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Adult Gangster Costumes

It was a case of "unintended consequences." The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. It was passed on moral and health grounds. What its proponents failed to recognize was that people who wanted alcohol would find a way to get it. So a whole illegal industry arose, and the American gangster was born. Bootleggers. Moonshiners. Rum-runners. Al Capone. George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Then there were the G-Men, who worked to stop the bootleggers. Eliot Ness and the Untouchables. Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith. They all earned places in American history.

Men's fashion in the 1920s relaxed from earlier standards, just as women's did. The style we usually think of for Prohibition-era gangsters emerged at about the same time as flapper style: 1925-1926. Trousers had wide legs; suit jackets had full sleeves and wide lapels. And gangsters had plenty of money, so they could afford the latest fashion.


So, what's the deal with "zoot suits?" Those actually came out in the late 1930s. The trousers of a zoot suit were "pegged," with a high waist. The legs were wide above the knee, but gathered into a tight cuff at the ankle. The zoot suit jacket was a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. They were popular among young American men of African, Hispanic or Italian descent, and had a bit of a shady reputation. When fabric rationing was imposed in 1942, wearing a zoot suit became unpatriotic. Maybe that's why they're erroneously associated with gangsters.


If your lady friend is wearing a flapper costume, match her retro fashion statement with one of our adult gangster costumes. They come in standard and plus sizes. We even have feminine, sexy versions. We also have a range of accessories to complete any look. Re-create an earlier era!