The “Stanley” T-Shirt, made in USA
Sportsman Spring 2015
The year was 1947. Manhattan was bustling, everyone had somewhere to go. A gang of weary street workers was taking a break from pouring asphalt on 8th Ave. Muggy air, sticky undershirts two sizes too small, dirty buckle-back dungarees, studded reflector belts, floppy work caps… There it was. Lucinda Ballard had her Stanley Kowalsky. She would play around with undershirts and work pants to dress-up her volatile ‘survivor of the Stone Age‘ roughneck character in Streetcar.
That winter, Broadway was about to get a treat. An unknown 23 year-old mannish kid from Nebraska would mumble his way on stage for the next two years, mesmerizing the audience of the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Some felt sorry for the kid at first, assuming performance anxiety kept him from acting, like normal actors in those days did. Kowalski was not acting, not declaiming, the kid was too realistic… Some thought a stagehand had inadvertently walked on stage and started chatting away with the cast. But that was Marlon Brando doing his thing, setting new rules and raising the bar for future generations of actors.
After the tremendous Broadway success, the play was adapted to film by Warner Bros in 1951, and shot in 36 working days. The entire original cast hit the silver screen. “Desire” was Brando’s ride to stardom.
Immortalized by Hollywood, the movie’s wardrobe won Ms. Ballard a nomination for the ’51 Academy Awards for “Best Costume Design”, and Stanley Kowalsky a permanent medal in the “Wet T-Shirt Contest” category, along with an eternal gratitude from the BVDs sales dept.
And that is the brief story behind the name of our next entry in the Mister Freedom® Sportsman catalog this Spring 2015. Meet “Stanley”, Skivvy‘s little brother.
Both Skivvy and Stanley bodies share the same T-shape design, construction and pattern specs, originally inspired by a vintage 1940’s USMC sage green undershirt, as outline when we originally released the Skivvy T-Shirt in 2013. We are still using tubular knit, flatlock seams, roping collar and fitfies-style 1/4 sleeves. And still making it in the USA.
For the Stanley T-Shirt however, I wanted a lighter gauge fabric. Our inspiration this time was more ‘old souvenir shop’ or vintage ‘PX merchandise’ than Mil-Specs. We were lucky to score a very special slubby and light-weight 100% cotton jersey, milled in the USA. Those partial to modern, oversized, heavy-weight T-Shirts might consider our Stanley fabric a bit ‘cheap’ and thin… But that’s exactly what we wanted, there’s plenty of the Beefy-T kind around.
Those familiar with vintage clothing, will notice that this specific fabric is quite reminiscent of 1960’s-70’s tourist T’s and rock T’s (often imports from Pakistan at that time). For the collector, that family of vintage T’s stands out for its loosely knitted stretchy jersey, heavy twist and distortion of the fabric, and dreadful shrinkage that often turned tourists shirts into unwearable cropped tops after the first hot wash.
We decided to get smart and conducted extensive shrink tests to make our Stanley T-Shirt actually fit after laundry. The Stanley fits pretty much like our Skivvy, although featuring much more mechanical stretch due to the looser weave. The Stanley all-cotton jersey has a ‘memory’ and reverts to its intended fit after stretch. As was the case with the Skivvy however, it is normal for a T-Shirt to feel snugger when first slipped on in the morning than at the end of the day.
To spice things up for Spring 2015, along with the white version, we have carefully selected specific color options, classic colors inspired by vintage shirts from the MF® archives.
* Gold (Yellow)
* Jungle Green (Olive)
* Royal Blue
* Heather Grey (Note that this option is not slubby jersey, but similar to the Skivvy cotton jersey)
Contrary to the dictate of the garment distressing industry, we will “let the wearers put in the years.”
These are ‘straight up’ colors, in the sense that we did not do a ‘vintage wash’ to age our Stanley T-Shirts artificially. Indeed, we have noticed that simply wearing the clothes always gets you to that ‘vintage look’, naturally and without chemicals. Due to the specific dyeing process we opted for, our colors are guaranteed to fade to attractive hues with repeat wash/wear cycles and sun exposure.
The Stanley T-Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in the USA.
100% cotton light-weight slubby tubular jersey knit, milled in the USA. This fabric twists and torques. This natural yarn distortion is expected and not a default.
* Gold (Yellow)
* Jungle Green (Olive)
* Royal Blue
* Heather Grey
* Original Mister Freedom® pattern, inspired by vintage 1940′s-50′s cotton T-shaped undershirts.
* Old school 1/4 sleeve length.
* Tubular knit (no side seams)
* Cover stitch self-fabric neckband.
* Normal mechanical stretch and fabric memory.
* Combination of flatlock and cover stitch construction, inspired by 1940′s USMC Government issued undershirts.
* 100% cotton thread, for natural roping on seams.
* Original MF® “The Sportsman” black woven rayon label on neck band.
* Made in USA.
The white options comes unwashed and will shrink to the desired tagged size after an initial wash/dry cycle. All color options have already shrunk to the desired size.
The Stanley fits like the Skivvy does, but due to the nature of its stretchy jersey, the Stanley might feel looser at first.
I wear Medium (38) on most MFSC garments, but sized down to a Small for both MF® Stanley and Skivvy, just personal taste. According to your built and silhouette preference, get your normal size or size down for a slimmer/shorter old school fit.
Refer to sizing chart below for washed/machine dried approximate measurements (measured flat, without pulling/stretching):
Low-maintenance as a T-Shirt should be, just throw your Stanley in the washer/dryer, cold or hot water, delicate cycle. No bleach. Keep colors separate to avoid potential color transfer when doing laundry.
Due to the special nature of this tubular jersey, sizing is limited. (We are working on adding X-Large in the near future.)
White Stanley: $69.95
Color Stanley: $69.95
Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above. We will soon be offering original MF® graphics silkscreened on the Stanley T-Shirts…
Thank you for your support.