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The zoot suit was epitome of men's fashion during the 1920's. The jacket was designed with shoulder pads and wide lapels. You can see on these two figures an overly long watch chain hangs from the waist. The pants were baggy in cut and then became tighter at the ankle.


1938-1942 zoot suit: 2 different pattern striped wools, long fitted coat, oversize padded shoulders & exterior pouch pockets, red plastic buttons, high-waist balloon pants, pegged cuffs, 4 slash pockets, crudely made suspenders in cinnamon wool. Sold at auction for $ 78,000


The creation of the zoot suit can be traced to Harlem in the mid to late 1930s. Initially an African American youth fashion, closely connected to jazz culture, the zoot suit was co-opted by a generation of Mexican American youth. The oversized suit was both an outrageous style and a statement of defiance. Zoot suiters asserted themselves in the face of widespread discrimination. At the dawn of WWII, the suit was condemned by the U.S. government and over time the suit was seen as unpatriotic.