By – – Photo: Anthony Potter Collection.

The nameless protagonist in Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man vividly details the first time they encountered a zoot suit: “It was as though I’d never seen their like before: walking slowly, their shoulders swaying, their legs swinging from their hips in trousers that ballooned upward from cuffs fitting snug about their ankles; their coats long and hip-tight with shoulders far too broad to be those of natural western men.”

Read More