Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Mister Freedom Campus jacket review: A nice jacket with both design flaws and construction defects

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
Mister Freedom Campus: A nice jacket with both design flaws and construction defects.


The Mister Freedom Campus jacket doesn’t need much of an introduction as many loungers own or have owned one. Its design is inspired by 1930’s Cossack type jackets, which were unlined jackets with handwarmer or patch pockets and a shawl collar.

54152548-7A89-48F3-8D15-0E120D0A27B3.jpeg


The jacket I’m reviewing today is coined the ‘Stallion’ which indicates it’s the teacore version: black topcoat on the outside, natural color on the flesh side. Designed to be fast-aging.

I got mine from a fellow lounger who, judging by the lack of aging, didn’t wear the jacket more than a dozen times.

4FCB9A9D-322A-4D8B-BED7-BE80152A485D.jpeg
D2E8AFC7-EA36-498F-B1E4-2AE832F7DEB3.jpeg
E2A8B042-FD1F-4A54-9A7B-0DBCD5E65FD6.jpeg
4E698837-C807-484B-BDDE-7D0B758DA757.jpeg
B10F2990-EED1-459B-AD4E-00BFA1A95550.jpeg
44AD6179-567B-4999-BE82-54A6339EC4D0.jpeg
9889CFA5-82D9-478F-A1F6-C13C54EE4BCD.jpeg


The pros
  • High quality materials. The leather is high quality full grain cowhide that’s lightweight yet substantial enough to hold some nice sleeve rolls. The corozo cat-eye buttons are beautiful as the high shine brings out the color and shows the natural corozo pattern. The slider buckles are made out of folded sheet metal, not very fancy but good enough to do the job.
  • Stitching is neat. Nice and straight, no wobbling, no empty holes. Seams are flat and the edges are sharp.
  • Overall look. I love the rounded / relaxed shoulder shape and short body length.
The cons
  • The matte finish. The leather looks very matte and has zero color depth.
  • Weak button attachment.
  • Tiny button holes. They’re entirely too small. The holes are smaller than the buttons!
  • Huge opening / bottom hem. 22” on a jacket with a 23” ptp.
  • Tiny handwarmer pockets. They’re comically small, quite unpractical.
The matte finish

I’ve handled a lot of jackets, both new and vintage. This is the dullest leather I’ve ever seen. It’s completely matte and has no color dept whatsoever. Next to other black jackets it almost looks grey. Not something I’d expect from a $1k jacket.

EF896AFE-22C0-43F9-87EC-1CEC51C84751.jpeg

From left to right: ELMC Californian (vegetable tanned full aniline leather) MF Campus (Vegetable tanned pigment dyed leather) Double Helix Bounty Hunters (vegetable tanned pigment dyed leather) Windward mc jacket (chrome tanned pigment dyed leather)

681C20F0-4EB9-4095-B01A-4D20683689B1.jpeg

Close-up
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
Luckily there’s Urad

F7FD0AA7-B44E-4A2E-8EFF-50DCA02DC4D6.jpeg
DB5B9BEE-4488-493A-B82D-4329C08E4D18.jpeg
1A8C35E6-8DDE-449D-B77A-7AD30238BB4B.jpeg


Weak button attachment.

As shown below the buttons are backed with a button on the reverse side which is the best way to attach a button imo. So far so good.

4B953D86-1CF3-4C42-8796-D434AD38DC87.jpeg


Unfortunately the execution is poor. More than half of the buttons on the jacket have loose threads. One could argue that this is a used / second hand jacket and that with time and wear threads will eventually come undone. But this jacket hasn’t been worn all that much and maybe it’s not uncommon for one or two buttons to come undone but not more than half of them.

D1AC9A74-E960-42FF-B6F2-B9F20C1B8F5D.jpeg



Tiny button holes

As you can see below the buttons are too big for the undersized button holes. I can hardly fasten some of the buttons at all and unfastening them is a daunting task that takes more than a minute. For reference I’ve measured the button hole size on the DH and the ELMC. Both are larger (DH 1” , ELMC 0.875”) yet their buttons are smaller and thinner. This is clearly a construction defect.

6202E74F-D21F-448B-9B42-BC3EFDD6454F.jpeg


Huge opening / bottom hem

The Campus has a boxy fit which, judging by the pics of original ‘30s Cossacks, is true to original. But this one is wide like a tent. It has a ptp of 23” which is pretty normal for a size 42 but it has a 22” bottom hem which is HUGE. Luckily the side gussets are functional and I’m able to take in one inch from each side. Cinching the sides by that much doesn’t look good though, it makes the jacket look blousy.

2BBD3EDE-D09F-4228-900F-70904EF3AE34.jpeg


There seems to be some variance in ptp size amongst these jackets, maybe a size 42 with a 22”ptp would have fit me better.

Tiny handwarmer pockets

5B993C0C-5441-4D09-B613-F277FFB0A282.jpeg


The handwarmer pockets on this jacker are so small I can barely get my hands in them. Maybe people had smaller hands back in the ‘30s or maybe I have big hands like Donald Trump, I don’t know lol. But imo this is poor design.

The left pocket measures 4 6/8 inch, the right pocket just short of 5 inches. For reference, the ELMC measures 6 1/8 inch and the pockets on my vintage Californian halfbelt measure 5 6/8 inch.

62FCF88B-75FB-41F7-AED5-74DEB429B538.jpeg


The verdict
Overall I think it’s a nice looking jacket. The materials used are of high quality and I do like the short body length. Unfortunately the execution is flawed: it has some weird design choices and buttoning up the jacket is total pain in the arse. Unacceptable for a $1k jacket.

DDBBD56F-D7B0-4E3C-BB34-1A47D340B8B1.jpeg
 

Momein

One of the Regulars
Messages
139
Location
Germany
Thank you for your detailed review, Marc. I had the Campus jacket once in dark brown and soft steer hide and noticed similar shortcomings. Also with my jacket the hem was much too wide and the buttons were poorly sewn. The button holes were reasonably sized, however. Despite the flaws, the jacket looks great on you.
 
Last edited:

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
I wonder, do other MF Campus owners have similar experiences or is it just me / n=1?

Edit: @Momein beat me to it. n=at least 2 :)
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,940
Location
London
I sent mine back the day i received it, it felt like very little jacket for the money (natural hide).
I don't remember the buttons being an issue, but the bottom hem was also 22" on my size 42.
 

Mysteryo

One Too Many
Messages
1,262
Location
Nantes (FR)
I feel good with mine,
Bought 2nd hand from John brooklyn (yes, THIS jacket)
I mostly wear it in sunny days as the leather is quite cold, it’s like a refreshing jacket.
I think it was made in Japan.
No issues with the buttons
The pocket are indeed tiny but still manageable.
The hem works for my build.
I like this jacket very much
 

Attachments

  • 5C788A63-CCFC-4584-8ECC-F3A08006C583.jpeg
    5C788A63-CCFC-4584-8ECC-F3A08006C583.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 186
  • 46591B54-F089-42BD-BC62-67C5498BB4C8.jpeg
    46591B54-F089-42BD-BC62-67C5498BB4C8.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 162
  • 15F4E210-B500-4B62-849F-FE60EC4A4CAC.jpeg
    15F4E210-B500-4B62-849F-FE60EC4A4CAC.jpeg
    2.4 MB · Views: 187
  • 9AD89B8D-4292-4C7F-9A8A-06BD454792C4.jpeg
    9AD89B8D-4292-4C7F-9A8A-06BD454792C4.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 242
  • F35DAA90-6A39-41C0-8236-CA787BF6B6F3.jpeg
    F35DAA90-6A39-41C0-8236-CA787BF6B6F3.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 319
  • 273A93A6-E775-41F2-8829-73F41E1F9046.jpeg
    273A93A6-E775-41F2-8829-73F41E1F9046.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 370

WLemon

New in Town
Messages
31
Great review. While I wish I could disagree with many of the negatives you've pointed out, I have to agree with you on most of your points, especially as someone who has owned this jacket for nearly three years. First, in terms of color, I'd say that is my main gripe with this jacket. It feels as if a "deluxe version" of this jacket is waiting to be made with higher-end leather. It doesn't have to be Shinki, but something in the ballpark. Ooe Yofukuten made an excellent Cossack jacket a few years ago out of Shinki. At the time, I bought this one and that one, but eventually returned the Ooe because it was so distressed it felt as if I was wearing something made by Diesel jeans. The leather was leagues above this one, but I couldn't get over the look of it all. In terms of the handwarmers, they might as well be non-existent, really. When I've tried to use them in the past, I look silly, like I was trying to smuggle candy into a movie theater.

Despite all that, I do love this jacket, even more so in the natural color. Living in Los Angeles prevents me from wearing leather outside of November to April, but this jacket is something I will wear year-round. I also love the pattern. I feel as if you got an aberration in terms of sizing. I have a 44 in this jacket, and I feel as if I would the opening on my jacket is the same as yours. I've also never had an issue with the buttons. Like I've said, I've had this jacket for nearly three years and wear it often. I, however, don't button it frequently. I think it looks better unbuttoned and my climate doesn't necessitate it. If it became an issue, I honestly think the good folks at MF Headquarters would fix it for you, even though it was purchased second-hand. This was the second leather jacket I ever bought. Each time I even consider selling it, I get a twinge of sadness. Not just out of nostalgia but because I would miss it in my rotation.
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2022-12-27 at 7.05.47 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2022-12-27 at 7.05.47 AM.png
    5.3 MB · Views: 350

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
No issues with the buttons
Maybe mine is part of a faulty batch. I carefully tried to widen the button holes using a box cutter which did help on some of the buttons but there's two that are still resisting.
I mostly wear it in sunny days as the leather is quite cold, it’s like a refreshing jacket.

I like this jacket very much
Rightfully so, the jacket looks great on you.
Ooe Yofukuten made an excellent Cossack jacket a few years ago out of Shinki.
I remember that one, I love the design with those pocket outlines.

6B51E67E-7BCC-4842-B927-8CC4F8D25D0D.jpeg


I feel as if you got an aberration in terms of sizing.

That indeed might be the case. The original owner owned both this one and the natural colored one and he mentioned the stallion felt more relaxed.
 

barnabus

One Too Many
Messages
1,387
Location
Britain's oldest recorded town
Great review. While I wish I could disagree with many of the negatives you've pointed out, I have to agree with you on most of your points, especially as someone who has owned this jacket for nearly three years. First, in terms of color, I'd say that is my main gripe with this jacket. It feels as if a "deluxe version" of this jacket is waiting to be made with higher-end leather. It doesn't have to be Shinki, but something in the ballpark. Ooe Yofukuten made an excellent Cossack jacket a few years ago out of Shinki. At the time, I bought this one and that one, but eventually returned the Ooe because it was so distressed it felt as if I was wearing something made by Diesel jeans. The leather was leagues above this one, but I couldn't get over the look of it all. In terms of the handwarmers, they might as well be non-existent, really. When I've tried to use them in the past, I look silly, like I was trying to smuggle candy into a movie theater.

Despite all that, I do love this jacket, even more so in the natural color. Living in Los Angeles prevents me from wearing leather outside of November to April, but this jacket is something I will wear year-round. I also love the pattern. I feel as if you got an aberration in terms of sizing. I have a 44 in this jacket, and I feel as if I would the opening on my jacket is the same as yours. I've also never had an issue with the buttons. Like I've said, I've had this jacket for nearly three years and wear it often. I, however, don't button it frequently. I think it looks better unbuttoned and my climate doesn't necessitate it. If it became an issue, I honestly think the good folks at MF Headquarters would fix it for you, even though it was purchased second-hand. This was the second leather jacket I ever bought. Each time I even consider selling it, I get a twinge of sadness. Not just out of nostalgia but because I would miss it in my rotation.

Great photo!
 

Pandemic

One Too Many
Messages
1,503
Location
In The Flat Field
Great review. I’ve always liked the look of these so good to read a genuine appraisal. For me, the flat colour is rather appealing. The rest I could live with but that wide bottom opening would be a deal breaker. Now I know to take jacket this off my list. Thanks!
 

Mysteryo

One Too Many
Messages
1,262
Location
Nantes (FR)
I must mention this nice one made by Whitefeather Mfg
Very unique construction.
A7314AC6-1A90-40AF-AC33-1E9DC8C8100F.jpeg
R
 

Attachments

  • C8BA863A-CA06-4724-9610-EC1EC26FFFCE.jpeg
    C8BA863A-CA06-4724-9610-EC1EC26FFFCE.jpeg
    3.9 MB · Views: 235
  • 639860C5-7490-42B4-BDD2-3443063B90C3.jpeg
    639860C5-7490-42B4-BDD2-3443063B90C3.jpeg
    2.6 MB · Views: 187
  • 151C2E23-7C49-4B85-AE7F-7E414B49EDF3.jpeg
    151C2E23-7C49-4B85-AE7F-7E414B49EDF3.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 175
  • 3D24DF02-A6AE-432D-8603-C393314F6FAD.jpeg
    3D24DF02-A6AE-432D-8603-C393314F6FAD.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 167
  • C807FEA2-B903-4C7A-9968-4E03D8695FD1.jpeg
    C807FEA2-B903-4C7A-9968-4E03D8695FD1.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 230

WLemon

New in Town
Messages
31
Maybe mine is part of a faulty batch. I carefully tried to widen the button holes using a box cutter which did help on some of the buttons but there's two that are still resisting.



Rightfully so, the jacket looks great on you.

I remember that one, I love the design with those pocket outlines.

View attachment 476086



That indeed might be the case. The original owner owned both this one and the natural colored one and he mentioned the stallion felt more relaxed.
Looking back at the photos, it makes me wistful for that Ooe jacket. I just wish they didn’t purposefully alter the leather in that manner.
 

Attachments

  • 1645CBEF-8644-4E2F-8894-7DA50E8FBD73.jpeg
    1645CBEF-8644-4E2F-8894-7DA50E8FBD73.jpeg
    1,004.3 KB · Views: 227
  • 70340952-94A4-41DA-B5D1-F39573B36F0A.jpeg
    70340952-94A4-41DA-B5D1-F39573B36F0A.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 220

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
Now I know to take jacket this off my list. Thanks!
Hold it, not so fast :)

I'm definitely not saying nor am I suggesting one shouldn't buy a MF Campus. It's a great looking jacket and as others have mentioned it's the perfect warmer weather jacket.

I honestly think mine is part of a bad batch because other owners clearly don't have any issues with button holes being too small.

In terms of sizing, you can probably fit a size 38 which will come with a smaller bottom hem.
 

Pandemic

One Too Many
Messages
1,503
Location
In The Flat Field
Hold it, not so fast :)

I'm definitely not saying nor am I suggesting one shouldn't buy a MF Campus. It's a great looking jacket and as others have mentioned it's the perfect warmer weather jacket.

I honestly think mine is part of a bad batch because other owners clearly don't have any issues with button holes being too small.

In terms of sizing, you can probably fit a size 38 which will come with a smaller bottom hem.

I think it would still be pretty boxy on me. A Size 38 is supposed to have a 21.25” chest so if it also drops 1” at the waist that would be around a 20” opening.
 
Messages
11,005
Location
SoCal
I wanted a cossack style for a long time. It started with the Himel Heron. Once I tried it on, I realized I looked ridiculous in it. Then I went over to the MF which was too short for my tastes. I ened up with a Thedi which was a wonderful mix of these details with a slimmer and slightly longer body proportion.
9B6479BE-758E-4A5F-97AE-25B564617363.jpeg
 

barnabus

One Too Many
Messages
1,387
Location
Britain's oldest recorded town
I wanted a cossack style for a long time. It started with the Himel Heron. Once I tried it on, I realized I looked ridiculous in it. Then I went over to the MF which was too short for my tastes. I ened up with a Thedi which was a wonderful mix of these details with a slimmer and slightly longer body proportion.
View attachment 476107

There's a bit of Daniel Craig's Bond about the intense look you're giving us there.

You old charmer you.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,567
Messages
3,040,600
Members
52,943
Latest member
Buhles
Top