Mister Freedom® “DUDE RANCHER” western snap shirt, cotton broadcloth, SS2019 mfsc Surplus catalog, made in Japan.

 

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox, “Junior Bonner” (1972)

Mister Freedom® “DUDE RANCHER” western snap shirt, cotton broadcloth.
SS2019 mfsc Surplus catalog.
Made in Japan.

Following the Mister Freedom® Appaloosa introduced during Fall 2013 and released in a variety of denim-related fabrics, the “DUDE RANCHER” is our second traditional “western snap” shirt. This all-original pattern was inspired by a selection of vintage “cowboy” shirts, and will now be joining the ranks of the mfsc SURPLUS catalog.

The DUDE RANCHER features the expected western-style front and back yokes. We opted for arcuate panels subtle-enough to keep the shirt as a daily-wearable, with traditional yet understated curved yokes.

The playful “M” tonal branding stitch on the chest pockets is also discreet. We couldn’t help an ace up the sleeve with the tricked-out forearm pattern featuring an intricate one-piece elbow/cuff reinforcement diamond-shaped placket. The pattern-making connoisseur will appreciate.

The fabric we opted for for this first release is a fancy 100% cotton broadcloth, a type of tightly-woven poplin. Broadcloth, with its silky smooth surface and crispy dry hand, is often associated with fancy vintage dress shirts. As a caveat, cotton broadcloth is prone to natural fabric wrinkling, a characteristic of garments cut from noble natural fiber materials (cotton, linen, silk etc…), before the crowning of poly-cotton and acrylics as households’ favorites, sometime in the 1960’s, to facilitate stain removal and liberate one from the burden of ironing. Generations later, this fashion shift and material preference will also lead to the production of billions of pounds of synthetic garments impossible to recycle.

As introduced a few years back with the Sportsman printed flannel Camp Shirts, the DUDE RANCHER features painted metal snaps, reminiscent of 50’s Ranchcraft or Blue Bell shirts. If pearl snap buttons are more-commonly associated with traditional western shirts, our use of tonal metal snaps is both a nod to bygone westernwear fashion, and a design choice for a toned-down vibe that doesn’t scream yipikaye. Basically, we wanted an easy-to-wear classic garment.

For the rodeo-inclined, we are also releasing a limited edition run of embroidered DUDE RANCHER shirts, featuring original chainstitched “MF® Ranch”classic artwork, a nod to 1950’s style of branding work uniforms and other promotional garments. For consistency and cost issues, these custom shirts have not been decorated on hand-crank operated chainstitch machines, but with program-operated machines. The results are similar, but the expert chainstitch artist will notice the difference in the filling technique. Having recently added a 1950’s Cornely to our upstairs atelier in order to do a few in-house embro jobs, we were quite happy to delegate this tedious custom “rodeo” production task to the pros!


Note: Considering the fine broadcloth fabric and metal snaps, refrain from yanking on the front panels á la Tom Jones when taking your shirt off. Carefully un-snap the buttons one by one, and listen to the crowd roar.

The DUDE RANCHER western snap shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

FABRIC:
100% cotton broadcloth (aka poplin), tight weave, smooth soft texture and crispy dry hand. Milled in Japan
Two color options, black or white.

SPECS:
* An original mfsc pattern, inspired by traditional western-style shirts.
* Traditional arcuate front and back yokes.
* 1950’s-style painted metal snaps (the paint will chip with age.)
* Original mountain-shaped “M” tonal stitching on pockets.
* Intricate diamond-shaped cuff/elbow reinforcement patch.
* Vintage style side gussets.
* Rounded shirt tails.
* 100% cotton tonal hi-count stitching.
* Original MF® mfsc “Surplus” tonal woven label.

SIZING/WASHING:
The DUDE RANCHER comes rinsed/preshrunk. The shirt is ready-to-wear.
I opted for a MEDIUM (in both colors), my usual size in mfsc shirting, for a trim, traditional western shirt fit.

Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.

 

CARE:
When needed, machine wash on DELICATE, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Wash with similar-colored garments.
Mind the fine broadcloth fabric and metal snaps combination, and do not use the washer’s heavy-duty cycle. Heat dryer is also not recommended and could damage the garment.

Available rinsed (pre-shrunk)
Solid black/white, or “Rodeo Edition”.
Sizes
X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large

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.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2019

The Continental, OD, ERDL popeline, blue chambray. “Saigon Cowboy” collection mfsc spring 2015

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Bush” Model

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Cholon” Model

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

Continental-Cowboy-(1)

 

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Cowboy” Model

 

 

The ‘Continental’
Mister Freedom® “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Spring 2015

 Cho Lon, a long time ago…

Piasters changing hands Rue des Marins, Triad run parlors, the infamous Bay Vien, ‘Maitre de Cholon‘ and the feared Bình Xuyên gangs, White Mice patrols, the yellow walls of the World’s largest gambling hall rivaling in decibel with Macao’s roaring finest, hazy opium dens, snake wine and fine Cognac, white nón lá and garrison caps, local taxi girls and international high society, áo dài and white linen suits, stalled Citroën 2CV and frantic cyclo-pousses, Bastos cigarettes smoke-filled cabarets… while thousands of sampans rest on the Arroyo.
And a stone’s throw to the East, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’: Saigon.

It is not out of nostalgia for its colonized past, with men in white pith helmets or OD M1, that Ho Chi Minh City is still referred to as Sài Gòn by some Vietnamese nationals today. This serves as a subtle reminder of the violent troubled past of that South East Asia corner of the World, hinting at the controversial topic of the reunification of Vietnam achieved by the communist-lead North in 1975. For locals, choosing the name Saigon over its official HCM City version is not pure semantics, but a political statement that conveys a lingering identity crisis.
It is the stuff of wars to leave everything in grey areas. Nothing ever stays black or white for long. Lines had plenty time to get blurry during the 30 year-long civil war that opposed North and South Vietnam, a territorial split originally prescribed by an international band of concerned experts arguing at a Geneva round table in 1954…
I recently had a conversation with a person of Vietnamese background, born in North Vietnam in the 1960’s and of Chinese parents. You’d figure that would put you on the celebrating side after the war was won… Turns out her family joined the ranks of the three million refugees who were to flee the Indochinese peninsula in the years following the victory of communist North Vietnam, China and Russia’s protégé.
The troops of General Võ Nguyên Giáp, the Northern national hero and victor of the French Army in 1954, would claim Saigon in April 1975. Everyone who had sided with or fought for South Vietnam feared the purge. The Saigon government, backed by of a long-disillusioned America, had been the wrong horse to bet on. Hanoi was the new sheriff in town, the cadres his deputies.
As Saigon was falling, one could witness surreal scenes of men stripping down to their skivvies, watching triumphant soviet-built T-54 NVA tanks roll into town. Some roads leading to the capital were littered with abandoned ARVN uniforms…
Vietnam’s American war was officially over. But not everyone’s woes.

Yes we defeated the United States. But now we are plagued by problems. We do not have enough to eat. We are a poor, underdeveloped nation. Vous savez, waging a war is simple, but running a country is very difficult.
Phạm Văn Đồng (Prime minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976) reflecting in 1981.

Fall of Saigon (April 30 1975) Photo Jacques Pavlovsky Sygma CORBIS

Abandonned ARVN uniforms, fall of Saigon (April 30 1975) Photo Jacques Pavlovsky Sygma CORBIS

But let’s rewind a bit and take a stroll down Đồng Khởi, better known to some as Freedom Street.
The bustling downtown artery of the South Vietnam capital had been named Rue Catinat up until the end of the French occupation in 1954. It would be renamed Tu Do Street for the next twenty years. Tự Do means freedom in Vietnamese…
In its early days, Tu Do Street was lined by colonial architecture buildings housing offices, institutions, hotels, cafés, and an array of small boutiques and family-owned businesses. At number 132-134 stood Vietnam’s first hotel, the “Hotel Continental”, a Saigonese landmark since 1880, built ten years before a certain Nguyễn Tất Thành (aka Uncle Ho) was born. Owned by an allege member of the Corsican Mafia for years, the Continental had welcomed guests from all walks of life. Its clientele had been a lively mix of French rubber industry magnates aka ‘Michelin men‘, spooks, opium addicts, celebrities, quiet Americans, diplomats, thrill seekers, Air America crews, visiting mistresses, writers, stringers, tipsters, gangsters, opera singers, war groupies, plain tourists… Some guests were at times a combination of a few of the above. Current affairs were constantly being discussed and gossiped about at the Continental’s terrace (aptly nicknamed “Radio Catinat” by some), and the international press found enough material there to feed flows of dispatches heading to a fascinated foreign audience.

In the 1960’s, as Westmoreland demanded more and more troops be sent ‘in-country’, most of them 19 year-old GIs, demand for local ‘entertainment’ grew. The Tu Do Street eclectic mix of establishments inevitably turned into Sleazesville. Still, next to its air-conditioned cabarets, Saigon tea dives and massage parlors, one could find yard goods boutiques and honest tailor shops. Skilled Vietnamese and Chinese thread and needle specialists mixed traditional and European influences in custom creations, targeting both a civilian and military personnel clientele unaccustomed to affordable bespoke fashion.

“... he was dressed in one of those jungle-hell leisure suits that the tailors on Tu Do were getting rich cranking out, with enough flaps and slots and cargo pockets to carry supplies for a squad…
(Excerpt from the ever relevant ‘Dispatches’ by Michael Herr, 1977)

(Vintage photo credits: Visual time travel courtesy of the internet, photos sourced herethere and everywhere. Gratitude to the owners of those flikr accounts for making their photostreams publicly available, for the sake of History preservation. Full credit to those who originally snapped the shots and chose to share them. I try to give credit to the best of my knowledge. Viewer discretion advised on some albums, war is hell.)

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And now, at last, a few words about our “Saigon Cowboy” garment du jour.
The Mister Freedom® ‘Continental‘ shirt/jacket only features four pockets and might not qualify as jungle-hell-ready, but a glance at its intricate inside construction makes it look quasi tailor-made. For the detail-oriented who opens a garment to check its structure, the combination of bias tape piping and fabric selvedge is quite pleasant to the eye, if we may say so ourselves. Our Continental might have had its place in a Tu Do Street store front window display.

Style-wise this jacket is a combination of several influences: fancy 1950’s-70’s unlined tropical gear, short sleeve blazers popular with the African elite, safari-type pocketing, elegant uniform silhouette, whiffs of colonial empires, Old World tailoring, Larry Burrows‘ wardrobe… and the mighty Sun Zhongshan suit, a favorite in China since 1949.
Our ‘Continental‘ overall pattern is adapted from a vintage late 60’s custom-made jacket, the work of a Vietnamese tailor by the name of My Nha, located at 827 D. Nguyen-Tran (unidentified city).

As much as I liked that vintage jacket, I figured we all could live without the 100% polyester fabric of the original sample. We opted instead for the following three textile options:
a) The “Bush” model (not to be misunderestimated): 100% cotton mil-spec OD popeline shell / 100% cotton Buzz Rickson’s USN selvedge blue chambray lining yoke.
b) The “Cholon” model (for the man of leisure): 100% cotton BR’s USN selvedge blue chambray shell / 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline lining yoke.
c) The “Cowboy” model (special jungle-hell edition): 100% cotton ERDL camouflage popeline / 100% cotton BR’s USN selvedge blue chambray lining yoke.

For those into Making Ofs, some boring bits behind the MF® Saigon Cowboy woven rayon label this season:
Our ‘local tailor’ looking MF® label combines the yellow background with three red stripes of the flag of South Vietnam and, for a USO flavor, the red white and blue of Old Glory. The specific rectangular shape with beveled corners seems typical of Vietnamese custom tailor woven labels of the period that I have seen.

The “Continental” is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS

FABRICS
Three options, fabrics milled in Japan:
a) The “Bush” model: 100% cotton mil-spec OD popeline shell / 100% cotton Buzz Rickson’s USN blue chambray lining yoke.
b) The “Cholon” model: 100% cotton BR’s USN blue chambray shell / 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline lining yoke.
c) The “Cowboy” model: 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline / 100% cotton BR’s USN blue chambray lining yoke.

DETAILS
* Pattern inspired by tropical tailor-made attire, with a sober ‘Mao suit’ influence.
* Yes, we dared make a short sleeve blazer.
* Elegant tailored uniform-like silhouette with elaborate darting.
* Two chest flap pockets, one pencil slot.
* Two lower flap cargo pockets, ‘invisible’ stitch.
* All inside seams finished with OD color bias tape, unless selvedged.
* Corozzo wood buttons, golden brown.
* Two-piece back with vent.
* Made in Japan

SIZING/FIT:
Our ‘Continental’ comes raw/un-rinsed and will shrink to tagged size after a rinse/dry process. All three options will approximately shrink to the same measurements.
We recommend an initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry. The wrinkling ensuing this process is normal, in line with the ‘tropical’ look effect.
If you are a Medium in mfsc shirts/jackets, you are a Medium in the ‘Continental‘. Because of the specific cut, the darting and requirements of this blazer-like pattern, this shirt/jacket will not fit every frame. For instance, the arm construction, although comfortable, disqualifies this jacket as beach-volley attire. There are no expansion pleats.
Please consider the measurements below for an idea of the proportions and resulting fit.

CARE:
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Hand wash or delicate cycle machine wash. Cold water, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.

Available RAW/unwashed
SIZES:
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large

RETAIL $329.95

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

For the worn look, WEAR the clothes

Sportsman Indigo Mister Freedom 2013

Sportsman Indigo Mister Freedom 2013

Sportsman Indigo Mister Freedom 2013

Sportsman Indigo Mister Freedom 2013

Sportsman Shirts lineup 2014 Mister Freedom

 

 

We now have strong reasons to believe that one of the suspects of the Mister Freedom® 2013 Sportsman shirt line-up was not colorfast.
Beware that should you chose to wear this garment outside after sunrise, the Indigo popeline culprit will start changing color. Literally within an hour.
Exposure to the sun, normal wear and the necessary home laundries will not help its case.
Messieurs, you have been war-ned.

Mister Freedom®. Yet another case clo-sed: For the ‘worn look’, wear the clothes.

Clouseau

The PATROL SHIRT, Weather Cloth and Chambray, mfsc “Sea Hunt”, Spring 2014

Patrol Shirt Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

 

Patrol Shirt Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

 

Patrol Shirt Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014
Sea Hunt Mister Freedom 2014

Patrol Shirt: Weather Cloth & USN Chambray
‘Sea Hunt’ Spring 2014

If you have planned, for the upcoming weekend, to go up the Rio da Dúvida (the ‘River of Doubt’ for Theodore Roosevelt, referring to its unexplored meander) to confirm which way it flows, you might want to opt for the ‘Jungle’ Patrol Shirt. You never know, you might need to hide from that party of un-contacted and rightfully aggravated Cinta Larga people. As they are greeting your Sunday outfit with a welcoming volley of curare-dipped arrows, an olive green shirt might help you blend in that 130 feet tall patch of rubber trees.
That moment when you realize you should have listened to the amazing Cândido Rondon and chilled with a glass of cauim at home…

Roosevelt Rondon Expedition 1914

A rare photo of that historic moment when Theodore Roosevelt (right) allegedly pronounced these important words: “Well son, f*ck THAT sh*t.” (Rio da Dúbida, Brazil, 1914)

Cinta Larga, 1972 Jesco Von Puttkamer Cândido Rondon 1952

Alternatively, you might go for the ‘Arctic’ Patrol Shirt, should you want to defy the warnings of the Mount Hood rangers lecturing you on the very limited insulating properties of cotton. Indeed, cotton, the “cloth of Death” as it is known in Evac and Rescue Team circles around the World, will not be your best companion on the Timberline Trail. You’ll look good though. Dead, but good. Please note how I have now learned how to spell ‘Arctic‘.

Courtsey of Portland Pararescue Reservists

Courtsey of Portland Pararescue Reservists

If you’re going UP the gangplank after the AATGA call (“All Ashore That’s Going Ashore”), you are probably the ‘Chambray’ type.

Gangplank

Courtesy of Gr8-White accordeon gangplank

The featured shirt of our “Sea Hunt” Spring 2014 collection was inspired by several vintage shirts from our dusty archives.
Throwing military/safari/uniform details in the MF® blender, the resulting PATROL SHIRT is an apparently simple looking shirt. It features some fancy details however, most of which only the wearer will notice. Take a look at the bottom of the button placket, on the inside, and you will see some interesting folds and challenging pattern making magic.
The chambray version displays a few inches of selvedge on both sides of the front panels, a nice tricky detail hidden from sight for those who choose to wear their shirts tucked-in.
Elbow patches, box-pleat pockets, expansion ease-pleats, rounded wrist cuffs… and other details complete our Patrol Shirt.
After a meeting with the MFTFD (MF® Trend Forcasting Dept.), we thought there was no need for an enormous embroidered rhinestoned silkscreened graphic in the back of the shirt, so we left that simple. Rooooaaaarrr

easy tiger...

easy tiger…

Sorry about that.
Anyways, the narrow ½ cm flat felled side seams will also not go un-noticed by vintage clothing aficionados. These old narrow width ‘caballo’ machines are as common as frog hair wigs and are a prized recent addition to the finely tuned equipment used by the small family owned factory crafting these Patrol Shirts in Japan.
I also chose to do without épaulettes, for a more casual and less obvious military/safari feel.

The Patrol Shirt comes in three fabric options.
What we are calling ‘weather cloth’ is a reference to a tight plain weave popeline type of fabric quite in use in the old days for outdoor gear, as well as in the military. ‘Weather Cloth’ took different forms according to weight, fabric content and coating. These types of fabrics are sometimes referred to as ‘Storm Cloth’, ‘Sierra Cloth’, ‘Mountain Cloth’ and are known for their windbreaking qualities. They are at times treated for waterproofing.
Our ‘Weather Cloth’ in a fine lightweight 100% cotton popeline, uncoated and untreated, in two color ways, natural and olive green.
The third fabric option is borrowed from the Buzz Rickson’s catalog. I really liked Toyo’s WW2 USN chambray fabric and we helped a few rolls fall-off the “Deuce and a Half” for our own Spring 2014 mfsc production.

a) “Arctic” Weather Cloth: crispy all cotton tight weave popeline, unbleached white. Woven in Japan.
b) “Jungle” Weather Cloth: crispy all cotton tight weave popeline, ‘washed’ olive green. Woven in Japan.
c)BR’s USN Chambray: Vintage type 100% cotton blue chambray fabric, slubby and sturdy, selvedge with white/blue line ID, milled in Japan.
The ‘Sea Hunt” Patrol Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

NOTE: Production of the ‘Patrol Shirt’ does NOT come with someone’s name stenciled on them. Product photos are perso shirts, recently issued and custom marked.

SPECS

FABRICS:
a) “Arctic” Weather Cloth: crispy all cotton tight weave popeline, unbleached white. Woven in Japan. The Arctic option features olive green corozo buttons and tonal stitching.
b) “Jungle” Weather Cloth: crispy all cotton tight weave popeline, ‘washed’ olive green. Woven in Japan. The Jungle option features maple brown corozo buttons and tonal stitching.
c) BR’s USN Chambray: Vintage type 100% cotton blue chambray fabric, slubby and sturdy, selvedge with white/blue line ID, milled in Japan. The Chambray option features maple brown corozo buttons and olive green stitching.

DETAILS:
* All original mfsc pattern, inspired by vintage military, uniform and safari type shirting.
* Comfortable fit.
* Double box-pleat chest pockets, buttoned flap.
* 1940’s style collar pattern.
* Early custom uniform tailoring button placket.
* Elbow reinforcement patches.
* Side gussets.
* Double front & back expansion EZ-pleats on shoulder yoke.
* Corozo buttons, aka ‘ivory nut’, 100% wood.
* High stitch count 100% cotton stitching.
* Vintage ½ cm wide flat-felled seam side construction.
* Double inside labeling: simple ‘minimalist’ neck patch (unbleached popeline stamped with sizing), and woven ‘Sea Hunt’ rayon label on bottom front panel (inside). Both to accommodate your own custom markings, if desired.
* Made in Japan

WASHING/SIZING:
All three fabrics should shrink to approximately the same fit. Having said that, both Arctic and Jungle weather cloth options do, but the chambray version feels a tad bit roomier. We have not, however, shrink-tested our samples with hot water/heat-dryer, which might even out the differences. If not, finding the Sacred Ark will be the only way to figure out why.
Until then, we recommend an original cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
Further care should be the low maintenance combo mild detergent/gentle cycle/cold water/line dry, as needed.

I wear a Medium in the three options, with a bit more room in the Chambray.

Please refer to chart for cold rinse/line dry measurements.

Patrol Shirt Cotton Weather

Weather Cloth

Patrol Shirt Chambray

Chambray

 

Available RAW/unwashed.
SIZES:
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large
 Retail
a) Arctic Weather Cloth $299.95
b) Jungle Weather Cloth $299.95
c) BR’s USN Chambray $329.95

Available from www.misterfreedom.com
Please call 323-653-2014 or email sales@misterfreedom.com with any questions not answered above.
Thank you sincerely for your support.