1. (orig. US black) a suit, typified by its generously cut, long, draped jacket with padded shoulders and high-waisted, tapering trousers.
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 1 July 11/2: [cartoon caption] Officer Johnson [...] that ‘harlem drape’ has got to go .|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 16: Strutting Filipinos, the sharp-cat Mexican youths in their ultra drapes.‘Lunching at the Ritzmore’ in|
|New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976).|
|Mad mag. June 20: We wear drapes and suedes and we dig bop talk.|
|Book of Negro Folklore 489: Where did you get that drape? Your pants look like a cape.|
|Mr Love and Justice (1964) 74: The man in Italian drape and pointeds.|
|All Bull 26: The Teds had put away their drapes and drainpipes.|
|Indep. on Sun. Rev. 19 Mar. 18: Leather shoes and teddy boy drapes.|
2. (orig. US black) usu. in pl., clothes, a suit.
|Hi De Ho 16: drape: suit of clothes, dress, costume.|
|Really the Blues 33: The drapes they handed me a jungle bum would wear on weekdays.|
|Park East Dec. 31: His drapes were all crummy, his toupee was beat.|
|Night Song (1962) 93: I thought I was a hip paddy boy, like some of the kids you see around now in pegs and drapes.|
|(con. late 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 503: He was [...] blade thin, with waist and hips like a snake in high-rise drapes of soiled white windowpane check.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 110: There is a large vocabulary that defines clothes in general – drapes, rags, pieces, threads, fronts, styles.|
3. (orig. US black) those who wear such suits.
|Time 30 Jan. 18: The true drape wore his hair seaweed-long. Drapes resent any comparison with zoot-suiters [W&F].|
|Guardian Guide 29 Apr.–5 May 89: Set in 1954 Baltimore, [...] he introduces her to life on the wild side and his gang of ‘drapes’.|
(US black) a wardrobe.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 53: Then, and only then, do your lay your broom to the slammer that fronts the drape crib and split it slightly and politely.|
1. a style of man’s suit, typified by its generously cut, long, draped jacket with padded shoulders and high-waisted, tapering trousers; also attrib.
|‘I Wanna Zoot Suit’ [lyrics] I wanna zoot suit with a reet pleat/ With a drape shape and a stuff cuff / To look sharp enough to see my Sunday girl.|
|New Yorker 19 June 14: Designing the first drape-shape coat [W&F].|
|(con. 1940s) Black Dahlia (1988) 11: Our service revolvers had been taken from us at the station; the brass did not want .38’s falling into the hands of reet pleat, stuff cuff, drape shape, Argentine ducktail Mexican gangsters.|
|Pound for Pound 72: Slick-dick dudes who wore zoot suits with reet pleats and drape shapes.|
2. (US) of a woman or girl, a good figure.
|Chicago Trib. Graphic Section 26 Dec. 7/1: Jive Talk [...] Drape shape — good figure.|