Not long after I watched “Rebel Without a Cause” in the early 80′s did I become partial to wearing plain white cotton Tshirts with a ‘Jim Stark’ fit. Wearing a plain white T was both a neutral statement and a reference to America for me. Blue jeans and white Tee, a man’s best friends.
At that time you would pick up a cheap three-pack (‘Fruit of the Loom’ or ‘Hanes’) from the local surplus store. They would last for years and soften up overtime, and eventually retire as wiping rags in the garage.
A young John F. Kennedy staring out from his balcony in 1954, U.S. Servicemen at ease, dock workers, U.S. Navy old salts on deck, McQueen on the set of “The Sand Pebbles” in 1966 and other Hollywood icons… Men from all walks of life had sported white Tees.
Since the 1930′s, long before Tshirts were used to convey messages and promote businesses, plain ‘T’ shaped shirts had become a standard garment for men, slowly replacing Henley type undershirts. They were also more accepted when worn on the outside than the tank top, its side kick, was.
According to ‘The White T’ book by Alice Harris (Umbra Editions, Inc., 1996, ISBN 0-06-270166-5), the short sleeve white cotton Tshirt, as we know it, was officially adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1913. Followed the Marine Corps during WW2, issuing Marines three white “skivvy shirts”, later in 1944 to be changed to a sage green version, a standard GI issue until about 1958. In 1948, the Army issued the “Quarter Sleeve Undershirt” to all recruits…
An original Mister Freedom® pattern, inspired by 1940′s-50′s cotton T-shirts
Unbleached 100% cotton 18/1 tubular jersey, cotton grown and knitted in the USA. Carded open end yarn.
CONSTRUCTION: Combination of flatlock and cover stitch, inspired by 1940′s USMC Government issued ‘skivvies’. Tubular body, no side seams.
STITCHING: Natural color 100% cotton thread, unbleached.
LABELING: Original MF® woven rayon label on neck band, with stamped sizing tab.
As always, our shirt is not a replica, just an humble interpretation of a classic piece.
Designed by Mister Freedom® and MADE in CALIFORNIA, USA.
The USMC issued undershirts were different in construction from other basic Tshirts. They were half the weight and featured flatlock seams, the inspiration for the MF® “SKIVVY” Tee.)
On our quest to produce a ‘simple’ Mister Freedom® white Tee, we were lucky to have access to 100% cotton tubular 18 single (18/1) jersey, loomed from USA grown cotton and manufactured in the California. Tubular jersey has no side seams, like on most vintage Tshirts, which requires specific looms for each size, a bit challenging for small productions.
Unlike most modern Tshirts, the MF® SKIVVY has an ‘old school’ 40′s-50′s silhouette, inspired by a combination of old photos and vintage shirts, often a bit ill-fitting by today’s standards. The 1/4 sleeves are a bit shorter and the body slightly ‘boxier’ than your average contemporary Tshirt, giving the MF® Skivvy that ‘hand-me-down’ intentional feel. The thin neck band is also a nod to early vintage Tshirts.
Low-maintenance as a Tshirt should be, just throw in the washer/dryer, cold or hot water, no bleach. The cotton jersey will stretch out with wear and ‘mold’ to your body.
According to your built and silhouette preference you can get your normal size or size down for a slimmer/shorter fit (as often seen in vintage photos.)
I wear Medium (38) on most MFSC® garments, but sized down to Small for the MF® Skivvy, just personal preference. I like to slightly ‘pull’ on it to distort and give torque to the tubular jersey.