The Dapper Gentleman
Intent on gaining respect and credibility in business and politics, Harlem men shed their farm and factory denims for tailored suits. Made of wool or linen and available in a variety of colors and patterns, the crisp three-piece suit not only appeared at work and church but also on evening strolls, at dinner tables and on speakeasy dance floors. The defined shoulders and narrow hips became more exaggerated at the end of the 1920s as jazz musicians adopted a looser fit. This style evolved over the next decade into the legendary zoot suit. Male casual wear typically consisted of slacks and sweater vests.