It’s the cult television show that’s had us all glued to our screens and wanting to join a gang. It’s given us a new appreciation for the undercut haircut and a flat cap, but how do you steal Thomas Shelby’s style? Read on to find out.
Since Peaky Blinders first hit our screens in 2013, it has cultivated an unmissable reputation and has been a highpoint in original, addictive British drama, offering more than compelling characters and a unique look at the unsung city of Birmingham. As well as all this, Peaky Blinders has had a great influence on menswear. The set of unique characters have a distinctive look. It’s sharp but not stuffy and it lends itself naturally to a modern reworking. To emulate this kind of historical-hip doesn’t require a full, three-piece herringbone suit (in the style of Thomas Shelby), but rather an emphasis on the details.
The outfits are made up of a number of key components which needn’t be worn all together in order to doff a cap to the genre. With this in mind, take a look at our guide to a few ways you can incorporate the Peaky Blinders style into your wardrobe.
Peaky Blinder Outfit Ideas
The flat cap is a clear staple of the show. A pretty timeless accessory, this hat seems to have been popular with one tribe or another for the last century and can add a hint of heritage to an otherwise ‘modern’ outfit. We’re not saying you should wear it with your joggers and trainers, but a cap paired with a slim fit denim jacket and a pair of chinos will effortlessly bridge the gap between preppy and alternative without looking overdone or out of place. As this is the most iconic piece of attire for the show – hence the name Peaky Blinders – incorporating this into your everyday outfit will leave you with that stylish yet heritage look you’re after.
During the Peaky Blinder period, the collars of their shirts were detachable and buttoned onto one of the collarless shirts they owned. A favourite collar design of The Peaky Blinders seems to be the rounded collar, known as the club collar. These days, your club collar already comes attached to your shirt as in today’s day and age we own more than just one or two shirts so our variety can be a lot wider. The club collar adds a wicked vintage aesthetic to any shirt design making it perfect if you’re going for a Blinders look. It automatically gives you a softer look due to its rounded collar edge, so it’s great if you want to add some dimension to a slim fit and otherwise ordinary suit. Adding a tie to the mix will help draw attention to the unique collar and will fit neatly between the two. Yet, wearing the shirt without a tie is still a big statement that’ll add some interest to your look.
Next, the generously cut, cropped trouser. These trousers, rather than your chilly-ankle inducing turn-ups, are worn with durable, work boots with the hem falling neatly to the top of the boot, so no ankles on show for now. Each Peaky Blinder has a different variation of grey or black when it comes to their trouser colour, keeping things simple and practical. There are plenty of contemporary takes on this style, with slimmer-cut, twill trousers doing a pretty similar job to those of The Peaky Blinders. You can pair these with a classic oxford shirt for a twist on the formal look, or go more extreme and add a waistcoat or vest. For a preppy, casual look, throw out the boots and match these trousers with flat brogues, (making sure to ban the socks) and pair with a button-up shirt or simple crew neck T-shirt.
The Work Boots
The cropped trousers wouldn’t be complete without the thick soled, industrial looking work boots. Used for stamping through cobbled streets and keeping your rivals in line, these boots are hardy yet elegant and can be worn a number of ways to complete an outfit.
Matching these boots with a pair of black skinnies is an easy combination, and the look can be grunged up with a leather biker jacket thrown over the top too. The versatility of these boots means you can also mix them with more formal attire, so slipping them on with slim fit suit will perfectly balance the look, keeping it smart yet not overdone, plus when worn with a suit you’ll have more of a Peaky Blinder look.
The long, streaming, peak lapel coat instantly finishes off your Peaky Blinders look, adding a touch of elegant drama to the outfit. This is a coat that’s made to be seen, so think about complementing it with your outfit rather than the other way around. Of course, like in the show, it perfectly matches a suit. However you can also keep it fairly casual with a plain jumper and jeans. Keep to muted tones when picking out the other parts of your outfit, as bright colours aren’t necessarily going to go with the sleek, sophisticated finish that you’re after.
We’re now left with all the extra little details (very important to remember) – from pockets squares to braces, these criminals knew how to accessorise. The smart accessories add so much character to the outfits in the series, from the glint of a pocket watch chain across a woollen waistcoat, to the braces and bow tie normally associated with an entirely more charming vintage style – they are all toughened up here for a completely new aesthetic.
There’s so much more to the Edwardian-style that’s been popularised by the show which we haven’t even been touched on here: pocket squares and Tom Hardy’s top-hat being two of them. But the popularity of this era in fashion is guaranteed to keep growing and will no doubt creep further into the high street when the next series comes out.
Of course, one of the main distinctive looks that has come out of The Peaky Blinders is the hair. Closely shaved at the sides and with the top carefully kept in place with a generous amount of pomade, this undercut hairstyle immediately adds personality to an outfit. Ask your barber for an undercut to achieve the look, but if you want something similar, but not as extreme, try out the modern pompadour, where the sides aren’t shaved quite as short as the undercut. Just make sure you’re always keeping your hair looking its best with high-quality products and the right styling.
How to Get The Peaky Blinders Look
- A flat cap can bridge the gap between preppy and alternative without going overboard. Plus it’s the most iconic piece from the series.
- Club collar shirts are one of the focal points of this look. Adding a tie will draw more attention to it, although wearing it without is a statement in itself.
- Generously cropped trousers are worn to show off those leather work boots. Mix it up by wearing an oxford shirt under a tweed waistcoat for a more authentic look.
- A long overcoat will finish off the outfit as it goes perfectly with a suit. However, it can also be dressed down with jeans as long as the colours are kept neutral.
- The little details can make or break this look. Adding a gold pocket watch and braces will add give you that Edwardian edge.
On That Note
By cleverly incorporating a few key elements of the looks above, you should be repping the Peaky Blinders aesthetic in no time. Remember, it’s not about throwing on every vintage inspired piece you’ve got in your wardrobe or grabbing the first top hat you can lay your hands on – slowly, and subtly, inject elements of the classic British menswear into your outfits and you’ll be giving Cillian Murphy a run for his money in no time!