Mister Freedom® “SNIPES” Shirt, Buzz Rickson’s USN Indigo Chambray, mfsc FW2020 “Waterfront Surplus”. Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES, BR chambray, raw ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES, BR chambray, rinsed ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Fabric evo: Mister Freedom® unworn “SNIPES Shirt” (2020) and well-worn “PATROL Shirt” (2014), featuring a completely different pattern, but cut from the same “BR” indigo chambray.

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt, indigo chambray ©2020

Mister Freedom “SNIPES” Shirt, “BR” indigo blue 5 Oz. selvedge chambray.
FW 2020 mfsc “Waterfront Surplus” Collection.
Made in Japan.

The pattern of the MF® SNIPES is inspired by the earliest model of US Gov-issued full button front uniform shirt.

Identified as Specs “No. 8-26C Shirt, Flannel, Olive-Drab, Coat Style” by the Quartermaster Corps, it was introduced sometime in 1933 and issued to US Army and Air Corps personnel and FDR’s CCC enrollees alike. This new uniform shirt pattern was deemed “Coat Style”, marking a practical departure from its predecessor, the mustard color pullover wool shirt commonly associated with WW1 Doughboys. The overall design was borrowed from civilian workwear, back when utilitarian garment-making skills bordered on fancy tailoring prowess. This is definitely an intricate pattern by today’s workwear clothing standards.

Besides the full six-button front placket improvement, the characteristics of the early 8-26C shirt included a one-piece unstructured collar (no collar band), a singular style of elbow reinforcement patch, and two large functional chest pockets, each with a pen compartment.

The Mister Freedom® SNIPES Shirt retains all of that military design DNA, but we opted for an indigo blue chambray fabric treatment instead of the original US Army OD wool blend release. The slubby indigo chambray is complimented by the olive green contrast stitching and button facing poplin placket, with a touch of red on the side bartacks.

That premium selvedge chambray fabric is a favorite of ours. Developed by Buzz Rickson’s for their vintage US Navy utility shirts repros, it has become a staple of the mfsc shirting catalog for some time. See the Continental, Tonkinoise and Patrol Shirt, all released in that exact same fabric. Some of the product photos above feature a well-worn BR chambray Patrol Shirt from 2014, for fabric evo ref.

Blending 1930s US Army uniform shirt design with 1940-50s US Navy period mil-specs fabric, this original MF® shirt needed a new moniker. Because of the strong vintage naval utility chambray work shirt vibe, we went for SNIPES. The term refers to US Navy enlisted personnel working in the engine room, the “sailors that sail below”, also known as “Black Gang” for their grease-covered blues and dixie cup covers. See Machinist’s Mate Jake Holman’s dungarees for a Hollywood rendition.

The MF® SNIPES Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

FABRIC: Period mil-specs USN “Buzz Rickson’s” indigo blue chambray, slubby 5 Oz. fabric, white with blue line selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
SPECS:
* Pattern inspired by a vintage 1930’s US Army wool uniform classic.
* Full 6 button front opening.
* Rounded tails.
* Olive corozzo wood buttons.
* Two large utilitarian chest pockets with pen compartments.
* Unstructured one-piece collar.
* Elbow reinforcement patches.
* Olive poplin button placket facing.
* Chainstitch construction with narrow folder.
* All cotton olive color contrast stitching.
* Red bartack in lieu of side gussets.
* Original mfsc “Waterfront Surplus” woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The BR chambray SNIPES Shirt comes RAW/unwashed. It 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.

I personally opted for a MEDIUM for a comfortable fit. I am 5.7’’ approx. 150 Lbs., and although the SMALL did fit with more of a trim uniform silhouette, it was a bit too tight in the chest.

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

CHART

CARE:
Machine wash on DELICATE, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Wash with similarly-colored garments.
Do not use the washer’s heavy-duty cycle. Heat dryer is also not recommended and may result in excessive shrinkage.

Available RAW (unwashed)
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®
©2020

 

 

Mister Freedom® SWABBIES dungarees, 10 Oz. selvedge “Snow” denim edition, mfsc SS2020 “Waterfront Surplus”. Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® SWABBIES dungarees, 10 Oz. “Snow” denim edition.
mfsc SS2020 “WATERFRONT SURPLUS”, SURPLUS catalog.
Made in Japan.

It’s been “All Hands on Deck” lately. For us at the MF® HQ, but more-importantly nation-wide, as anyone who has access to electricity and a few brain cells must have noticed, unlike this fine group of our Country’s learning elite…
So here are the SWABBIES, the final installment of our “WATERFRONT SURPLUS” nautical capsule collection.

The term swabbie is military lingo for a low-rank bluejacket, referring to the sailor’s chore of mopping (swabbing) the deck, barefoot in the old days. This derogatory expression is typical of the healthy rivalry in different branches of the United States Armed Forces. US Marines might call sailors swabbies. A sailor who’d rather be referred to as squid, might call a Marine jungle bunny, or more recently crayon eater. Submariners are bubble heads… All in good humor. This insiders’ exchange quotes some other colorful examples.

The inspiration behind the Mister Freedom® SWABBIES came from a pair of rare 1940’s-50’s private-purchase naval dungarees from the “Portlite Uniform” maker. If these conformed to the general silhouette and specs of traditional US Navy-issued denim dungarees, they featured really fancy tailoring and intricate pattern work for a pair of work trousers, which we liked. The apparently-inconspicuous two front pockets are actually a very clever combination of two type of pocket patterns, slash and patch, a construction tour-de-force on a wrap leg that only make sense when studying the inside of the pants.
Fabric yield on that vintage specimen was definitely optimized by using the fabric selvedge on as many parts of the pants as possible, folded waist band, front pockets, watch pocket, and rear pockets. The rear pockets feature an horizontal warp, as the patch pockets of the denim Longshoreman do, a detail that will only start revealing itself with wear and patina.

The most striking feature of our SWABBIES however is the authentic navy bells. We didn’t spare fabric on this one, and went full-on 1940’s-style authentic bells. Unlike 1970’s hippy bell bottoms, traditional naval bells flare from the inseam, not outseam, as the trousers’ profile photo attests. This is due to the fact that traditional navy dungarees feature a wrap leg (one folded single piece of fabric per leg, no out seam), a pattern style we have often toyed with, from our 2007 7161 Utility Trousers to the more recent Topsiders multiple iterations.

The story behind the origin of naval flares seems to be lost to History, with many legends floating around. Bell bottom trousers might have been issued to US Navy sailors as early as 1813, with a denim model introduced in 1901. The wide leg opening allegedly allowed roll-ups above the knee, keeping the pants dry while swabbing, as regulations from Secretary of the Navy Crowninshield in 1817 suggest. (source)
The myth about tying up the legs and using the trousers as a life preserver for a man overboard is probably moonshine on the water.

We kept the fit of our SWABBIES authentic, and refused to compromise with modern fashion adjustments, ‘cause we craycray like that. These feature a high rise, fit top block, and flaring that starts at the knee, gradually reaching a whooping 11.5 inches at leg opening! Not everyone will pull that off, but we just love that unmistakable vintage naval silhouette so much that we had to add bells to the MF® catalog at some point. And since 2020 is nothing short of an unusual year so far, there it is.

The SWABBIES’ fabric, a dark and handsome 2×1 selvedge denim with a “snowy” neppy texture, matches that of the Dockyard and Longshoreman. For those into the total look, the set will soon be modeled for your viewing pleasure, as soon as things get a bit under control in the World. For less of a “Sand Pebbles” extra statement, pairing the SWABBIES with a solid Skivvy, a classic chambray shirt or pull-over Secoya might be the ticket. Vintage naval photos abound and could be a style inspiration for some. The fits are also a bit all over the place on period photos, as can be seen on the shots below from albums in our archives.

The fabric evo on the SWABBIES should be quite interesting with normal wear and occasional laundering, not unlike that of vintage US dungarees.

The mfsc SWABBIES are designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co., from denim fabric milled in Japan.

SPECS:
FABRIC:
10 Oz. dark indigo blue 2×1 denim, “snowy” neppy texture, white with yellow line selvedge ID. Milled in Japan.
DETAILS:
* An original mfsc pattern inspired by US Navy 1940’s-50’s private-purchase denim bell bottom trousers aka dungarees.
* Authentic traditional USN dungarees flared leg pattern, inseam bell shape with straight outseam.
* Wrap leg (no outseam.)
* Intricate use of the denim selvedge in construction (folded waist band, front pockets, watch pocket, and rear pockets.)
* Black 1940s-style laurel leaf starburst metal donut waist & fly buttons.
* Front pockets combining complex patch-type and slash-type pattern due to the challenge of the wrap leg. No open seams.
* Rear patch pockets cut using horizontal warp.
* Flat lock chainstitch construction.
* Black tonal all-cotton stitching.
* Bar-tacked stress points.
* Woven rayon mfsc “SURPLUS” label on inside waistband.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING:
The SWABBIES come UN-WASHED and are cut so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an initial cold soak/line dry.
We recommend the usual protocol before wearing:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Spin dry and line dry.
  • Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases, then hang until fully dry.

I opted for a W32 in the Swabbies, for a fitted top block, comfortable thighs and period bell-bottoms. The waist might feel a bit tight after the cold soak, but with a bit of wear, the “snow” denim stretches back slightly to the tagged waist. After minimal wear, the fabric will naturally stretch at the stress points, like the waist, as opposed to, say, the ankles.
I opted for a no cuff silhouette, until swabbing duty. To facilitate sizing for wide range of frames, we cut limited odd sizes too (29, 31, 33).

Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements.
Soaked = 30-40mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry (ie. minimal shrinkage).

CARE:
Wash when necessary. We recommend turning garment inside-out to avoid potential marbling of the denim fabric.
Machine wash with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

Available RAW/unwashed.
Sizes (W is for Waist, measured in inches.)
W 28
29

30
31
32
33
34
36
W 38

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®
©2020

 

 

Mister Freedom Type N-1H Deck Jacket, black jungle cloth edition, Fall 2016 mfsc Anniversary Collection

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Mister Freedom® Type N-1H mfsc Deck Jacket, black jungle cloth edition
Fall 2016 mfsc Anniversary Collection

We are dropping another heavy hitter this season, a foul weather contender in the Fall 2016 Anniversary Collection celebrating ten years of fun collaborations with our friends at Sugar Cane Co and Buzz Rickson’s (Toyo Enterprises).
This jacket will be our fifth iteration of the iconic military naval “Deck Jacket”, now-familiar to heritage fashion circles. Check out the MF® chronological timeline, summarized while introducing the indigo version of our “Blouson De Quart” (a reference to the French Marine Nationale deck jacket).

This N-1H Anniversary issue is a nod to our original model, released in 2008 during the early nautical adventures of the MFSC Naval Clothing Tailor” collection. Our first N-1H (the added H was for hook), issued in navy blue jungle cloth and wool blanket-lined, was a hybrid of several Government-issued foul weather jackets. Its design mixed periods and specs of vintage 1940’s and 50’s US Navy deck jackets, sought-after collectibles today.

The Fall 2016 edition of the Type N-1H Deck Jacket’s specs are similar to those of its 2008 predecessor. One stand-out difference is the shell color. We opted for a black 100% cotton grow grain jungle cloth, complimented by an attractive heather dark navy blue wool lining. This soft-hand lining (a non-itchy blend of 90% wool and 10% nylon) is backed by an inner rayon fabric layer, a reference to the crunchy wax-coated organdy layer of early USN deck jackets. Please note that we went for a ‘quieter’ wind-proofing material for this issue, as the crinkly noise of our 2008 model tended to interfere with sound mix on movie sets!

The 2016 N1-H performs pretty much as its predecessors did, i.e. appropriate for moderately-cold weather. We wanted an in-between season garment with this deck jacket, rather than a full-on winter coat such as the recently-released alpaca-lined indigo Blouson De Quart.
According to your tolerance level of cold temperatures, the black N-1H might not be a good choice for prolonged exposure to extreme winter conditions while in the field. There are better options out there if you’re planning to take on the Everest. However, with appropriate layering, you’ll be fine for chilly winter evenings in California and under other mild temperate climates.

On a side note, if I personally plan on leaving my indigo Blouson de Quart as-is and let a natural indigo color patina develop over time, I might wax my black N-1H in the near future, for partial waterproofing and for the rather interesting resulting leathery effect.

blouson-de-quart-waxed

Waxed MF® khaki Blouson de Quart, 2014.

The Type N-1H Deck Jacket, black jungle cloth issue, 2016 mfsc Anniversary edition, is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS
FABRIC:

* Shell: Solid 14 Oz. “Jungle Cloth”, black 100% cotton grosgrain fabric, period mil-specs, milled in Japan.
* Body Inner Lining: 100% rayon fabric wind-proofing concealed layer.
* Lining: Soft hand, non-itchy blend of 90% wool and 10% nylon fabric.

DETAILS:
* Freely inspired by 1940’s-1950’s vintage US Navy foul weather-type deck jackets issued to enlisted naval 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, soft-hand wool/nylon blend.
* ‘Silent’ inner wind-proofing layer, 100% rayon fabric.
* 100% wool knit collar and cuffs, navy blue color.
* Cinch-string bottom.
* MF® teardrop hand-warmer pockets, lined with golden brown cotton corduroy.
* Underarm ventilating eyelets.
* Tonal poly-cotton thread stitching.
* Limited Ten Year Anniversary Edition.
* Double labeling, original MF® and mfsc woven labels.
* No outside military markings.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
We had these jackets professionally rinsed. NOT distressed, but gently rinsed and tumble-dried. No shrinkage guessing.
Our black edition N-1H is pre-shrunk, and true to size. I wear a comfortable 38 in this coat, with room for a thick shirt or wool sweater underneath.
Like most ready-to-wear garments not made from stretch fabric or cut as a poncho, our N-1H might not satisfy everyone’s body type expectations. In general, the consensus is to go with your usual size in mfsc jackets.
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.

n1h-deck-jacket

CARE:
Please DO NOT attempt to wash this jacket in a home washing machine! You risk ruining both machine and jacket. The N1-H weights quite a bit when wet, the metal hooks will get snagged, the black jungle cloth fabric will get marbling marks etc…
IMPORTANT: Treat your zipper as you would a vintage one, rub wax to lubricate at times, and use common sense rather that brute force to zip and unzip, making sure tabs line-up when zipping.
Activities and frequency of wear will obviously dictate when cleaning is needed. Please use common sense with spot cleaning, or take the jacket to a professional eco-friendly cleaner. This jacket can also be hand-washed in a tub filled with cold water. Use eco-friendly detergent for delicate colors. Hang to dry.

Available rinsed/pre-shrunk.
Sizes
36
Small
38
Medium
40
Large
42
X-Large
44
XX-Large
Retail $799.95

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, and our Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2016

Mister Freedom ‘Blouson de Quart’, indigo-dyed jungle cloth issue, Fall 2016 mfsc Anniversary Collection

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n-1h-indigo2

n1h-indigo-1

n1h-indigo-10

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cl-marine-86

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.)

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.

SPECS
FABRIC:
* 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.

DETAILS:
* 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.

SIZING/FIT:
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.

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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.

blouson-indigo

CARE:
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 rinsed/pre-shrunk.
Sizes
36
Small
38
Medium
40
Large
42
X-Large
44
XX-Large
Retail $949.95

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, and our Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2016

Mister Freedom® vintage Liberty CrackerJack, limited edition of 66, upcycled in USA

 

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (01 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (05 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (10 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (14 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (15 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (18 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (21 of 66)

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (29 of 66)

 

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MF® Liberty Crackerjack (34 of 66)

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Mister Freedom® customized vintage Liberty Crackerjack.
2016 Limited Edition of 66 one-of-a-kind pieces.
Up-cycled in USA.

Involved with used and vintage clothing as a rag dealer for the past 25 years, I guess I have recycled my share of clothes. If early on I found the trade to be a pretty honest and independent way of making a living, only more recently have I come to realize that keeping textiles out of landfills is also a pretty worthy mission, especially in a world of fast and disposable fashion.
Purchasing previously-owned clothing from your local recycled shops, antique flea markets or vintage boutiques is definitely less of a waste of resources than an impulse buy at, say, H&M or Forever 21, a purchase probably bound to trash bins within a few months, where some 10 million tons of textiles are dumped every year in America.

During my days working at American Rag Cie in the early 1990’s, I was handed the ‘Remake Department’ hot potato for a few seasons. A remake was basically an unsalable used item you could find tons of in the rags, transformed into a desirable and hip garment. Stadium jackets cropped into sexy boleros (it was the 90’s…), sweatshirt hoods attached to flannel shirts, patched-up 501® hot pants, re-sized Arnold Palmer golf cardigans, etc… Imagination was the limit, not questionable taste. We participated in fancy international trade shows with these ‘collections’, orders from fashion boutiques flowed in. Remakes were big for a while.

Military surplus is always a good source for such projects. Due to our propensity, as Homo Sapiens Sapiens, for territoriality and self-righteousness, and following an ever-fluctuating geopolitical equilibrium, it is inevitable that obsolete military surplus piles up. And for everything from ingenious recycled coolness to fashion Frankensteins, just give Homo Sapiens Sapiens a threaded needle and scissors. We’ll try to forget the few history-filled collectibles forced and tortured into awkward new beginnings that occasionally pop up on the racks of recycled clothing boutiques, such as 1950’s US Navy white bellbottoms tie-dyed deadhead-style in more colors than a Guatemalan rug, M-65 field jackets silkscreened with bright pink plastisol skulls, 60’s Vietnam ERDL jungle fatigue shirts adorned with assorted rhinestones and brass studs, or faux leopard, etc… Collateral damage.

Figuring out what to do with specific decommissioned military uniforms before moths or roof leaks get to them gets challenging at times. For the ragman, wool pull-over sailor tops are one of those recycling puzzling challenge.
Due to an inclination for things naval at Mister Freedom®, we have decided to tackle these buggers and go green on some blues. So our latest up-cycling venture is the vintage MF® Liberty Crackerjack, Uncle Sam-made gear turned wearable for the stylish city dweller.

This has been another one of those manufacturing journeys for us…
Hunting down salvageable specimen around flea markets and raghouses, we managed to collect sixty-six vintage US Navy blue dress jumpers. This limited selection is a mixture of vintage WW2 and Cold War period enlisted dress blues, aka crackerjacks.

Each wool pullover shirt underwent a lengthy make-over and re-tailoring process, each piece receiving a one-of artistic treatment. Our stylistic approach was that of period Asiatic Fleet custom tailor-made garments familiar to militaria collectors. The vibe of our MF® Liberty Crackerjack is inspired by Liberty cuff type sailor uniforms, military “party” suits and other ‘local-made’ souvenir garments favored by the enlisted man on tour, fighting for Freedom on exotic shores.
In the US Navy, liberty cuffs and fancy lining embroideries were tolerated on board. They were intended to be concealed, and usually only flashed to impress buddies and bar ladies. At 7161 Beverly, as bound to Bluejackets’ regulations as Calico Jack‘s band of pyrates were, we took the old salty naval tradition of customizing one’s uniform up a few notches. We respectfully altered the whole garment, in and out, definitely ‘demilitarizing’ it.
Actually, similar practice was not uncommon for US Navy personnel, for instance during a tour of duty in China in the late 40’s. The works of skilled local naval base tailors, specimen of wool jackets or shirts cut from government-issued navy blue wool uniforms have today become sought-after collectibles. The reader might be familiar with the multi-colored embroidered dragons, “Shanghai 1945” and other Asian theater motifs adorning such custom-made vintage souvenir garments.

Although not replicas of authentic military personnel period souvenirs, our limited edition MF® Liberty Crackerjacks have a Sand Pebbles meets Sayonara vibe, relating to the presence of US Armed Forces in Asia throughout History, from Shanghai to Tokyo to Saigon to Okinawa…
Turning a plain crackerjack shirt into a Liberty jacket (we had to brace ourselves not to call it Liberty Crackerjacket) allowed us to put to some good use a limited stash of vintage parts from our archives we had been saving for some time. Each jacket features a rare original 1930’s~40’s NOS zipper of French manufacture. Stamped “LFE”, these hard-to-find zippers were scored from a Paris flea market years ago, and probably originate from the original French fastener company Éclair Prym that started producing “La Fermeture Éclair®”, the French household name for zipper, in 1924.

The ‘tar flap’ was re-cut into a round collar, leaving enough left over flap fabric to make two patch pockets, each featuring the traditional Navy white stripes and stars. We’re quite proud of that MF® à la Coco Chanel touch, a little re-purpose spark of innovation we’ll take the credit for, as I have honestly not seen it done on vintage pieces before. So, think of us when you see that at the Rosebowl flea market next time…
The patient type can also visually dull-out the rows of white tape by dyeing them with a small brush dipped in fabric dye or fabric paint. The Liberty Crackerjack 42 of 66 (that I am keeping for personal use) shows stripes hand-dyed in blue.

Aside from the general restructuring, each crackerjack was customized with a mixture of vintage parts. Each of the sixty-six MF® Liberty Crackerjack we made is unique and numbered (in a non-chronological sequence). Each features a combo of New Old Stock woven tape for cuffs, vintage embroidered silk textiles from China, antique kimonos or indigo discharge printed cotton from Japan, hand-cut stencil painted markings… We even used an antique 1900’s Wilcox & Gibbs sewing machine to add custom rainbow stitching accents and patches.

The original ranks and insignia patches of each vintage jumper were left untouched. The original Navy cloth label previously covered by the tar flap, if still attached to the garment, now appears on the back of the jacket.

The sizing of the batch is all over the place, but tends to pull towards small/medium, not an uncommon size for fit and skinny 18 or-so year-old enlisted sailors of the times. Smaller sizes actually look pretty cool on ladies into mixing up a bit of vintage fashion in their outfits.

The MF® Liberty Crackerjack is re-designed and up-cycled or whateveryacallit in California by Mister Freedom® in a limited edition of sixty-six one-of-a-kind pieces. Each piece is unique and might contain imperfections, fading, repairs or permanent stains due to its vintage origin.
Please note that not all of the above pictured Liberty Crackerjacks are available for sale.

FABRIC:
Vintage US Navy mil-specs melton wool. A few pieces are period private purchase wool gabardine.

SPECS:
* An original Mister Freedom® up-cycled design.
* Made from vintage Government-issued enlisted sailors navy blue wool jumpers, Cold War era.
* Tar flap turned into round collar.
* Zip-front closure, featuring a 1930’s-40’s NOS French metal “LFE” zipper.
* Two recycled front patch pockets, one original slash chest pocket, one original inside chest flap pocket.
* Each jumper features a “Liberty cuffs” type customization, inspired by Asiatic Fleet custom naval tailor garments of the 20th Century: assorted vintage parts, NOS ornaments and bias tape, antique fabric decorative panels and/or multi colored chainstitch accents and/or liberty cuff patches…
* Painted markings from hand-cut stencils.
* Up-cycled in California, USA.

SIZING:
Assorted sizing, fits and silhouettes.
Approximate measurements of each MF® Liberty Crackerjacks are available upon request from sales@misterfreedom.com

CARE:
Each Liberty Crackerjack has been professionally dry-cleaned in an eco-friendly facility.
Dry clean only.
Please note that due to the age of the vintage New Old Stock zippers, they should be operated with care. As with vintage 1930’s cotton tape metal zippers, move gently and do not pull hard or yank if you feel resistance. Candle wax can be applied periodically to the zipper teeth for maintenance.

RETAIL:
$ 329.95 (unless otherwise individually priced.)

Available from Mister Freedom® HQ, our brick & mortar store at 7161 beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.

Thank you for your support,
✌?
Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom® 2016