I've been working on my Zoot shooting clothes in anticipation for next spring and summer. So i'd thought I'd pass on what I have discovered. Here are several places to get some vintage style clothing. Here are the basics as I have discovered them.
1. Most vintage and vintage style clothing is quite expensive, and not durable enough for Zoot Shooting.
2. Reasonable rugged vintage style clothing can be had inexpensively if some research and hunting is done.
3. The essentials are a hat, shirt, tie, vest, pants and shoes/boots.
a. The typical hat associated with the period is the Fedora, prices range from $50 to $400 depending on quality. A great place to look is the Stetson Outlet Store in St. Joseph Missouri. Lesser cost options are the flat brimmed Straw Boater and Newsie Caps. A boater can be had for about $30 to $50 and a Newsie cap is about $15 to $45. It depends on the character’s look, but all of these will pass for period.
b. The next items are easy, a white dress shirt (long sleeve), dark tie, and suit vest . About any bargain brand will do and the shirt and tie can be found in thrift stores or Wall Mart. A skinny tie is preferable. The best deal I’ve found on a vest is in Burlington Coat Factory Stores. I purchased a dark gray suit vest for $10 off the rack. www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com
c. Next are pants and a belt. Wall-mart, Dollar General , and thrift stores are a great source for pants. Dollar General and Wall-mart have new black canvas style work pants for about $10 a pair. These can pass for 1920s-30s pants. They don’t have to be a great fit and baggy is better. They make great shooting pants as they are rugged. Any black dress belt will do. These can be found in thrift stores. If the belt loops on the pants are 1 ½” the Cabela’s leather belt in brown or black is a great holster belt and will pass for a period belt.
d. Shoes. For the 20s and 30s traditional outdoor boots will pass. If shoes are needed here is one suggestion, Kmart sells Tom McAn Kent Leather Dress Oxfords for about $20. This is a great deal. Thrift stores usually sell nice looking dress shoes for $10 to $50 depending on style.
e. Overcoats, plain black wool overcoats can be had for attractive prices at Burlington Coat Factory. www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com
f. Other clothing options can include bib overalls, and a straw hat or Newsie cap , boots. Or a law enforcement type of uniform.
g. Or a genuine “Zoot Suit” not prohibition period but a fun costume.
Other vintage clothing links