Zoot Suit Questions and Answers
by Luis Valdez

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What does the word "drape" mean in Luis Valdez's play Zoot Suit?

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One mention of the phrase "drape shape" appears in a song sung by El Pachuco, leader of the Los Angeles Chicano gang called the Pachucos, in Act One of Luis Valdez's play Zoot Suit. The song praises the zoot suit, saying, "Makes you feel real root." In his song, Pachuco also mentions, "The hepcats up in Harlem wear that drape shape." Historically, the term "drape shape" was first used by Malcolm X to describe the zoot suit : "a killer-diller coat with a drape shape, reet pleats and...

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