fall 2010, the Type N-1H “Troy” issue. Vintage Navy deck coats were so popular at the time that J.Crew even picked up some of ours to spice-up their menswear catalog.
In 2014, the “Sea Hunt” collection featured yet another twist on the pattern, the Blouson de Quart, in mil-specs khaki jungle cloth. (The original blog post features some old French Navy photos that inspired this version.)
Original MF® mfsc Type N1-H Deck Jacket (2008 issue)
Original MF® mfsc Type N1-H “Troy” Deck Jacket (2010 issue)
Original MF® mfsc Blouson de Quart (2014 issue)
For Fall 2016, we thought of a new deck jacket hybrid model, a modified indigo-dyed N1-H/Blouson de Quart . If we had made use of indigo jungle cloth in the past (N-1Z Deck Pants), we really wanted a darker shade of indigo for this Anniversary event. We made a special request to the textile experts at Sugar Cane Co and, as always, they delivered.
At the prototype stage, we found the color mix of that deep indigo blue and the chocolate brown alpaca so attractive that we went full alpaca lining, body and collar.
Made from high quality (period mil-specs) fabrics, our deck jacket is solid and quite warm, as they were originally intended to be, to keep sailors protected from the cold and damp marine air while on deck duty.
Please note that more recent R&D has concluded that layering is a key requisite to shield from the cold. Modern military-issued field gear typifies this evolution, and bulky garments are now obsolete and have been replaced by lighter hi-tech clothing worn in layers.
The mfsc “Blouson de Quart” in indigo jungle cloth is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
NOTE: For production, both MF® and “MFSC NAVAL CLOTHING TAILOR” woven labels are sewn separately, not overlapping. Above photos are of an early show sample.
* Shell: Tight weave 14 Oz. “Jungle Cloth”, 100% cotton grosgrain, period mil-specs, dark indigo blue, milled and indigo-dyed in small batches in Japan.
* Lining: Warm, non-itchy, soft-touch wool pile alpaca full lining, chocolate brown color, vintage mil-specs.
* Freely inspired by 1940’s-1960’s vintage US Navy and French Marine Nationale foul weather-type deck jackets issued to enlisted personnel.
* Double front closure featuring both a 1950’s-type TALON zipper, and a wind flap secured by 1940’s-type clip hooks.
* Full lining, vintage USN-style chocolate brown wool pile alpaca.
* Alpaca stand collar, chin strap.
* Concealed chill-protectant wool knit cuffs.
* Synch adjustment string.
* MF® teardrop hand-warmer pockets, lined with golden brown cotton corduroy.
* Tonal poly-cotton thread stitching.
* Limited Ten Year Anniversary Edition.
* No outside military markings.
* Made in Japan.
We had these jackets professionally rinsed. NOT distressed, but gently rinsed and tumble-dried.
Our indigo jungle cloth Blouson de Quart is pre-shrunk, and true to size. I wear a comfortable 38 in this coat, with room for a denim jacket or wool sweater underneath. Please note that I am wearing a Fletcher L/S T-shirt, a chambray Patrol Shirt, a CPO Shirt 189ac and a Cowboy Jacket on the fit pic. Toasty.
We have taken the measurements to the best of our abilities. Refer to our sizing chart and remember that measurements are from the outside of the fabric. The lining is about ¼ inch thick, which reduces the inside room by that much.
Please DO NOT try to wash this jacket in a home washing machine! You risk ruining both machine and jacket. The Blouson de Quart weights a ton when wet, the metal hooks will get snagged, the indigo-dyed fabric will get marbling marks etc…
Activities and frequency of wear will dictate when cleaning is needed. Please use common sense with spot cleaning or take the jacket to a professional eco-friendly cleaner. The jacket can also be hand-washed in a tub filled with cold water. Use eco-friendly detergent for delicate colors. Hang to dry.
With normal wear and outside exposure, the indigo-dyed jungle cloth fabric will develop an attractive patina.
Available from www.misterfreedom.com, and our Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.
Not now Kato!
Worn & waxed Mister Freedom® Blouson de Quart (Update Jan 2016)
Treated with Otter Wax heat-activated fabric dressing
“Blouson de Quart“, Khaki Jungle Cloth edition
‘Sea Hunt’ mfsc Collection, Fall 2014
You are by now aware of our inclination for dressing up an occasional MF® piece in obscure foreign words. The reason for this is dual. It makes our conversations around the copy machine colorful, and give us a chance to appear educated.
So here we go again with this “Blouson de Quart“.
Some of the MF® old timers might remember the mfsc N-1H jacket (“H” was for hook), released sometime in 2008. It combined the design/color of several early USN deck jackets into a never-existed-but-could-have hybrid curiosity. Some today believe it did exist…
Because the garment industry has now flooded the Seas with reiterations of naval deck jackets, timing seemed perfect for not adding another drop to that ocean. And when timing is wrong, you can expect Mister Freedom® to barge in.
First Edition mfsc Deck Jacket, 2008
To everyone’s delight, we have tapped quite a bit into the “Marine Nationale” (the French Navy) for inspiration on our “Sea Hunt” adventures. Since the introduction of the Spring chapter in March 2014, fabrics and anecdotes have been freely adapted and borrowed from the world of the cols bleus. Encouragement, mostly in the form of emails to email@example.com starting with “If i never hear about his stint again, it’ll be too soon”, have kept us going.
So it won’t come as a surprise that the term “Blouson de Quart” refers to the winter jacket seafaring French sailors wore while on watch, as they assumed their ¼-workday duty.
Sometime in the 1960’s, the French Navy issued a jacket very much lifted from the US Navy type N-1 deck jacket, the probable result of joined operations when a specific piece of uniform seen in action would appeal to the men of one fleet, creating a demand the Commissariat de la marine eventually addressed.
Scholars will correct me.
Also known as “Veste de pont“, both deck jackets shared a similar ‘jungle cloth’ type fabric, the French boasting its hydrofuge quality on the label (a dubious water and oil repellent claim). Although the shell was olive green in color, the Marine Nationale‘s version adopted the chocolate brown ‘dog-hair’ lining of the later alpaca-lined American N-1.
Photos of an additional French vintage veste de pont can be seen on this blog., featuring a hooded version flanked by the traditional “MN” anchor chest stencil.
Above vintage photos credits:
* Commandant Charcot 1949 photo Courtesy of Georges Gadioux.
* On watch on the ‘USS Pumper’ Courtesy of Serge Tilly
* Foul weather on ‘Escorteur Rapide Vendeen’ Courtesy of Claude Hennard (1977)
Artist and friend Patrick Segui hooked us up with some amazing photos of these jackets in action. Thanks Captain.
(All credits to the men who served, original owners of these photos, who hopefully won’t mind the respectful exposure.)
Dragueur Cotié “Algol” 1965
Electriciens, Dragueur Cotié “Cassiopée” 1955
“Le Fougeux” DEASM Dehu 1964
Le Fougueux”, Detecteur Anti-Sous-Marin 1965
“Le Fougueux” DEASM, Matelot QM2 Dehu 1965
Porte-avions Arromanches, Unknown
Le Foch, mécaniciens, 1980
If our naval-inspired and aptly-named jacket shares its overall pattern with our “Naval Clothing Tailor” days N-1H, this Fall 2014 “Blouson de Quart” is its own beast, not a mere reissue of an out-of-stock jacket.
Back in 2008, navy blue jungle cloth fabric was quite a rare bird in the vintage world, which made it a perfect candidate for a mfsc jacket shell at the time. The vintage khaki version of that fabric had always been a more common flea market find, a bit ‘less special’ for us rag hounds.
But the coolness of original 1940’s USN-issued khaki deck jackets is undeniable. We’ve all seen those famous Newman or Dean shots. Old photos of 1950’s/60’s dock-working gangs are rarely not featuring one or two in the crowd.
I’ve had an old beat-up N-1 in my closet for years, and figured that a khaki jungle cloth coat was looong overdue in the MF® line-up of cold weather offerings.
There it is.
Ze blouson de quart.
As mentioned, this is not a replica, and you’ll notice we spared you the indelible anchor chest stencil, or any kind of outer military markings for that matter. As much as I appreciate finding authentic vintage pieces with original custom unit stencils and original Armed Forces markings, I’ve always been a bit skeptical regarding USN/USMC/USAAF/… or any type of official military ‘tagging’ on civvy clothing, legit replica or fashion fling. But that’s just me.
Another touch of mfsc nostalgia applying to this jacket is the addition of “Liberty Cuffs” everyone is familiar with today. There was a ‘Liberty-issue’ denim Peacoat we made a while back, and we’re using that same good ol’ story for our “Blouson de Quart“.
“Liberty cuffs” were often a feature on custom-made crackerjacks American sailors ordered from local tailors, mostly while on tour in exotic Far-East locations. Concealed during duty, the cuffs were rolled while on liberty, ie. time off-base or off-ship. They showed how salty one was. Embroidered dragons, octopus, mermaids, eagles and other patriotic or humorous patches, matched with all kinds of colorful custom stitching of the garment’s lining, made for a good opening line while trying to convince bar ladies to join for a tour of the local museums…
Our “Sea Hunt” team member went with a classy sea D-cup creature. Please note that our mermaid patches are only sewn on three sides, in case you want to stick an emergency sawbuck or c-note in there.
For those interested in learning more about this specific naval tradition, the 2010 soft-cover book “U.S. Navy Tailor-Made Dress Blues, Liberty Cuffs and Sailor Folk-Art” by SCPO Daniel D. Smith sheds light on what is fully spelled out in its title.
Back on shore.
Speaking of exotic destinations, our ‘Blouson de Quart’ will not exactly be the attire of choice for the atoll of Tetiaroa. This thing is W.A.R.M., and means business, Jack! The thick wool alpaca lining will do better under temperate climates than coconut trees.
As soft as this wool pile lining is, it is still wool and i’m allergic. So we’ve opted to line the collar with 100% cotton corduroy, instead of the traditional N-1 dog skin that would keep me from wearing the jacket with a simple skivvy underneath.
If you’re into manufacturing anecdotes, this is one’s for you. If not, scroll down to the bad news, 9 c-notes.
If you’re still here, let’s mention that for our made-for-US batch, we opted to incorporate vintage 1930’s French NOS selvedge corduroy fabric (technically “Velour D’Amiens“, a now defunct very high quality wide wade corduroy used for work-wear and hunting coats). We had found some dusty yardage a while back, just enough to make a very limited batch of jackets with it. This didn’t make production easier for the factory, as the made-for-Japan jackets featured a different type of lighter corduroy, both in weight and color. But we got what we wanted, thanks to our hard-working friends at Toyo Enterprises.
Vintage NOS French corduroy, collar of the ‘Blouson de Quart’
For the front closure, we combined the black-painted metal clip-hooks of the second type USN deck jackets with the solid TALON zipper of M-51 type field jackets. This heavy-duty black oxidized mil-specs zipper matches that three pounder of a coat (3.2 Lbs for a Medium!)
Both jacket and zipper should last a few cross-Atlantic cruises.
The mfsc “Blouson de Quart” is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
* Shell: Sturdy 14 Oz. all cotton “Jungle Cloth”, khaki color.
Please note that this fabric is a slightly heavier than the jungle cloth we originally used for both issues of our N-1H Deck Jacket.
* Lining: A warm soft-touch wool pile full lining, chocolate brown.
* Collar: 100% cotton corduroy.
* Freely inspired by vintage USN and Marine Nationale deck jackets, worn by 1940’s-1960’s sailors in foul weather conditions.
* Double front closure featuring 1940’s-type clip hooks and 1950’s-type mil-specs TALON zipper.
* Chin strap collar, 100% cotton corduroy lining, no-pain-in-the-neck guaranteed.
* Concealed chill-protectant wool knit cuffs.
* Liberty cuffed with mfsc mermaid patches.
* Synch-waist adjustment.
* MF® teardrop hand-warmer pockets, corduroy lined.
* Olive color rot-proof poly-thread stitching.
* Made in Japan.
This is highly unusual for us but we had these coats factory rinsed. NOT distressed, mind you, just professionally rinsed and gently tumble-dried. That way, the headache of the shrinkage guessing game doesn’t apply. Our Blouson de Quart is true to size. I wear a 38 in this coat, with room for a denim jacket or wool sweater underneath. Really skinny body types considering sizing down might have an issue with a tight arm opening. As with most non-bespoke garments, this jacket will not work on all body types, all body proportions and everyone’s personal aesthetics.
If you think it works for you however, do NOT wash this jacket in a home washing machine. You’ll first ruin said washing machine, risk getting the metal hooks snagged, get marbling marks on the fabric… at which point you’ll realize this is enough fun for a day, and you still need photos for eBay.
Your activities and frequency of wear will dictate when cleaning is needed. Please use common sense with spot cleaning or take the jacket to a professional eco-friendly cleaner.
We have measured the jacket to the best of our abilities. Refer to our sizing chart and remember that measurements are from the outside of the fabric. The lining is about ¼ inch thick, which reduces the inside room by that much.
Available delicately rinsed.
Available from www.misterfreedom.com
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.
“Blouson El Americano”
Fall 2013 ‘Viva la Revolución’ mfsc Collection
Let’s assume you have not yet forgotten our filibuster friend “El Americano“, introduced in the Fall 2013 chapter of mfsc “Viva la Revolución” collection…
Well, if he impressed many of his compañeros with his swag from the start, this had no little to do with that blusón he was wearing when he rode into Ensenada, one fine day of 1918. An elegant lone rider, clad in gringo attire and followed by nothing but a dust cloud… That day, El Americano was sporting a waist length soft leather jacket, button front and rounded collar, a casual yet stylish style not yet all the rage it was to become with American youth in the 1930’s.
Passing in front of a small store front just off La Calle Primera, he was hailed by François, a recently immigrated Frenchman, tailor by trade. François, you guessed it, was smoking outside his shop.
But of course. The rest is stuff of legends…
“Nice blouson Monsieur. I see you are quite the homme de goût … I just received some bolts of fabrics you might like to have zis coat made from?”
Original ‘El Americano’ leather jacket circa 1918
Original fabric swatches, courtesy of François ze tailor of Ensenada
After almost permanently silencing François because El Americano didn’t appreciate being diagnosed with gout by a stranger, the horseman agreed to dismount and enter the shop. He liked what he saw, rich but rugged fabrics, freshly imported from the Orient.
Few words were subsequently exchanged, as El Americano was a res non verba kinda fella, and the appeal of small talk eluded him.
Forty-eight hours later, a manila string wrapped a brown craft paper bundle. A calligraphed ‘Blouson, El Americano‘ red and white gum label was affixed to it. A few Pancho Villa pesos bills changed hands.
A set of waistcoats and trousers were also ordered the same week.
El Americano was now ‘dressed to kill’, for Land and Liberty…
Now you know this is a dated tale since there is no way in the world a Frenchman would do all that work in 48h. So, back to reality.
Our ‘Blouson’ is inspired by several short-type vintage jackets. 1920’s-30’s suede leather jackets, casual western coats, cotton work jackets…
The flared shape of the cuffs is inspired by a detail seen on a museum photo of a 1800’s chinaco (warriors, expert horsemen not belonging to the Mexican upper-class, War of Reform) suede ‘bolero’ jacket.
Original Chinaco outfit, 19th Century
Additionally the 1920’s-30’s period typical low chest pocket position (below rib cage) is so that you can fill up both your shirt and jacket pockets without causing discomfort nor excessive bulging.
As always the ‘Blouson El Americano’ is not an exact replica of an existing jacket, rather a new garment that kinda looks old, a la MF®.
As a matter of personal preferences, we tend to not make our clothes look vintage by distressing them artificially with harsh chemicals/sanding treatments from industrial wash houses. We instead use old tricks and details to make our clothes look like they’ve been around for some time.
To some, these “Blouson El Americano” look like they are off a dusty bygone menswear store shelf… In days of disposable fashion, we don’t think that is a bad thing either.
We have developed 3 entirely different fabrics for this jacket, all milled/dyed in Japan exclusively for mfsc. These options are:
a) Indigo vat dyed Corduroy.
b) Brown Duck Canvas.
c) Grey Covert Stripe.
The ‘Blouson El Americano’ is fully lined with ‘Troy Blanket’ for the body, and cotton stripe ticking for the arms.
Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in small ethically run factories in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
An original mfsc pattern, inspired by 1920’s-30’s short-type vintage jackets.
a) Brown Duck : selvedge 100% cotton canvas, 13 Oz.
The inside part of the yarn being lighter in color than the outside of the yarn (same as that of the 1930′s hunting jacket with its amazing patina that inspired it) this fabric will age nicely with repeat wear. Milled in Japan.
b) Grey Covert Stripe: selvedge 60% cotton and 40% linen heavy canvas with a random stripe pattern. The random repeat makes this fabric look halfway between a covert (salt & pepper) and stripe type textile. Technically 12 Oz. it feels heavier because of the yarn gauge. It takes an entire day to mill about 17 meters of that fabric, on old shuttle looms. The factory was thrilled… Milled in Japan.
Fabric inspired by a vintage 1943 bag from the Swiss military.
c) Indigo Corduroy: Mid wale 100% cotton corduroy. 14.5 Oz. Indigo vat dyed. Milled and dyed in Japan.
* A-1 type collar pattern (Brown Duck version has a corduroy collar. Grey Covert has self fabric collar)
* Corozo wood buttons, aka ivory nut. Tonal color
* Adjustable side cinch straps
* Original flared wrist cuffs, ‘chinaco’ style.
* Low chest pockets, inverted box-pleats.
* Collar/cuff/pocket flap facing lined with cotton indigo covert fabric.
* Fully lined: soft hand woven striped “Troy” blanked body lining (60% reused wool, 28% cotton, 12% Rayon) and stripe cotton ticking arms lining.
* Under arm gussets with venting eyelets.
* Made in Japan
All fabrics will shrink to approximately the same tagged size after an original cold soak and hang dry.
The reason for the original cold soak/dry is purely aesthetic. I like the natural torque/twisting of the fabric that gets rid of that fresh-off-the-shelf look.
For the Indigo corduroy “Blouson El Americano”, some crocking is to be expected when pairing with light colored garments. Indigo ‘stains’ from rubbing wash off eventually.
I am usually a 38/medium and wear a 38 “Blouson El Americano”.
True to size but refer to chart for rinsed/hang dry measurements.
Do not use hot water or machine dryer as this might result in excessive shrinkage and color loss.
a) Indigo Corduroy $689.95
b) Brown Duck Canvas $669.95
c) Grey Covert Stripe $669.95
Available soon from www.misterfreedom.com
Call the store at 323-653-2014 with any questions not answered above, or mail email@example.com
Thank you for your support.