Utility Trousers ‘Utes’ Experimental Camouflage, “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Spring 2015

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Cachou.

 

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

 

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Hiland.

 

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

 

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Loland.

 

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

 

 

 

Utility Trousers, “Utes” Experimental Camouflage
Mister Freedom® “Saigon Cowboy” Spring 2015

For those into the jungle tuxedo, our MF® Experimental Camo is now available in fine looking trousers as well! For those lucky to have missed it, the account of how our original camouflage pattern came to be was summed up in the Evac Jak spiel.

For today’s story, who needs fiction when you have CIA declassified intel? Here is some of it, revisited…

The year is 1961.
American taxpayers have been unknowingly forking over $400 million to the French imperialist war effort in Indochina from 1945 to 1954 (thereby funding about 80% of the French Guerre d’Indochine), but we are still four years short of the ‘official’ engagement of the United States in Vietnam’s affairs of 1965.
In those years, some felt that if you didn’t stop the red devils (‘commies’) in the jungles of South East Asia, “they would have to be stopped in Honolulu or on the beaches of California.
President Kennedy, a man of his times and a believer in the efficiency of US Special Forces guerilla tactics, sends 400 tiger stripes-clad intensively trained men to the highlands of  South Vietnam in May 1961, in an effort to contain the spread of the National Liberation Front (NLF), China’s protégé…
Men in green berets immerse in the local culture, assess the situation and organize local resistance. Montagnards and local villagers receive training in jungle warfare. The enemy du jour? The Việt Cộng (Vietnamese Communists) guerrillas, VC (NATO’s Victor Charlie), or Charlie as often referred to by US boots on the ground.
A program called CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Group) and originally designed by the CIA has the task to assist in the transformation of local minorities into anti-communist paramilitary forces.
To more efficiently handle logistics, the highly-classified Counter Insurgency Support Office is established on the island of Okinawa, Japan in 1963. Headed by a mysterious individual working for the Department of Army by the name of Conrad Benjamin Baker, CISO was “assigned the mission of supporting the Special Forces programs through triservice depots and local procurement sources (…) Many items of clothing and equipment, for example, had to be obtained from markets in other countries because of size problems, composition of material, and equipment which had to be tailored to Montagnard measurements.” (source)

CISO acquired or produced ‘sterile’ (untraceable if captured) weapons, along with unmarked clothing and equipment to outfit US Special Forces or advisors heading out to South Vietnam. Locally screen-printed tiger stripe camo fatigues, “bowie” knives, VC-style black pajamas, rations, machetes, Seiko watches for recon teams, black 1-0 rain jackets, North Vietnamese Army-inspired rucksacks
Basically, if it proved needed in the field, CISO sourced it out in Asia, or designed it and manufactured it locally. At a fraction of the price compared to US-made mil-specs issued gear, and quicker delivery than its state-side bureaucracy-laden official channel alternative. What exactly went on is not well documented, but Ben Baker’s account of his involvement in the original design and R&D of the famous SOG knife is available for download in pdf form here.

Note:
I am no expert on the topic and more accurate facts are available to those interested in History preservation willing to do the research. The “SOG” book by John L. Plaster probably answers many questions, but I admit having only flipped through its photo album companion (ISBN 1-58160-058-5) due to time restriction.

(Above photos credited to the best of our knowledge and provided for educational purposes only.)

I had found the logistics side of this CISO story quite fascinating when originally coming across it. As usual, we didn’t take any of this literally in our ‘Saigon Cowboy‘ venture. Imagination took over authenticity. We didn’t go black pajamas, decided to improvise instead, mixing things up into a somewhat plausible garment. Or maybe our ‘utes’ are just a pretext for sharing a slice of ‘behind-the-scene’ History…

The pattern for the featured MF® trousers this season blends details of US Navy dungarees, Army chino trousers, M-51 field trousers, Marine Corps M1941 trousers… a joint operation if you will.
The term ‘utes’ was lifted from the old USMC expression “boots ‘n’ utes” (boots and utility uniform).

As mentioned with the Evac Jak, the MF® Exp. camo combines camouflage with a simple solid side. The solid side cachou color is a reference to the caramel-like color typical of 1930’s French military canvas gear. Although this fabric is designed to be reversible, the trousers are not. Three options are available for the Exp camo utilities:
a) Cachou out/HiLand in.
b) HiLand out (arid terrain, lighter)/cachou in.
c) LoLand out (jungle, darker)/cachou in.

The sizing S,M,L,XL applied to trousers is a nod to old military field pants featuring cinch tabs. Those are often tagged with a ‘size range’ as opposed to a precise measurement, reflecting the waist-adjusting pull tabs.
The “US” stamp stands for sizing following American standards, as opposed to the “A” stamp differentiating  Asian standards garments with CISO-issued gear.

Our ‘utes’ have a slimmer silhouette than typical standard-issue cargo pocket camo utilities, a reference to a silhouette favored by ARVN troops of the period.

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

SPECS

FABRIC:
Somewhat of an original Mister Freedom® camo pattern, double-side rotary screen printed (one side solid, one side camo), white 100% cotton Herringbone Twill (HBT) fabric base.
Fabric milled and printed in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Inspired by vintage military utility trousers.
* Slimmer ‘ARVN’-type silhouette.
* Mid-high waisted.
* Front patch pockets locked in side seam, rear patch pockets, horizontal HBT.
* Side cinch tabs, mil-spec slide buckle.
* Flat black-painted Metal “13 Stars” tack waist button.
* Oxidized black donut-type fly buttons.
* Flat felled seams, chainstitch.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT
This garment comes raw/unwashed and will shrink to tagged size after an original cold soak/line dry. Further shrinkage to be expected with the use of hot water and heat dryer.
All three MF® Exp. Camo fabric options will shrink the same.
I decided to size down in those, as I had done with the Crew Pants of the Sea Hunt spring 2013 collection, and I am wearing a Small (30). When both fully cinched, the waist tabs can tighten the fit by about 2 inches, but a Medium looked too baggy on me. A tagged Small technically corresponds to a 30-32 inch waist.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements reflecting a 30mn cold soak no agitation/light machine dry.

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

CARE:
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. We recommend turning garments inside out to avoid marbling of the fabric during the washing cycles.
Because the base HBT fabric is white before being printed, toning down of colors will naturally occur. This fading should not be considered a quest nor a defect, only the natural consequence of the wash/wear process over the years.

Available RAW/unwashed
SIZES:
Small (30)
Medium (32)
Large (34)
X-Large (36)
XX-Large (38)

RETAIL $229.95

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

 

 

 

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.