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How to dress like a Peaky Blinder

How to dress like a Peaky Blinder

Steven Knight’s BBC TV drama, Peaky Blinders follows Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Tommy Shelby as the patriarch of a gangster family from Birmingham. But of course, you knew this; why else would you be here? The period crime drama follows the family after World War One and is loosely based on the events and crimes of the real-life gang of the same name that ruled the streets of Birmingham throughout the 1890s until the 1910s. 

The Shelby family have graced our screens since 2013 and have secured themselves as one of the most notorious, and let's face it, violent families in TV history. With a stellar cast, including Helen McCrory, Anna Taylor-Joy, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy – the show has had commercial success since its debut as well as prestige when it comes to awards, winning 3 BAFTAs. At Cavani, we don’t believe in spoilers – so you can continue reading even if you haven’t fully caught up with the most recent episodes – we won’t let any secrets out of the bag. 

How do you get the Peaky Blinders look? 

Known for their sharp style, the Shelby brothers, Tommy, Arthur, John, and Finn, embody an authentic look historically accurate to the period. The authenticity of the clothing came from Peaky Blinders costume designer, Stephanie Collie, who researched extensively to ensure that the look of the garments for the show felt true to the time. Collie based her Peaky Blinder costumes on mug shots from criminals of the period and drew aspects from tailored pieces of the 1920s.  

Since the show debuted, the fashion of Peaky Blinders has bled its way into contemporary mainstream fashion with famous faces, such as David Beckham adopting the style. If it's good enough for Becks, it should be good enough for you. 

You need to pull together a few elements to get the full Peaky Blinders look, and if you want to channel your inner Tommy Shelby’s style, you’ll need to master each aspect. For this style breakdown of Birminghams’ best-dressed gangsters, we’re going to start from the head and work our way down to the feet, including all of the accessories, garments, footwear and other items you’ll need to complete the Peaky Blinders look.

Peaky Blinders Outfit Anatomy
Peaky Blinders Hat

Peaky Blinders Hat

One of the most important parts of the look to get right is the hat. The Peaky Blinders are often seen wearing either a flat cap or a baker boy cap throughout the series. The difference between the two caps comes down to fit – a baker boy cap has a looser and baggier look, whereas the flat cap has a more traditional and fitted look.

DISCLAIMER: The next segment features descriptions of violence. 

An urban myth surrounding the gang's name derives from their headwear. The gangsters would sew razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps, and when fighting, they would slash their victims across the forehead, which would cause blood to pour down into their eyes and blind them. This has since been disputed, as razor blades would have been a luxurious item of the time. The fighting would have been just as vicious and gruesome. 

Peaky Blinders Hat

Peaky Blinders Shirt

When it comes to finding the perfect Peaky Blinders shirt, the focus should be on the shape of the collar. Of course, you will be wearing a suit, and we will get to that later. The key with your shirt should be in its subtly, and having the right one will elevate your Peaky Blinders outfit and give you a level of authenticity. 

A penny collar shirt should be your go-to. The anatomy of the garment features a smaller and slightly rounder collar than you will find on other shirts. In terms of shirt colour, to utilise your Peaky Blinder style, you should opt for a crisp white shirt, or if you want to add a pop of colour, you could go for a striped blue and white shirt. The striped shirt became popular in the 1930s, slightly after the Peaky Blinders period, but will still work well with your look if you want to wear one. 

Don’t worry too much about the shirt; a simple plain white shirt will work just as well. It acts as a subtle element of the full outfit and other areas will take centre stage.

Peaky Blinders Shirt
Peaky Blinders Suit

Peaky Blinders Suit

The 3 piece suit consists of trousers, a blazer and a suit jacket and to get the Tommy Shelby look, you want to opt for a 3 piece in tweed, and at Cavani, we have a wide range for you to choose from. 

In terms of fabric, tweed is the only choice when it comes to your Peaky Blinders suit. Tweed suits give warmth, richness and a quintessential look to whoever wears the fabric, and we suggest that you try a darker coloured tweed such as a dark brown or grey. 

When wearing the suit, the fit is arguably one of the most important elements, and there are a few considerations that you should make when asking a tailor for alterations to your suit trousers. Ask for the trousers to be narrowed slightly and shortened – this will give you a lower silhouette that is more shapely and will give the appearance of a more masculine and broader upper half. 

Peaky Blinders Suit

Peaky Blinders Shoes

For the Peaky Blinder footwear, you want to go for a design that is timeless, simple and black. A classic pair of black brogues will give you a look that is truly Peaky Blinders, and the versatility of the shoe allows you to wear the shoes for multiple occasions (and not just when you are drinking in The Garrison).

Another option you could consider if you don’t want to go for the black smart shoe is a pair of black boots. Make sure that you choose a pair of black boots that help you walk that little bit taller and with confidence – you are representing the Shelby name, after all. 

Peaky Blinders Shoes
Peaky Blinders Coat

Peaky Blinders Coat

Tommy Shelby’s iconic look wouldn’t be complete without an overcoat. Swinging in the wind as he walks away from a brawl, the flair of the overcoat is luxurious and should be a staple part of your outfit if you decide to dress like a Peaky Blinder in the winter months. Yours should fit over your suit, so make sure you find a coat that is true to size or slightly oversized for comfort.

Peaky Blinders Hair

We couldn’t complete a how to get the Peaky Blinders look guide without mentioning the iconic haircut of Mr Shelby. Heavy on top, the haircut is a short crop with high shaved sides and back - the hair on top can be worn swept to one side or straight forward. It will complete the look and give you an edge that is Blinders-esque. 

Peaky Blinders Hair

Get the Peaky Blinders look at Cavani today

Did you know that there were more than 20,000 combined searches (20,200) for the terms ‘peaky blinders suit’ and ‘peaky blinders outfit’ in the UK over the last 12 months? This equates to 55 searches a day, or more than two searches every hour.

At Cavani, we have a wide range of Peaky Blinders inspired suits, clothing, shoes and accessories for you to explore. Channel your inner Shelby and stand proud, knowing that you are the sharpest looking gent in the room and create a timeless look that will continue to impress for years to come. We have it all, from premium suits that blend high-quality fabrics with sharp lines to comfortable yet stylish footwear that you can count on for years to come. Check out the full Peaky Blinders inspired range at Cavani right now.

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