Hot on the trail of the recently-released Californian “Outlaw” and Ranch Blouse, in matching black sulfur-dyed selvedge denim, comes the Mister Freedom® DESPERADO Brush Coat.
The pattern of this latest addition to our made-in-USA Sportsman catalog was inspired by a blend of vague childhood memories of western-wear from screen characters (maybe James Stewart in “The Far Country” 1954, or Robert Fuller on “Laramie”?), visuals from old Marlboro ads, and vintage duck canvas chore coats I’ve come across through my rag-picking years.
Robert Fuller in “Laramie” TV Series (1959-1963)
James Stewart “The Far Country” (1954) Courtesy of Universal Pictures
After some detective work Texas Rangers-style, I realized that “South Texas Brush Jacket” is how this short and boxy unlined canvas coat style is often referred-to. A favorite amongst horsemen in thorny Brush Country terrain, the style became a staple piece of gear for Texas buckaroos and ranch hands, and was largely adopted by the gritty vaqueros from Northern Mexico such as the kineños, the OG cow-boys hired to work on King Ranch in the mid 1800s.
Early models may have been made from tin cloth, and it’s unclear of when the style actually originated (1920’s-30’s?)… On the theme of western fashion’s origins, short fascinating read here.
Some brush jacket specimen are featured on this 1949 “Vanishing Cowboy” LIFE Magazine shoot, as recently spotted by our friend, style acrobat and collector extraordinaire Enoch Bayrd.
The typical “Brush Jacket” as we know it was often cut from brown duck or, less-commonly, from bone white canvas, and readily available from saddle shops, dry goods stores and ranch supplies COOPs. Brands like FINESILVER Mfg. Co, a now-defunct workwear and military uniform maker, produced them for years in its downtown San Antonio factory in Texas. Carhartt probably had its own version, along with the brand’s iconic ¾ length barn coat classic and other duck canvas models.
Vintage 60s FINESILVER Mfg Co Brush Jacket, courtesy of Vacation.
Besides the signature cropped length of original Brush Jackets, one striking feature is the characteristic contrast corduroy trimming (collar, pocket openings and cuffs). It is said that the corduroy-lined collar was initially-intended to be easier on one’s sunburned neck… An old-school vaquero also mentions dipping his Brush Jacket in the horse trough in the hot summer days, and wearing it wet as a cooling layer.
Comes in our DESPERADO…
If the saddle length of the originals makes sense if your job description involves a horse, we figured we’d adapt the bolero-style cut to better serve the aesthetics of contemporary city dwellers, less likely to go roping stray cattle in the South Texas mesquite brush. The “cropped look” is an acquired taste, and not easy to pull-of for most.
Because we didn’t have a vintage specimen in our archives for pattern inspiration, we decided to merge our military dungaree FROGMAN jacket A-line style with traditional western-wear brush jacket specifics. A scribbled Post-it®, a rough pocket prototype, and some notes from the MF® Design Dept (we didn’t even have photos of originals at the time) were all it took for our friend Fukutomi San at Toyo Enterprises to draft an original pattern. The DESPERADO was born.
The keen eye will note that we added a slight curve to the arcuate on the corduroy pocket trimming, on the patch pocket bottom shape, and on the cuff piecing. This is in contrast with the common straight lines typical of purified utilitarian fashion, intended to be easier and faster to cut & sew. This subtle tweak, along with the single needle pocket construction add an elegant early workwear touch to the jacket.
For the fabric, we opted for the same fancy twill featured on our CALIFORNIAN Lot.64 “Outlaw” and its matching RANCH BLOUSE: a premium mid-weight 13 Oz. selvedge denim combining a black sulfur-dyed warp yarn (fabric face) with a black sulfur-dyed weft (fabric reverse), produced on traditional shuttle looms by vintage textile experts in Japan.
Why DESPERADO? Partly because ofTownes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & lefty”, a fine classic tune about a bandit and his partner (we are working on some MF® Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure btw, Pancho & Lefty is on Truck Stop Jukebox), and also because this is our friend Tom “Sugar Cane” Tanaka’s favorite Eagles’ album!
The MF® DESPERADO Brush Jacket in black sulfur-dyed selvedge denim is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in USA in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, from denim fabric milled in Japan.
FABRIC: Mid-weight 13 Oz. solid black denim twill, sulfur-dyed warp x sulfur-dyed weft, selvedge (white with red line ID), 100% cotton, milled in Japan on traditional shuttle looms. Trims: 100% cotton corduroy.
DETAILS: * An original Mister Freedom® twist on the traditional western-wear “Brush Jacket”, barn coats, and military utility jackets. * Three front patch pocket, one inside chest pocket. * Tonal corduroy trimming for collar/pocket openings/cuffs.
* Curved arcuate trims and bottom pocket pattern.
* Metal button front closure, original Mister Freedom® mfsc cast silver tack buttons.
* Unmarked copper rivets pocket reinforcement.
* Split back featuring the fabric selvedge.
* Selvedge button front panel folded facing.
* All flat-felled seams chainstitch construction.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching. * Original mfsc printed “Buckaroo” cloth label. * Made in USA
SIZING: The MF® DESPERADO Brush Jacket sulfur-dyed black denim twill comes unwashed and is cut so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an initial cold soak/line dry. We recommend this usual protocol before wear:
Cold soak for about 30-40mn with occasional hand agitation.
Washing machine spin dry cycle.
Line dry. (No heat dryer)
The DESPERADO is considered true-to-size. I opted for a 38 (Medium) for a comfortable fit (5.7’’ / approx. 150 lbs). The 36 (Small) felt too tight for the silhouette I was going for, although I had opted for a 36 in the navy HBT Frogman jacket. As with all denim twills, minor back and forth shrinkage/stretching will occur for a while and will depend on the wearer’s body, activities and initial fit. DENIM CARE: Treat this black sulfur-dyed denim twill as you would premium indigo-dyed denim. Wash sporadically, only when needed. Machine wash inside out to avoid marbling. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. Wash separately from light-colored garments. Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Mister Freedom ® Sportsman Slacks, HBT cotton-linen. “The Sportsman” Fall 2015, made in USA.
A bit challenging to take this show back on the road in the wake of the recent events in Paris… Times like these put things in perspective a bit, rendering any kind of fashion-related discussions perfectly incongruous for me. Those feeling unconcerned due to geographical distances or pressing fabric shrinkage concerns might want to fast-forward to the fascinating washing instructions and sizing chart below.
Personally, i’ll pause for a second and throw down a few random thoughts instead of a sales pitch.
Dumbfounded by what happened, I have been trying to wrap my head around that tragedy by clinging on to live debates and analysis on Radio France and other sources, almost non-stop since hearing the news on Friday. If the average French citizen was utterly stunned by the unexpected suicide attacks on their capital city, well-informed criminology experts such as Alain Bauer sounded well aware that a blow from ISIS was not a matter of if but when and where.
Although the DGSI, France’s counter-terrorism agency, has been stealthily working overtime to avoid havoc in the homeland, discreetly thwarting about 90% of the attacks according to some sources, French authorities agree that zero-risk is an illusion in a democracy. Totalitarian regimes have the recourse of chopping-off every single head sticking out in opposition, temporarily guaranteeing an illusion of order. But France has moved on from the Dark Ages a while back, and is more likely to be remembered by distant future generations for its cultural legacy, lessons in art de vivre or contributions to the world of Arts and Letters. The French, having stormed La Bastille (the King’s state prison) in 1789, are not ready for Guantanameaux-Les-Bains, and are too attached to their privacy to comply with modern surveillance. They like their freedom, bequeathed to them by ancestors who fought and died for it. They drink, eat, smoke, complain, talk, vote, drive, swear, fuck, protest, create, sin, mock and basically behave with the apparently unrestrained freedom that only a very old democracy is comfortable seeing its citizens enjoy.
In retaliation for the Charlie Hebdo events in January, and in accordance with an international coalition that includes the United States, the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) was instructed to pay an aerial visit to known terrorists-training camps in Syria. By late September, the first French bombs were dropped. It might not have been evident to French nationals at the time, but a country that bombs another, is officially at war with it. Granted ISIS is not an actual country, but land sprawling through Iraq and Syria claimed by islamist degenerates via a religious scam, a venture mainly funded by revenues from the local multi-million-dollar oil trade. Some of that profitable business is conducted with the local official tyrant, Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad, ISIS’s sworn enemy… Get it? Don’t worry about it, it’s far.
In the past 4 years, this insanity has scattered over 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, and beyond. The ranks of fleeing legit migrants have been said to also be infected by terrorist cells at times, delighted to be welcomed with open arms by faraway European nations with a penchant for the Droits De l’homme.
If one can only stare at that soup sandwich with perplexity, being aware of some of its ingredients might be a clue that sending troops won’t change much on the ground. As precisely-targeted as technology allows airstrikes to be, and as legitimate as the emotional urge for revenge triggered by the horror of the provocation may feel, the solution probably resides in geopolitical maneuvers rather than in talion-like military ops. Dropping another twenty bombs on Raqqa, ISIS stronghold with its inevitable city dwellers, sounds like a good plan for turning pissed-off locals into jihadist recruits.
Which brings me to the point that, given the opportunity, educating oneself is not only a must but a civic duty. A bit of reading has never hurt anyone at the voting booth. Foreign policies do have an impact at home. The famous motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, originally followed by “ou la mort” -or death-, inherited from the French Revolution, is still today an inspiration for many around the world.
Acquiring and sharing knowledge appears to be a universally reliable way to not lose the big race against stupidity, constantly exemplified by what humans do to others humans, and the environment.
Philanthropy has never been my strength, and I must confess of my tolerance for ignorance shrinking everyday. As connected miniature personal computers rapidly become the norm in modern societies, granting us access to an endless and invaluable wealth of knowledge, professional expertise, enlighten analysis, modern exegesis and intelligent reflections, I think that one has less of an excuse for being a plank in the 21st Century than, say, during the days of medieval Crusades.
Social media platforms are great knowledge-spreading tools, free and accessible to many, albeit mostly wasted on boring trivialities and cat videos. For those frustrated with the pathetic kitchen sink quality of their newsfeed, words and images, one easy trick does wonders. Harsh but tried and true. Unfollow acquaintances! Replace the flow of numbing brain pollution by meaningful content from various reliable sources of your choice. Historical facts, scientific vulgarization, travel logs, research updates, space exploration, world news, archeological discoveries, philosophical debates, societal discussions… all have the advantage of leaving one better equipped to hopefully make intelligent decisions in life.
You might not get a visual on Bruce’s awesome cappuccino on time anymore, but a bit of awareness about the world out there should help ease the void. Bruce and you will still be friends, but acknowledging no one cares about relentless Youtube recommendations, poorly-lit food photography and other navel-gazing considerations, he might reciprocate and unfollow, thereby saving precious bandwidth and brain cells for worthy material. Everyone wins. Less idiots, less keyboard cowboys anonymously voicing uneducated opinions publicly, less music video comments to sift through to reach a spark of relevance, and, i’m stretching here, maybe less desperate acts of frustration with horrific consequences in the physical world.
On November 13, 2015, a handful of ignorant brain-washed cretins on a fool’s errand cowardly mowed down and blasted un-armed civilians enjoying an evening of live music in a Parisian concert hall, and others peacefully celebrating the good life amongst friends at a terrace… One of the 130 victims might have lived on to discover a cure for cancer, a formula for the water-fueled engine, or written the prettiest music in the world, that people listen to when they’re sad… but I guess we’ll have to wait on that. Thanks, assholes.
I’m no militant, no activist and no altruist either, pay no mind to conspiracy-theory nut jobs, don’t like being lectured, and admit being turned-off when faced with constant preaching, whatever the charity. But eradicating obscurantism is a good cause, and it starts right at home.
There are times when pulling your head out of the sand to gasp for air is urgent.
With that out of the way, the Sportsman Slacks are designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
FABRIC: Same fabric used for the Faro britches, waistcoat and sack coat.
“Gun Powder” black (between field grey and dark laurel green), wide HBT (herringbone twill), selvedge, 20% Cotton/80% Linen blend, 15 Oz. Woven in Japan.
Pocketing and waist Lining: Same fabric used for recently-released Sportsman Appaloosa shirt, New Old Stock HBT denim, 100% cotton herringbone twill denim, subtle vertical stripe design, origin USA.
DETAILS: * Vintage trousers-type construction. * “Cowboy” front pocket opening * Early type ‘donut’ metal waist button, brown corozo wood fly buttons. * Back welt pockets. * Side cinch straps, with NOS vintage French metal buckles. * Selvedge leg side seam. * Long inseam, overlocked bottom hem, for your cuffing preference (hemmed, double hemmed, rolled…) * Turn-of-the-century style flared waistband (narrower in back) * Slim belt loops (trousers style) * All cotton thread tonal stitching
The Sportsman Slacks come unwashed/raw. We recommend an original 20-30mn cold soak and line dry. These fit true-to-size and are tagged to reflect measurements after that initial process (about 2-5% shrinkage to be expected). If you are usually a 32 waist, get a tagged 32. The fit is comfortable yet quite flattering. Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
MF® Sportsman Slacks HBT Fall 2015
CARE: Subsequent cleaning should be done with the trousers flipped inside/out (to avoid marbling), gentle cycle, cold water, with minimal environmentally friendly detergent and line dry. Natural fading of this fabric is to be expected with normal repeat wash/wear cycles. NOTE: Full washing cycle in hot water and machine dry WILL result in maximum shrinkage and noticeable color loss. NOT recommended.
Sizes (W stands for Waist)
W 38 Retail $309.95
Mister Freedom® MFSC ‘BUCKAROOS’ Waist Overalls, made in USA.
‘Men of the Frontier’ Collection, Fall 2012
Introducing our humble contribution to the crowded World of blue jeans this season, the 6th installment of our ongoing “Men of the Frontier” saga, the Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane MFSC “BUCKAROOS” Waist Overalls.
The term ‘buckaroo’ has its commonly agreed on origin in the late 1800s days of the American Frontier, when Spanish settlers were heard calling cowboys and ranch hands vaqueros. For those not familiar with the Spanish language, the anglicized version and phonetic spelling caught on.
The silhouette of our Buckaroos is similar to that of our Californian Blue Jeans Lot54 and Lot44, with a very slightly narrower bottom part of the leg. As always, those blue jeans are NO skinnies, as we leave that desirable look to other jeans makers. The silhouette references can be seen on vintage cow puncher and vaqueros imagery from the fascinating photographic works of Arthur Rothstein, Russell Lee and other FSA appointed documentalists.
(below photos courtesy of Library of Congress)
Our Buckaroos blue jeans are not cut from a classic ‘five pocket’ typical pattern, since we thought that cow had been milked and needed some rest for now.
We have chosen to use two types of New Old Stock American milled denim, found in a local dusty warehouse, making the production of the Buckaroos limited to small batches. The two different selvedge denim twills are referred to as B2 and B5.
The labeling story behind the Buckaroos double branding comes from a Ranch foreman purchasing his wranglers their denim jeans from the local maker. The jeans were then identified as Ranch property by stitching a branded leather label on top of the maker’s patch…
Don’t look that story up as I made it up, but here is a little homemade clip of the fun branding process, if you are bored to death.
Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in California, USA in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
PHOTOGRAPHY NOTES: The photos above are a mix of buckaroos in RAW condition (that’s how they come), one rinse, and my personal worn pair (on and off for about 3-4 months, not for sale.)
The featured photo is a ‘making of’ teaser of a shoot directed by talented photographer Matt Hind, from the mighty fine MEN’S FILE publication. Don’t miss Issue 08, a special on denim & workwear, coming out in January 2013, with the REAL photos of that session…
Additionally, in this month’s CLUTCH Magazine (another fine new publication, from the Editor of the Japanese legendary LIGHTNING Magazine, Mr. Atsushi Matsushima), the buckaroos are featured, motion picture style! Spaghetti Western meets Manga.
And now, the long overdue…
PATTERN: An original MFSC pattern, inspired by western slacks, vintage denim dungarees and old imagery.
Two options of raw New Old Stock American milled denim twill, indigo dyed, 3×1, selvedge. B2: Dark indigo dyed selvedge denim, about 12+ Oz. Sanforized. Somewhat of a 1950’s feel to it. B5: Indigo dyed selvedge denim, about 11 Oz. Width shrinkage from 3 to 5%. Lighter in weight than B2, with an early work wear fabric type feel.
Pocket lining: 100% cotton NOS woven plaid twill, indigo/white (two similar types, shown in above photo gallery)
DETAILS: * ‘Old West’ silhouette, revisited.
* Original front pocket with folding buttoned flap. Reinforcement un-marked copper riveting.
* Original MFSC upper curved cinch back strap, sandwiched in the back yoke, riveted.
* Wider rear belt loops, to fit your concha belt.
* Metal donut crest buttons, ‘old stock’ finish.
* Concealed rivets on back pockets with original “M” stitch and slightly curved opening.
* Original double labeling. One printed cloth label with original artwork mounted during construction, partially superimposed by a leather patch with “MF” hot branding.
* All 100% cotton color thread. We are using an original MFSC combination of 12 types of gauge/color thread per pair. Main colors are Orange/Yellow/White, non colorfast.
* All cotton New Old Stock woven plaid pocket bags.
PACKAGING: Sturdy cardboard box with MF® original ‘finer than frog hair’ artwork. Please re-use.
SIZING/SHRINKAGE: Both denim options come raw/unwashed and will shrink to approximately the same proportions. Both fabrics will shrink from approximately 1% to 5%, depending on the specific lot number of the milled batch. Variations are beyond our control and inherent to shuttle loom machinery inconsistency, and to the ‘risky biz’ of using (often un-labeled) NOS denim.
Stamped sizes on the cloth patch are the POST RINSE/DRY measurements.
We recommend an original cold soak, no agitation, spin dry and line dry.
See chart bellow for approximate measurements.
Available RAW/unwashed (again, the photos of the used jeans above are just for reference, and NOT how they will come) SIZES: (= marked and post shrink) Waist x Length 28 x 32 29 x 32 30 x 32 31 x 32 32 x 34 33 x 34 34 x 34 36 x 34 38 x 34
Call 323-653-2014 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get yours while they last. We ship internationally to select Countries. Señoras y Caballeros, thank you for the support, always.