How did zoot suits get their name?
Zoot suits first gained popularity in Harlem jazz culture in the late 1930s where they were called “drapes”. The word “zoot”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, probably comes from a reduplication of the word ‘suit’. It was probably first coined by Mexican American pachucos as part of their slang, “Calo”. They were extremely popular with the African-American and Filipino-American youth, and also with young Latinos, most particularly, among those Mexican American youths who styled themselves as “pachucos” in Los Angeles.