Well, what do you know, it’s Tuesday again, and on Tuesdays we talk about trousers! Today I want to talk about one of my most recent additions to the Vault of Two-legged Garments here at WellDressed Mansion, the “El Americano” by Mister Freedom.
I’ll admit that until I visited Maritime & Antiques in Copenhagen, I’d not really paid that much attention to Mister Freedom. I’d noticed a few mentions here and there, but as a brand it’s keeping a low profile in regards to popular attention. In a world where everyone wants to be unique and individual this is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, not clamouring to “grow or die”, but rather being quite content to be just large enough, must be the preferable way of life.
I’ll be posting a fuller profile on Mister Freedom soon, but for now let me just mention that I really appreciate their ethos of using ethically sourced materials and labour, not taking shortcuts, not using sweatshops and not selling out in the face of increased profit.
Mister Freedom is about enjoying life and having large amounts of fun. This exemplified by owner and designer Christophe Loiron through his Instagram account.
Now, stripped of everything superfluous we are talking trousers. A basic leg-covering garment, made popular ages ago as the absolutely best way of covering men’s legs. They should be large enough to contain the corpus within, long enough to cover the hairy and pale extremities, and tall enough to avoid flashes of butt. Apart from that there are varying degrees of add-ons.
And it’s the add-ons Trouser Tuesday is all about. The stuff that makes a difference.
And with Mister Freedom, one of the differences you get is the stories to go with the garments. Stories? Well, part of the thing about Mister Freedom is that while the clothing may look vintage, it’s not actually replicas of actual vintage pieces but rather pieces that could have existed. And part of the inspiration comes through creating background stories to set the scene, so to speak.
These trousers are part of the “Viva la Revolución” saga, which starts out like this: “In the Fall of 1492, Cristóbal Libertad, the eldest son of an Andalucía born conquistadore whose horse had…”.
We’re not looking that far back in time for inspiration though, the trousers are more inspired by the 1920’s-30’s style of gentleman’s slacks. From times when a man’s waist was above his hip bones and trousers had a more comfortable fit.
Double buttons at the waist, using appropriately “Art Deco” style corrozo buttons. The fly is of course also buttoned, using a further three buttons, nicely lined with the same fabric used for pockets and waistband lining.
Take care to fix any button stitching that may work lose, as there are no spare buttons included. This is an obvious omission, though I’m sure Mister Freedom will post you some if one goes missing.
The waistband is wide, with 7 decently sized belt loops. Notice the smiley back pockets and arcuate stitching on the pockets. I really like how the fabric has been so accurately cut and assembled to exactly the same angle on either half. Nice work.
Much of what makes these trousers so special is the fabric used. A blend of 60/40 linen/cotton, woven in a small family mill in Japan exclusively for Mister Freedom. So tortuous to weave that it takes a full day to weave 17 metres of fabric. And you don’t get many trousers to a metre these days, and apparently the factory was thrilled at the task of milling the fabric on their old shuttle looms.. Described as “covert grey” it is a fine mix of light and dark, seemingly quite randomly patterned. The fabric is a little stiff right out of the box, but with use is growing increasingly comfortable.
And there’s even a little something for the selvedge obsessives. See, not only denim gets the selvedge! Technically this is 12oz heavy canvas. The pattern is said to be inspired by a Swiss Military bag from 1943.
Also notice the lap seam used to ensure the inner edge of the legs is good and strong. The rear seam is done in the same manner.
The waist lining and pockets are in a super-soft indigo-dyed yarn covert twill, also milled in Japan. A quite different fabric to the linen and it makes putting your hands in your pockets very comfortable indeed.
The trousers can be used with our without a belt, as there are two functional rear cinches to allow tightening at the waist. The hardware used is vintage new old stock metal buckles, so none of the newfangled rubbish made today. Notice the welted edge and bar tacked ends of the pockets as well. Properly constructed.
Speaking of construction, while Mister Freedom is owned by a Frenchman, resides in the US, production is either done in the USA or in Japan. In this case, both fabric and garment is manufactured in Japan, by Mister Freedoms long-running partner Sugar Cane Co. They also make a point of the factories being small and ethically run. For me this is important.
Sizing and washing:
The size on the label says 34″, I measure it to 35″. It is said that they may shrink an inch the first time they are introduced to water though, so this is acceptably accurate.
Hand washable with line dry or professional eco-friendly dry cleaning.
- Fabric – Japan
- Trousers – Japan
Score (1-5, 3 being average):
- Assembly: 4
- Details: 4
- Quality: 5
- Value for money: 3
- Cool-factor: 5