First seen in the 1920s and 1930s, gangster suits remain a popular choice in men's fashion today.
The Gangster Appeal
Society has been fascinated with gangsters both onscreen and in real life. Flashy suits, dark sunglasses and expensive cars have appealed to both men and women. Men are drawn to the mystery and danger present in the underground world of gangsters. Aside from the violence and excitement often seen onscreen, gangsters are known for their sharp sense of style.
Elements of Gangster Suits
Some common elements of gangster suits include:
- Double breasted jacket
- Dark color such as black, navy or brown
- Herringbone or pinstripe pattern
- Bold and classy appearance
Gangster suits are often paired with a colorful dress shirt, a white tie, matching hat and two-tone dress shoes. Flashy jewelry including cuff links, rings, watches and bracelets are paired with the suit. It is common for men to wear suspenders as well. A long dark trench coat is often worn as outerwear. Many confuse a gangster suit with a zoot suit. A zoot suit is different than a gangster suit since a zoot suit has wider stripes, flashy colors and patterns, bright and colorful ties, oversized shoulders, narrower waists and wider trouser bottoms.
Where to Find Gangster Suits
Gangster suits may not be found in major department or mainstream men's stores, but they can easily be found online at Men's USA. They sell a solid snow white suit that has a classic cut and double pleated trousers. It has a more modern gangster look and will appeal to any man who is looking for something different than the ordinary business suit. Men's USA also has a black tone-on-tone pinstriped gangster suit. Don't forget to check eBay for authentic, vintage gangster suits.
Maybe you are looking for something to wear to a costume party. There are endless merchants online that sell gangster costumes including:
- Star Costumes features a gangster suit costume that is black and white with pinstripes. The costume includes a jacket, pants with elastic waistband and dickey with attached tie.
- Any Time Costumes has an adult gangster suit costume that includes a black pinstripe jacket and matching pants with an elastic waist.
- Import Costumes sells several gangster costumes. Check out their Tony Montana Costume. It is a classic look from the controversial and popular film, Scarface. The costume includes a white suit jacket, red shirt and white suit pants. It is reminiscent of the flashy suits worn in the movie. Another style is the long jacket gangster suit. This great retro gangster costume includes a long black jacket with white pinstripes, satin collars, front buttons and matching pants.
- Buy Gangster Costumes offers a large selection of costumes and accessories. They offer Tony Montana costumes, black gangster suit costumes and a deluxe gangster suit costume that has a double-breasted polyester suit jacket with matching polyester trousers. The suit is black with thin white stripes.
Seen on the Big Screen
Gangsters depicted on the big screen can be seen wearing suits that are flashy and expensive. Who could forget the gangster suits worn in movies such as:
- The Godfather
- Donnie Brasco
- American Gangster
Famous gangsters such as Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone and Lucky Luciano made the gangster look popular along with movie stars such as Rudolf Valentino, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
To complete your gangster look, add a fedora style hat, a white or red classic tie and wingtip shoes. Don't overlook your appearance since a crucial element of the gangster appeal is an immaculate image. Make sure your suit is well-pressed, your shoes should shine and you should have a close shave and haircut.