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Peaky Blinders: Style Review

Birmingham elegance.

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Words: Liam Chapman

Peaky Blinders has been a major hit since its premiere in 2013, bringing attention to a unique setting with great detail. The show is an intriguing drama juxtaposing the British working-class and upper-class British style.

One of the biggest impacts the show had has been through fashion. In fact, showrunner Steven Knight even launched his own clothing line—which takes its name from the pub in the show. The series begins in 1919, in Birmingham directly after World War I. The costume design and brilliant performances truly deserved award-winning recognition, however, the show was never credited with an Emmy despite its cult following.

Peaky Blinders brilliantly created identities for its characters through its style and clothing. The main character Thomas Shelby and his whole gang all wear three-piece suits with detachable collars. The crew received their iconic name—’ Peaky Blinders’—for attaching razor blades to their flat caps, which are used to blind their enemies.

The Roaring 20s'

Menswear underwent a substantial transformation during the 1920s and 1930s—when there were major changes in the world of fashion as a whole. Men’s clothes were evolving into a more relaxed and comfortable style as World War I came to a close. Although the traditional three-piece suit remained in style, coats were getting shorter and looser than ever before, while braces, pocket squares, caps, and ties were still often used and favoured accessories.

The 1920s also witnessed the rise of the ‘mobster’ style of dress, which was made famous during the prohibition era. This style featured wide-brimmed fedoras, double-breasted suits, wide lapels, and sometimes bold pinstripes. Shoes also had thick soles and square toes.

These iconic and timeless styles still impact the fashion trends of today as menswear continues to evolve into less regimental, looser-fitting fabrics and sportswear.

'Peaky Blinders Inspired Ensemble'

Peaky Fashion

Characters’ suits are one of the most iconic aspects of the Peaky Blinders aesthetic, and they accurately depict the period in which the show is set. They’re often in darker tones and feature a mix of traditional English tailoring and streetwear.

The gang dresses in sharp, well-tailored suits that are designed to make them easily recognizable to intimidate their rivals and impress their acquaintances. The flat caps worn by the Peaky Blinders crew are a potent symbol of their belonging to a particular group, sending a message to others that should be taken seriously.

During the setting of the show, overcoats were an essential part of men’s wardrobe, especially during the colder months. The coats were usually made from heavy wool or tweed and were designed to keep the wearer warm and protect their suits from the elements.

One of the most iconic things in The Peaky Blinders is the relatively short club collars. They use detachable collars that are buttoned and often worn without neckwear.

Gold pocket watches with Albert Chains as well as tie and pinky rings were also common accessories in the gang’s style.

How To Get the "peaky" look

For gentlemen looking to incorporate the Peaky Blinders’ style into their wardrobe, one can easily elevate their look by selecting glen check or houndstooth fabrics and heavy tweeds. Keep pants shorter without a break, add a cuff, and consider accessorizing with a tweed cap, cufflinks, and a bowtie.

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