In the summer of 1943, Los Angeles erupted in a series of brawls and beatings known today as the Zoot Suit Riots. The fighting broke out between two different sides of America. On one end were white American servicemen and on the other were Mexican-, African-, and Filipino-American youths who were given to wearing the oversized zoot suits that were so fashionable at the time.
These zoot suits were long, baggy, and took an awful lot of fabric to make. Those who wore them saw this as hip and fashionable, but some servicemen only saw a waste of fabric during wartime, when rationing was more important than ever. To them, these zoot suits were practically treason.