How to Dress Like A Peaky Blinder: The Modern-Day Peaky Blinder’s Style Guide

Monday, 1 April 2019
How to Dress Like A Peaky Blinder: The Modern-Day Peaky Blinder’s Style Guide

Every man wants to be a bit more Tommy Shelby, the notorious and charismatic ganglord of the Peaky Blinders. Not the wanton criminality and cut-throat violence, you understand, nor the penchant for self-destruction and colourful language.

No, here we are purely talking sartorial style because when it comes to dapper dressing, Tommy Shelby – played with brooding magnificence by Cillian Murphy – undoubtedly knows the cut of his cloth.

Peaky Blinders first hit our screens in 2013, introducing us to the dangerously intoxicating world of the Shelby clan and its assorted associates. Set initially in the aftermath of World War I, this BBC period drama is based loosely on the exploits of the real-life Peaky Blinders, a 19th century Birmingham gang whose name arose from their alarming habit of sewing razor blades into their renown flat caps. Allegedly.

Irish tweed peaky blinders style suit
IRISH DONEGAL IN OUR IMPECCABLY TAILORED THREE PIECE SUIT 

As the fifth series of Peaky Blinders heads our way later this year, we celebrate its influence on contemporary fashion, and in particular on menswear.

Peaky Blinder’s Style

The work-a-day Shelby look is typified by an almost military take on urban tailoring in durable woollens, serges and tweeds, combining three-piece suits, sturdy boots, oversized coats and of course those caps.
Versatile layering is key, with long dark coats worn over matching jackets and waistcoats. Shirts tend to be white, perhaps bibbed, with starched collars either added or not.

Tommy likes to wear a white shirt and collar buttoned but with no tie, popularising the so-called ‘air tie’ style recently opted for by male celebs on the red carpet (Ryan Gosling and Timothée Chalamet have been working it well). Some vintage shops will stock genuine white shirts from the 1930s and earlier, often in surprisingly good condition, while authentic-looking vintage-style lace-up boots are widely available on the high street.

peaky blinders cast wearing tailored tweed suits and serge coats
HEAVY MELTON, TWEED AND SERGE COATS. STALWARTS OF BRITISH TAILORING FOR CENTURIES.

But Peaky Blinders style is not really about reviving vintage looks and wearing head to toe. It’s about taking inspiration from the sartorial smartness of the early decades of the 20th century and reinventing it to bring a well-crafted and distinctively British touch to modern-day dressing.

Iconic and instantly recognisable, Peaky Blinders has reminded us that British men from all walks of life have, in past times, been decidedly discerning peacocks and enjoyed dressing in a way that both reflected and respected their profession, standing, tribe or gang, while allowing them also to add individual style details to personalise their look.

Small wonder, then, that in celebrating distinctive, wearable, timeless British tailoring, Peaky Blinders dress code has proved to be such a style inspiration for current menswear. While we don’t suggest you go for a replica period ensemble, these are a few Cordings pieces to bring a touch of Shelby style.

The Cap: Tweed Redford Curved Cap, £59

Peaky Blinder’s Hat

Start at the top. With its distinctive curved peak, this captures the Peaky Blinders cap style perfectly and comes in four shades of tweed, blue, charcoal grey, green grey and brown. Please note that we do not recommend inserting razor blades into it.

If a cap is not for you, a great alternative is a trilby, as worn by Romany hitman Aberama Gold, played by the fabulous Aidan Gillen. Try the Olive Crushable Trilby Hat, £59

peaky blinders style tweed hat
THE REDFORD CAP, MADE IN BRITAIN USING A YORKSHIRE TWEED. TEAM WITH A CHARCOAL WAISTCOAT AND A MENACING GLARE.

The Waistcoat: Charcoal Merino Waistcoat, £160

Peaky Blinder’s Waistcoat & Shirt

We can imagine Arthur Shelby wearing this, open over a collarless shirt as he sits in his scullery servicing his Webley handgun. For smart Peaky waistcoat style, wear buttoned and layered over a collared shirt and narrow dark tie, with a dark wool tailored jacket over.

Accessorise with a gold fob watch and chain for a flash of Shelby bling.

lightweight grey merino waistcoat
BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED, OUR MERINO WAISTCOAT WILL ADD A TOUCH OF TAILORED DETAILING UNDER YOUR JACKET

The Three-Piece Suit: Elland Lightweight Jacket, £445; waistcoat, £175; trousers, £195

Peaky Blinder’s Suit

This 12oz Yorkshire tweed three-piece features a jacket with an extra ticket pocket, pleat-front trousers and a waistcoat with four welt pockets and pocket watch buttonhole, a style favoured by Tommy Shelby.

In a subtle barleycorn and overcheck weave, it’s a modern take on Peaky style, and lightweight enough for summer.

lightweight british tweed suit
OUR TIMELESSLY TAILORED ELLAND SUIT IN A LIGHTWEIGHT BRITISH TWEED

The Dark Overcoat: Navy Harry Moleskin Coat, £395

Peaky Blinder’s Coat

A Peaky Blinders coat has to look smart enough to command respect and be suitable for funerals, but also durable enough to withstand shoot-outs and unexpected brawls. Designed to layer over a jacket in sturdy moleskin with velvet collar options, this ticks all the boxes.

peaky blinders style edwardian harry coat
IN A STURDY MOLESKIN OUR HARRY COAT ADDS A TOUCH OF EDWARDIAN STYLE

The Braces: Brown Navy Chequerboard Braces, £69

Peaky Blinder Braces

Although often concealed under waistcoats, braces were a necessary accessory to tailored trousers back in the earlier decades of the last century. Today, worn with a simple white shirt and wool or moleskin trousers, they hint at modern off-duty Peaky Blinder style.

suit trouser braces by cordings
OUR CHEQUERBOARD BRACES, AN ESSENTIAL ACCESSORY FOR SIDE ADJUSTER TROUSERS

The Cufflinks: Silver Shotgun Cartridge Cufflinks, £225

Peaky Blinder Cufflinks

We just know Tommy Shelby would appreciate the quality and subtlety of these elegant silver cufflinks. For a more direct message, try the 12 Bore Cockable Shotgun Cufflinks, £250.

The Slim Dark Tie: Navy Heavy Silk Knitted Tie, £55

Peaky Blinder Ties

Tommy Shelby and most of the Shelby clan prefer to play it simple with ties, usually choosing dark tones, narrow widths and simple knots. Sleek and with a vintage-style edge, this silk knitted tie is an ideal addition to contemporary working and smart attire. Add a gold or silver bar tie pin for Peaky polish.

silk knitted tie with cartridge cufflinks
CARTRIDGE CUFFLINKS AND SILK KNITTED TIE – SUBTLE ACCESSORIES TO COMPLETE THE LOOK

Peaky Blinder’s Women

And finally, the Peaky Blinders Women. When it comes to Peaky Blinders style (or indeed anything pertaining to the gang), it would be unwise to overlook the ladies, in particular, Tommy’s impeccably dressed aunt, Polly Gray, played by British national treasure Helen McCrory.

Rather like the boys, for her working wardrobe, Polly favours well-crafted tailored layers, often finished with a fur collar for a dash of glamour. And she loves a hat.

Visit our shoppable links below for more Peaky Blinder’s outfit advice for the ladies:
Wine Velor Felt Hat with Detachable Feathers, £149

Olive Green Leather Tassel Gloves, £79

Wine Fitted Velvet Waistcoat, £149

Chocolate Fox Fur Collar £169

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