In the footsteps of our Mulholland Master and Drizzle King, we’re back to Albion with the Mister Freedom® x Sugarcane SCRAMBLER, our twist on another timeless British wardrobe essential, often referred-to as the Harrington jacket.
That windbreaker style allegedly spurred out of Manchester’s rainwear industry in the mid 1930s, when a well-established local cotton mill took on the task of designing a practical-yet-stylish sport jacket optimized for golf swings, and the Rainy City’s legendary constant drizzle. The Baracuta® G-9 was born, and the year was 1937.
Another account of the story points to British luxury menswear Grenfell® as the originator of the style, also sometime in the 1930s.
The resulting innovative waist-length garment featured a weatherproof cotton shell, wool knit waistband and trims, dog-ear stand collar, zipper-fastener front, vent back yoke for air circulation, slanted flap pockets, and the iconic traditional tartan lining signature. Combining British swagger with contemporary menswear novelty, the style caught on and soon jumped the pond.
The rest is history, written by three generations of fashionable adopters, from conservative golf enthusiasts to on and off-duty silver screen legends, from unassuming grown-ups to pop culture icons, and from rebelling youth tribes to preppy “Ivy League” crowds.
I have personally never seen such early versions (1930s), especially with that type of collar, but one can assume that the initial design/specs evolved over the years. It was common for makers at the time to claim trademark of both the garment’s original pattern and its exclusive fabric as one model. This makes figuring-out “who was first” often open to discussion. The garment industry is a bit more of a lawless jungle nowadays, with “who’s gonna cash in” the main concern.
As a side note, the Harrington’s legacy has included myriads of interpretations and imitations, but not all golf jackets (or swing tops, as they are known in Japan) are patterned after the British original. Elvis apparently did sport a beige Baracuta in “King Creole” (1956), but there is some confusion regarding James Dean flashing a red one in “Rebel without a Cause” (1955). Jim Stark’s windbreaker was more likely a McGregor or Bud Bermao of a completely different style, as evidenced by its pointy collar and waistband pattern. Rebel’s iconic jacket was no G-9. We briefly discussed this first-world issue in a previous post introducing our red Breezer windbreaker.
Regardless, the Mister Freedom® SCRAMBLER is definitely a (respectful and fully-credited) spin on the classic and popular British models. We kept the typical 1960s style double-button stand collar, but spiced things up with a curved partial wool knit collar lining, a detail lifted from an oddball vintage “Maine Guide, RAIN-CHEATER” windbreaker. For the wool-sensitive, we sourced a soft/non-itchy wool ribbed knit, much more comfortable than the typical flight jacket mil-specs grade.
Our double arcuate scalloped back yoke is purely decorative, and we kept it simple with no vent or mesh panel. Another departure from traditional G-9s is our set-in sleeve pattern, distinct from the raglan type. We also went for the natural waist-length silhouette of vintage specimen, not the contemporary longer torso cut.
The MF® SCRAMBLER is not a reversible jacket, but comes in two distinct fabric options:
The first features a high density dark indigo-dyed poplin with a subtle fabric sheen characteristic of tightly-woven cloths, and with all the perks of a promising patina on the horizon. It is lined and complimented by a warm orange/green tones tartan fabric, inspired by a vintage wool kilt from our archives. We had an all-cotton interpretation of this plaid milled in Japan, hopefully not transgressing any Clan traditions.
The second model, in full-on casual 50s American sportswear fashion, displays that handsome tartan as the shell (we all thought it looked too good to just be a lining), and is lined by a classic indigo cotton chambray.
The Mister Freedom® SCRAMBLER is designed in California and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
Shell: Indigo-dyed high density 100% cotton poplin, crispy hand, milled in Japan.
Lining: Vintage-inspired woven tartan, 100% soft-hand cotton, warm orange/green tones, milled in Japan.
Shell: Vintage-inspired 100% cotton soft-hand woven tartan, warm orange/green tones, milled in Japan.
Lining: Indigo blue cotton chambray.
* Inspired by vintage British Harrington-style jackets and American casual sportswear windbreakers.
* Fully lined.
* Elastic wool ribbed knit waistband, natural waist length for a vintage silhouette.
* Dog-ear stand collar, double button closure.
* Soft-hand wool ribbed knit partial collar lining.
* Wool knit cuffs.
* Corozo wood buttons.
* Decorative double arcuate scalloped back yoke.
* Set-in sleeves.
* Vintage-style TALON zipper, bell-shape silver pull, 100% cotton tape. (Use gently as these behave like vintage zippers. Engage tab fully and do not use force to zip up. Lubricate the metal teeth with natural beeswax occasionally.)
* Slanted slash pockets with buttoned flaps, contrast facing.
* Mister Freedom® woven rayon mfsc “SURPLUS” label.
* Made in Japan.
The following applies to both fabric options. The MF® SCRAMBLER comes raw/unwashed and is cut so that the measurements match the labeling after an initial cold soak/line dry.
We recommend this usual protocol before wearing:
- Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
- Spin dry and line dry.
- Hang until fully dry.
Due to the 100% cotton fabric and stitching, some attractive puckering will show at the seams, giving the jacket more of a vintage feel.
The SCRAMBLER fits trim and slim, and sits higher on the waist than its modern contemporaries. I wear a fitted Medium (38), my usual size in most mfsc jackets, with room for a mid-weight shirt and T-shirt. If in-between sizes, we recommend sizing up rather than down with this jacket.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements.
Soaked = 30-40mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry (ie. minimal shrinkage).
Launder when needed. Un-zip before washing. We recommend turning the indigo model inside out to avoid marbling of the fabric.
Machine wash on gentle cycle, cold water, minimum eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Do not use hot water or a heat dryer, as this may result in damages to the garment.
Available from our Los Angeles red brick HQ, from www.misterfreedom.com, and fine retailers around the World.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support,