Mister Freedom® MECHANIC Utility Trousers, OG-107 cotton sateen, FW2023 msfc “Survival School”, made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co MECHANIC Utility Trousers, OG-107 cotton sateen.
FW2023 mfsc “Survival School
Made in Japan.

We are freely borrowing again from a vintage pair of 1957 New Old Stock “TROUSERS, UTILITY, COTTON, SAGE GREEN, CLASS 2, HEMMED BOTTOMS, SHADE 509” (MIL-T-4335A) from our archives.

Issued to US Air Force Aircraft Mechanics in the mid 1950’s, these cotton sateen “grease monkey” pants are immediately distinguishable by their USAF sage green fabric, pleated front, double thigh tool pockets, and long waist-adjusting cinch tabs. They somewhat have the ‘look’ of the lower half of a pilot flight suit.

Compared to the ubiquitous 1950s-60s OG-107 cotton sateen Utility Trousers (MIL-T-838) — their military fatigue brother-in-arms, sometimes referred to as “Baker” pants —, vintage specimen of USAF MIL-T-4335A are rare birds.

We initially modified the pattern/fit/features/fabric of the USAF originals back in 2014, and released the MF® Mechanic Utility Trousers in an indigo Cavalry twill.
We had kept the functional side cinch tabs — allowing for a quick 2-inch waist adjustment —, but removed the front pleats and thigh tool pockets. Instead, a single utility pocket was relocated along the inseam of the left leg, ‘sandwiched’ in the flat-felled seam, mid-calf, convenient for storing map/gloves/tools/phone/etc.

The main update for this FW2023 edition of the MF® MECHANIC Trousers is the fabric, pretty much going back full circle to the original 1950s version, fabric wise. We opted for a 9 Oz. vintage Mil-Specs cotton-back sateen, OG-107 color — that classic shade of Olive Green we all love. Milled in 2024 as close as it gets to its 1952 US military cotton-back sateen ancestor, our MECHANIC fabric is bound to age as gracefully as vintage specimen did. For that worn-in look, you will have to do the wearing, as we are still not caving-in to factory-distressed garments.
The OG-107 color base fabric is
complimented by subtle “Indian” orange contrast accents, visually matching our “Survival School” concept. The blazing orange snap caps and concealed orange ripstop fabric facing are nods to vintage US Military survival/signal gear.

The MF® MECHANIC Trousers, OG-107 cotton sateen 2023 edition, are designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co. Fabric milled in Japan.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
Freely-inspired by 1950s USAF Mechanic Utility Trousers (MIL-T-4335A) and mfsc 2014 Mechanic Utility Trousers.

FABRIC:
100% cotton, vintage Mil-Specs cotton-back sateen, OG-107 color, 9 Oz., milled in Japan.
Concealed facing: Indian orange all-cotton ripstop.

DETAILS:
*  Original msfc pattern, freely inspired by 1950s USAF Mechanic Utility Trousers style.
* Mid-high rise period cut.
* Two front slash patch pockets.
* “Utility/map” pocket, left leg inseam, mid-calf.
* Button fly, brown corrozo wood buttons.
* Quick release side cinch tabs, 2-inch waist adjustment.
* Contrast “Indian” orange snap caps on tabs + cotton ripstop facing.
* Two rear patch pockets, single flap.
* Flat-felled seam sturdy construction.
* 100% cotton thread stitching, tonal.
* Mister Freedom® mfsc “Survival School” double labeling: woven rayon “MFSC NAVAL CLOTHING TAILOR” topped with printed “EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH UNIT” labels.
* Made in JAPAN.

SIZING/FIT:
The Mister Freedom® MECHANIC Utility Trousers OG-107 come UN-WASHED, cut so that actual measurements match the labeling after the initial cold soak/line dry shrinking process. Recommended protocol:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Machine spin dry cycle and line dry.

These are considered true-to-size.
A tagged W32 will most-likely be the right size for an individual with an approximate measured natural waist of +/- 32 inches, and with average body proportions.
I opted for a W30 in the MECHANIC Trousers  — my usual current size in mfsc jeans/trousers at 5’7 ~145 lbs — for a fit top block (both tabs cinched) and comfortable straight leg silhouette.

Note that the side tabs allow for a 2-inch waist adjustment when fully-cinched (second snap.)

We recommend hemming the pants to your desired length after the shrinking process. The simple 1 ¾  inch folded hem only requires single-needle machine work, and traditional hemming will look sharper than rolled cuffs.
The waist size that will work best for you depends on your body type and how you like your pants to fit.
Please refer to size chart, reflecting rinsed measurements.

CARE:
Launder when needed.
Turn garment inside out to avoid marbling during laundering. Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Excessive and irreversible shrinkage may result from using hot water and heat dryer.

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, and Happy Holidays!

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2023

Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s original “BAILOUT” Flyer’s Jacket, 30th BR’s Anniversary Limited Edition, crafted in Japan, 2023

 

MF® MA-1 “BAILOUT” Flyer’s Jacket.
Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s 30th Anniversary Limited Edition.
mfsc FW2023 “Survival School” collection.
Made in Japan.

The MF® MA-1 “BAILOUT” Flyer’s Jacket drop officially launches our anticipated mfsc FW2023 “Survival School” capsule collection, an original line up freely-inspired by 40s~70s US military survival gear, vintage experimental MIL-SPECS garments, early NASA astronauts training program visuals etc.

Introduction to our FW2023 mfsc “Survival School” storyline:

In the early days of WW2, a downed pilot’s chances of being rescued and making it back to safety were very slim.
The USAAF  (United States Army Air Force) soon realized that training a serviceman in the art of flying was not enough. Arial combat training was lengthy, qualifying candidates few, so a skilled flyer needed to survive after a bail-out.
A downed aviator’s field experience was invaluable knowledge, and sharing that experience with new pilot recruits was crucial.

The odds of returning to base camp started changing with the establishment of “Survival Schools”, and the implementation by the DoD of proper “Survival – Evasion – Escape” training for all flying personnel. (timeline for USAAF here)

Newly-designed experimental gear was also being issued and tested in combat situations and survival circumstances.
Starting in the mid-1940s, official films recreating fictitious survival scenarios (jungle, desert, mountains, arctic) were produced, and became required viewing during training and on base.
Swimming skills became a requirement for all aircrews. Survival crash courses through tough physical training and studies of illustrated manuals became mandatory for Army Air Force and USN flyers.
Training in basic survival skills, acquiring jungle and mountain terrain knowledge, exotic fauna and flora expertise, learning about wilderness adaptability, food foraging, land navigation techniques, cold and hot weather survival, local language and customs essentials, expertise in blending with the elements to avoid capture, evasion tactics, …, all lead to greater chances to make it home for American flyboys.

Techniques, technology, and TO (Theater of Operations) have obviously evolved through the years for US Armed Forces, and so have instructions in survival manuals. If what applied to the Korean cold front in the 50s had to be adapted to Vietnam’s steamy jungles in the 60s, the basics and message remained the same after “Survival School”: “you now have the skills to live another day”, Sir.

For more background on our R&D inspiration and design process, check out:
* Vintage USAAF and USN pilot survival gear.
* Visuals from 1950s-1970s US military survival program, from “Arctic Indoctrination Survival School” (aka “Cool School”) to “Tropical Survival School” (aka “Green Hell”), to “Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape” (SERE) training.
* Visuals from NASA astronauts on desert/jungle survival training (+ here) or geological field trips ( photos 1965, 1965, 1965, 1967, 1969…)

On a side, personal note, if warfare survival skills are obviously irrelevant to a pampered civilian life, and the odds of one experiencing Louis Zamperini’s plight unlikely for most, basic knowledge of adaptability and improvisation, resourcefulness, awareness of one’s surroundings at all time, applying the right amount of common sense and civility in all situations, should be attitudes taught in schools, and at home.

Yes, learning how to fend off a wild cat attack while on a hike, or knowing which side of a tree is most likely to grow moss in the northern hemisphere may sound like useless knowledge for most city dwellers stuck in traffic.
But, without turning into a paranoid survivalist nut job, merely paying attention in daily life will never be a bad habit to have! “Improvise, adapt, overcome” is not a bad motto either.
Along those lines, knowing to keep one’s eyes on the road and not the Pokemon while driving or crossing the street may prevent many Darwin Awards from being distributed worldwide. Right now, in the US alone, 2 auto crashes occurred in the 10 seconds it took you to read this paragraph.
Oh, and don’t act like a prey if you cross path with a big cat, even “The Zamp” couldn’t outrun a mountain lion. Also, moss usually grows on trees on the side facing North, if you lost your way, forgot your compas, and just realized you killed your battery on TikTok…
Kids these days know more about sneaker brands than varieties of edible wild fruits. Not sure this is a good survival skill for our species.

The jacket:

The Mister Freedom® BAILOUT Flyer’s Jacket is our spin on the classic MA-1 flight jacket – aka “bomber jacket” – the iconic piece of protective gear officially issued to USAF (United States Air Force) fighter jet pilots and flight crews throughout the 1950s~60s.

The design of the MA-1 flight jacket evolved through the years, with its inception around 1950 when the bulky mouton collar of its predecessor (the B-15 flight jacket, 1944~1954) was replaced by a soft wool knit ribbed band to better accommodate combat pilots modern flight helmets (out were the WW2 cloth skull caps, in were the hard shell “bone dome” types) and reconfigured jet aircrafts cockpits (the Jet Age mostly kicked propeller planes to oblivion for aerial warfare.)

Optimized for current technology, the MA-1 (MIL-J8279) was born, becoming official issue sometime in 1952. Followed many revisions, until the MA-1 was phased out by updated regulations and eventually retired in the late 1980s, outperformed by safer fire-resistant Nomex® MA-2 flight jackets. This wasn’t the MA-1’s last words however…

For our “Survival School” story, we decided to modify a vintage “JACKET, FLYING, MAN’S, INTERMEDIATE, MA-1, MIL-J-8279D” specimen from an Alpha Industries 1965 contract, and turn it into a “might have been” functional, wearable, “experimental” garment.

The major mod on the D-Type (fifth generation MA-1, circa 1960) had been its novelty reversible revamping, with a sage green (referred to as camo) nylon shell for classic military concealment on the ground, contrasting with an “Indian orange” high visibility lining. A downed pilot was instructed to wear the green side to evade enemy capture after a successful bailout, and wait for a rescue team flashing the orange side out.
Decades later, this major visual functional improvement probably helped to propel the MA-1 style to the unsustainable fashion sphere, from streetwear to catwalks, produced in all kinds of CoO (Country of Origin) for a wide range of international labels.

For our BAILOUT design mission, the main point of a plausible “revision” was to flip the blazing orange lining side as the main side, up the nylon twill ouncage, use the 2/2 nylon camo side as the lining, while keeping all period-correct Mil-Specs for fabrics and trims.

Collaborating with Buzz Rickson’s – celebrating at the same time their 30th Anniversary! – made this a breeze for us, thanks to the help, expertise and patience of Buzz’s creative director Kameya San and team. After providing detailed instructions/diagrams of our MA-1 BAILOUT concept, we gladly assumed the backseater role in the cockpit and let the world’s ichiban manufacturer of authentic military flight jacket replicas do all the heavy lifting.
Of course, Buzz delivered! No cut corners, outstanding craftsmanship and quality, living up to Toyo’s high manufacturing standards and BR’s impeccable reputation.

But, why not just wear a vintage D-Type with the orange side out?” one could legitimately wonder…
Well, because of the overall construction, quilted storm flap set-up, slash pockets configuration (“hand warmer” for the A-side and “map storage” for the B-side), utility (“cigarette/pen”) sleeve pocket on A-side, etc…, sporting a vintage MA-1 orange side out will always look like the garment is being worn inside out. Not a life-threatening issue of course, but, for those attached to details – and we are -, wearing out what is clearly a jacket’s lining in non-survival circumstances may look a bit awkward or contrived around town.
The BAILOUT fills that gap for one wanting to casually wear a bright orange military-style flight jacket, built like a legit 1960s MA-1.

Note that the MF® BAILOUT is still fully reversible, and can of course be worn B-side (green) out.

On original D-Types, the orange nylon twill lining is of a lighter/thinner grade than the Mil-Specs green 2/2 twill shell. The MF® BAILOUT jacket features vintage Mil-Specs heavy 2×2 grade nylon twill on both A (orange) and B (green) sides.
For the accuracy-obsessed, quote from Buzz Rickson’s MA-1 shell fabric specs:
36 filament yarns are twisted together to make a single thread that is then woven into the 2/2 twill fabric.
2/2 means two warp threads crossing every two weft threads, identified by diagonal lines.

Regarding warmth, “INTERMEDIATE” in the original MA-1 nomenclature refers to the “Intermediate Zone” climate for which the garment was initially optimized, a range of 14º F ~ 50º F in a military classification of 5 climate zones at the time.
The MA-1 was also considered as a versatile year-round piece of gear in temperate climates by flight crews, worn zipped-up in Winter and un-zipped in Spring.
We decided to keep the period-correct Wool/Cotton blend (60/40) fiber interlining of the 1960s originals, and not the cheaper and lighter polyester fiber modern days substitution. This makes the BAILOUT much heftier and bulkier than contemporary fashion MA-1 type jackets out there.

For the zipper, we went with a robust vintage-style aluminum model of Coats & Clark (CC) slide fastener, instead of the expected black oxidized brass CONMAR zipper of period D-Type MA-1 jackets. CROWN was a division of Coats & Clark. Production of most CROWN fasteners (like the aluminum spring automatic lock etc) was abandoned sometime in the 1960s, deemed too complicated and too costly.
Some 30 years ago, Toyo Enterprise went through great lengths (and, I was told, hundreds of thousands of dollars in R&D and retro engineering) to faithfully reproduce several CROWN fastener models, and now owns the Trademark. These cost today about $30~$40 to produce… Kameya San was kind enough to hook us up with a few CC models for this limited edition.

We also opted to stay true to the original MA-1 jackets fit and profile, with the old school full and boxy cut, setting them apart from modernized slimmed-down versions with trimmed sleeves flooding the fashion market since the 1980s.
The BAILOUT’s classic shorter length compliments one’s natural waist, and works best with mid to high rise trousers or jeans.

This season, the recurring mfsc cloth label for our “Survival School” collection is a respectful nod to the little-known Quartermaster Research Facility (aka Natick Army Labs), a US Department of Defense organization located in Natick, Massachusetts. The “CLOTHING & TEXTILE RESEARCH UNIT” has been tasked with designing and developing anything from new uniforms/gear/fabrics/camo patterns/etc for the US military since 1952. Those guys are the real OG designers of most streetwear today.
The Mister Freedom® BAILOUT “Clothing & Textile Research Unit” labeling is concealed in the left side slash pocket.

Of course, the Mister Freedom® BAILOUT comes “unissued”, i.e. free of unearned squadron/unit patches. Should you want to go full-on Top Gun, do your thing Mav’!

Speaking of Hollywood, our subtle nod to “The Hunter” (1980) – McQueen’s final movie – with his bounty-hunter “Papa Thorson” character (pops going full circle after Josh Randall, ain’t he?!) sporting an MA-1 iteration won’t be lost on the cinephile. Papa and stunt double/friend Loren Janes are wearing the flap pocket model MIL-J8279E (E-Type) in the movie, although they may be commercial versions?
Anecdotally, “Buzz Rickson” is the name of McQueen’s character name in “The War Lover” (1962.)

The MF® x Buzz Rickson’s “BAILOUT” Flyer’s Jacket is a classic reimagined in California, USA by Mister Freedom®, designed for the man-o-style uninterested in fleeing trends, and crafted in Japan by Toyo Enterprise.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
A classic 1960s US military flight jacket pattern (MA-1) revisited, and a visual nod to colorful Jet Age astronaut jackets.

FABRIC:
A-side: Rescue out, period Mil-Specs 2/2 heavy nylon twill, “Indian” orange.
B-side: Camo out, period Mil-Specs 2/2 heavy nylon twill, 1960s USAF sage green.

Interlining: thick insulating blend of undyed 60% Wool – 40% Cotton pile fibers.

DETAILS:
* Constructed and redesigned with all period Mil-Specs patterns/fabrics/trims/snaps/zippers.
* Vintage silhouette and proportions true to authentic vintage USAF MA-1 profiles: full cut, boxy fit.
* Fully reversible: main side (A-side) is rescue (Indian orange), lining (B-side) is camo (sage green.)
* Two slanted “hand warmer” slash pockets on shell, snap closure, 35/65 Wool/Rayon blend double face brushed pocket lining.
* Two interior “map” welt pockets, snap closure, white cotton twill pocket lining.
* Quilted storm flap.
* Soft 100% wool ribbed knit collar, waistband and sleeve cuffs.
* Utility pocket (“cigarette” pocket) on A-side sleeve, authentic pen caps slots.
* Aluminum “CC” (Coats & Clark) CROWN type double-sided slide fastener (zipper), all cotton tape, leather pull tab extension for easier gloved operation.
* Intricate garment construction, authentic puckering seams, cut and sewn by skilled and experienced artisans.
* Year-round jacket, optimized for 14º F ~ 50º F (minus 10º C ~ 10º C) range temps.
* Original Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s “Clothing & Textile Research Unit” labeling, concealed in the left side slash pocket.
* Crafted in Japan by specialized expert artisans, with a 30-year experience in authentically-reproducing vintage military gear.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® x Buzz Rickson’s “BAILOUT” Flyer’s Jacket comes ready to wear out of the box. No initial process required.

MF® crew sizing recs:
CL (5’7 ~ 140 lbs): I opted for a SMALL, for a comfortable yet period fit.
John (6’ ~ 170 lbs): LARGE
Ivan (5’9 ~ 160 lbs): MEDIUM
Enoch (6’ ~ 153 lbs): SMALL

The MF® BAILOUT pretty much fits like authentic 1960s vintage MA-1 jackets, for those familiar with them.
Some people may consider sizing down, according to silhouette and subjective style preferences.
Please refer to size chart for approximate measurements, keeping in mind that due to the thickness of the shell + interlining + lining, properly measuring is somewhat subject to one’s interpretation.

CARE:
Professional DRY CLEAN only or spot clean when needed.
Do NOT machine wash/heat dry.
Because of the 100% wool knit trims and , please store garment with your choice of moth-repellent product.

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®
©2023

Mechanics Utility Trousers, indigo ‘Cavalry Twill’, Fall 2014 “Sea Hunt” Collection

Mechanics Trousers Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

Raw/unwashed

Mechanics Trousers Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

Cold soak/line dry/worn to shape while still damp.

 

 

Mechanics Trousers Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

Mechanics Trousers Mister Freedom Sea Hunt 2014

 

Mechanics Utility Trousers ‘Cavalry Twill’
“Sea Hunt” mfsc collection, Fall 2014

 For those of you who wonder if we have come up with any bottoms for the Fall chapter of our “Sea Hunt” collection, one of the answer is right here.

We called in the USAF to the rescue on this one, and freely borrowed from a New Old Stock pair of 1957 -brace yourselves it’s a mouthful- “TROUSERS, UTILITY, COTTON, SAGE GREEN, CLASS 2, HEMMED BOTTOMS, SHADE 509”. Issued to Air Force mechanics in the mid 1950’s those original sage green sateen “grease monkey” britches featured front pleats and side tool pockets, but are mostly immediately recognizable by their long cinch-waist adjusting tabs.

Vintage USAF trousers 1957 SAC Air Sea Rescue 1950s Courtesy of LIFE B-58 Ground Crew 1962

We have adapted the pattern and features of the vintage military work pants for our ‘Mechanic Utility Trousers’. If we kept the cool side tabs, off went the front pleats and side tool pockets. Instead we re-positioned a single extra pocket along the inseam of the left leg. It is ‘sandwiched’ in the flat felled seam and is located at mid-calf, not lower as our previous flight suit-inspired ankle pockets originally introduced in 2008 with the N1-K Deck Pants.
The back of the calf might seem like an unlikely location for a pocket, but it will be quite convenient for the many of us who fly jets daily.
Think about it next time you sit in the cockpit of your X-13 VertiJet.  And let us know how easy we have made it for you to access your iPod playlists after take-off. We’re thoughtful like that.

X-13A Vertijet 54

Back to our Mechanics Trousers…

The side snap tabs will allow for quick cinched waist release, a special Thanks Giving feature.

The fabric we opted for is our original indigo ‘Cavalry twill’, previously introduced with our numéro deux Map Shirt.
This denim-like double twill is 9.7 oz. and features a solid white selvedge. In its unwashed state, this fabric appears to be dark blue-grey, but the warp yarn is actually indigo-dyed. After an initial cold soak, natural wear will bring out the indigo blue color over time.

The rear pockets appear to be lelt-hand twill denim, but are in fact only displaying the fabric horizontally, not vertically as the rest of the trousers. The fabric selvedge is folded inside the pocket, and is showing on the hem.
After the initial cold soak and line dry, the back pockets will shrink and torque slightly differently than the body. This is visible from the resulting subtle wrinkles. This is not a default but the specific character of our Mechanics Trousers rear pockets.

The ‘Cavalry Twill’ Mechanics Utility Trousers are designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co. Fabric milled in Japan.

(Vintage USAF photos courtesy of jetpilotoverseas and aviationexplorer)

SPECS:

FABRIC:
100% cotton indigo ‘Cavalry twill’, 9.7 oz., solid white selvedge ID. Milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Pattern freely inspired by 1950’s USAF mechanics utility trousers.
* Patch front pockets.
* Single inner calf pocket.
* Button fly.
* Corrozo wood buttons, golden brown.
* Waist snap adjusting tabs.
* Rear patch pockets, single flap.
* Concealed selvedge on rear pocket folded hem.
* Cotton USN-type chambray button-fly facing and snap backing.
* Flat-felled seam construction.
* 100% cotton thread, tonal.
* Made in Japan.

WASHING/SIZING:
The mechanic trousers come raw/unwashed and will ‘technically’ shrink to tagged size. I opted for an original cold soak/line dry, which resulted in minimal shrinkage. I personally never use hot water/heat dryer for denim garments, which guaranties full shrinkage but also loss of color and excessive softening, in my opinion.
If you are opting for the cold soak/line dry, I recommend sizing down on these. I am usually a 32 in msfc bottoms, but went for a size 30, as I had done with the Spring 2014 Crew Pants.
I might hem them later, but decided to wear them with a fat cuff for a while.
The leg is still quite generous with a 30, and these are definitely not slim fitting, limiting the target audience to about 12 people Worlwide.

Again, maximum shrinkage to be expected with the use of hot water and heat dryer, although this is NOT recommended, as unnecessary loss of indigo dye and unattractive color marbling might occur.
This indigo cavalry twill fabric should be treated like premium indigo denim, as it will bleed, shrink/stretch, and fade with normal wear and subsequent washing.
When needed, hand wash in cold water with mild detergent and line dry.

Pleased see size chart for measurements. Please note that, for your reference, we have shrink-tested two waist 32. One cold-soak/line-dry for minimal shrinkage, and one cold-soak/heat-dry for further shrinkage.

Mechanics Utility Trousers Mister Freedom

Available RAW/unwashed.
Waist Sizes: 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38
RETAIL $399.95

Available on www.misterfreedom.com
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.