El Pachuco in Zoot Suit is a representative of the Pachuco subculture that dressed in zoot suits. Pachucos were sharply-dressed tough guys, at times gang members, within Mexican American culture in the 1930s and 40s.
Pachucos listened and danced to jazz and swing in both English and Spanish. The best known performer catering to Pachucos was German Valdez, also known as Tin Tan, a comedian and singer.
Pachucos took elements of American culture, film, and music and exaggerated them in their own way. Film tough guys like Robert Mitchum and Humphrey Bogart were imitated.
The popular dress of the day—double breasted suits—was greatly enlarged, with wide lapels, large pockets, garish colors, and wide-brimmed hats with a single long feather. Such dress led to controversy, with its extravagance argued to be unpatriotic during World War II. Some white racists responded with violence, targeting them during the Zoot Suit Riots, while police stood by or even arrested the victims.