The Style of Peaky Blinders
Who would have imagined that a BBC period drama set in 1920s Birmingham about a family of illegal bookmakers would spark a new trend in men’s fashion? But that is precisely what we are seeing, with the show’s distinct styling inspiring men’s fashion to a similar degree as that seen recently with the ‘Mad Men’ look.
Whereas women’s fashion takes a direct path from the catwalk, men’s fashion is much slower to react to designer led trends. TV shows such as Mad Men, Broadwalk Empire and now Peaky Blinders have all influenced the growing trend for men to dress that little bit smarter, reinforcing the same movement that has been championed in recent seasons at Pitti Uomo, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks.
There are six distinct parts that make up the Peaky Blinders look, some of which have already turned mainstream.
1. The full length overcoat – the influence of this started with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and now firmly entrenched by the Shelby brothers.
2. The 3-piece suit – whereas Mad Men introduced the 2-piece Mohair suit, Peaky Blinders has taken this one step further with the tweed 3-piece variation.
3. The cropped length trouser – Recent years have certainly seen trouser lengths shorten considerably, with a much smaller break being seen from the High Street multiples to bespoke Savile Row.
4. The classic white shirt – Thomas Shelby, the head of the gang played by Cilian Murphy, would not venture outside without a pristine white penny collar shirt. Although the gold stud detail is less likely to catch on, you can expect this type of collar to become more visible. The penny collar is best paired with a silk knitted tie.
5. The pocket square – A firm staple, you cannot go wrong with a classic white silk, cotton or linen pocket square on a navy or grey suit or blazer. One tip though, don’t match a pocket square to your tie.
6. The peaked cap – A peaked cap is the term for any type of flat cap with a peak. However, the type of hat made famous in Peaky Blinders is the classic newsboy cap. Constructed using 8 panels with a button on the top, this is more of an oversized cap. Historically, the newsboy cap was worn by working men such as shipbuilders, dockers and farmers and not just newspaper sellers. This all changed though in the 1920s, the period in which Peaky Blinders is set, when Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, was often seen wearing newsboy caps and Fedoras rather than a Top Hat or Homburg that had been the usual hat of choice by the aristocracy up until that point.