Zoot Suit Culture
Initially an African American youth fashion, closely connected to jazz culture, the zoot suit was co-opted by a generation of Mexican American kids, who made it their own.
The oversized suit was both an outrageous style and a statement of defiance. Zoot suiters asserted themselves, at a time when fabric was being rationed for the war effort, and in the face of widespread discrimination.
Zoot suits were reserved for special occasions -- a dance or a birthday party. The amount of material and tailoring required made them luxury items. Many kids wore a toned-down version of the "draped" pants or styled their hair in the signature "ducktail."
Step back into 1943 ... and find out more about zoot suit culture.
Zoot Suit Culture (344k)
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