A style of suits first popularized in African American communities, they became popular with other groups, as well. Zoot suits typically used excessive fabric, giving them a baggy look which was supposed to signal wealth and status.
Zoot suits Term Timeline in The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The timeline below shows where the term Zoot suits appears in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: “Homeboy”
...out so that he can “conk” it, and Shorty tells him to buy his first zoot suit (an especially baggy style of suit). (full context)
...a local neighborhood store and on Shorty’s recommendation, Malcolm gets measured for a sky blue zoot suit that he buys on credit (a practice that Earl Little always condemned). The store manager... (full context)
Chapter 4: Laura
...being a shoe shiner. Malcolm heads back to the tailor’s shop to get a new zoot suit , which he chooses very carefully and purchases on credit. Then, with a fresh conk,... (full context)
Chapter 5: Harlemite
...high, he blasts through his shift before heading to the bars in Harlem in his zoot suit . Finally, after the railroad receives an angry letter from a passenger, Malcolm is let... (full context)
Chapter 6: Detroit Red
...all night. Another young white “hippie” who appropriates the style and slang of the black zoot suit ers can be seen everywhere in Harlem. Nevertheless, this white boy still makes a nasty... (full context)
The day of the draft board, Malcolm shows up wearing a brand new, outlandish zoot suit , and puts on his most over-the-top impression of a hipster possible. He walks in... (full context)