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What is a zoot suit

What is a Zoot Suit

During the mid 1930’s and 1940’s a colorful style of suiting that became very popular were the Zoot suit. Since its origination it was very much popular among the lower class of Americans, the examples of the minority groups with which it was associated was the Chicanos and the Africans and the Americans. The Zoot suits had also become very popular among the people of the youth culture and also among the people of the jazz music. Hence it has become very obvious for people to think about jazz music and the swing culture when they hear about Zoot suits.
The Zoot suit is an oversized suit with wide legs pants which are gathered at the ankles or the tramas. The Zoot suit consists of a long jacket which consists of huge shoulder pads which are called as carlango. Another distinguishing feature of the Zoot suit is the excess amount of fabric which is used to make the Zoot suit; this feature constitutes the style a sign of ostentation. The Zoot suit typically caters to the need of the formal occasions and the Zoot suit is often accessorized with a long watch across the pants, pointed shoes and very interestingly a large felt hat with feather.
The Zoot suit was first originated in the African American jazz culture in Harlem, New York, and this soon became very popular and hence it was adopted by the minority communities in the different American cities like the Los Angeles. The term Zoot was derived from a Mexican American slang pronunciation of suit. There are some female versions of the Zoot suit present but they are rarely seen these days.These suits consist of knee length skirts instead of the trousers.
The style of wearing Zoot suit became restrictive after the suits became banned in the year 1942 as per the regulation of the federal war production board which deemed the suits wasteful of fabrics. In 1943 finally the Zoot suit riots erupted wherein the style of Zoot suit was considered to be very destructive. There was a situation where the soldiers started beating the people who were dressed in the Zoot suit in the East Los Angeles, the heart of the Latino suit, they also started ripping of the suit and burning the clothes in the streets.
Inspite of the fact that the Zoot suitors’ suffered most of the violence, there were about hundreds of arrests. Nine of the people were arrested where in all were arrested and released without fine. In a sense Zoot suit riots enhanced the popularity of fashion as a symbol of cultural pride and a stand against racism

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