In September 2013 the BBC brought us Peaky Blinders, it was their answer to Americas Broad Walk Empire, a stylish 1920s gangster TV series, it was based in Birmingham, the gang yes was called Peaky Blinders headed by Thomas Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) , It soon gained rave reviews I had not seen at this point, but a friend commented on the sharp suits they wore on the programme, so being a follower of fashion and style I was interested, I got a dvd copy slipped it on I was met with Nick Cave singing the theme song “Red Right Hand”, then Cillian Murphy then appeared riding a big black horse dressed in a three-piece tweed herringbone suit, with a white pressed penny collar shirt but with no tie just a gold stud, then to finish the look dressed in a classy baker boy eight panel cap with a button in the middle, I was hooked not just by the story but by the clothes they were stylish, they were items of clothing you could wear today, the costumes were designed by Stephanie Collie, to recreate the era she didn’t want to do a history lesson in period clothing, the costumes were made and hired to accurate 1920 style, but the trousers given a more stylish fit, the suits were made by Keith Watson he’s been making suits since the 60s he started off in Savile Row, this is where he learnt his trade, the best thing is the cast loved their suites you can see this in how they move and wear their suits on set.
Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders ( played by Cillian Murphy )
The best thing about the Peaky Blinders look is anyone can put it together and wear the same outfits, the cloths and accessories used on set wouldn’t look that out-of-place today, after all the men are only wearing tweed suits and flat caps, classy over coats, this look has inspired young fashionistas to incorporate the vintage look into their wardrobe, so I want to take you through a couple of pieces and show you how this look would look stylish in your own wardrobe.
In Peaky Blinders most of the characters wear tweed suits, this is what most suites were made from at this time, most men would have owned one suit at a push two, the Thomas Shelby character has may be more, in one scene he is seen wearing a grey pin striped suit, but his main suit is a three-piece grey herringbone suit with a notch lapel and high wasted trousers with short legs with turn ups, getting a three-piece tweed suit is not easy but if you shop around you can find them, I’ve chosen the Marc Darcy tweed three-piece suit because it doesn’t break the bank, also with the felt black collar it gives it a modern twist.
In Peaky Blinders all the characters are seen wearing beautiful starched white starched collars, in the 1920s shirts didn’t come with collars you would attach the collar to the shirt with studs, in the 1920s men didn’t have a lot of money to buy cloths so they normally they would have a two starched collars and one shirt, this way they could keep the shirt going all week nice, today a lot of shops don’t stock starch collars but you will find them in vintage shops, in Peaky Blinders Thomas Shelby is seen wearing a wine striped shirt also a blue striped one but my favourite is the powder blue one with the contrast of the white-collar it looks amazing with a grey herringbone tweed suit, the style your looking for is the penny collar, this shirt from Tesco does not break the bank but looks stylish.
The Henley shirt is a stylish piece worn as underwear on the set by many characters, it looks amazing when worn with braces and tweed trouser finished off with a tweed cap, the Henley shirt gets its name from when rowers in Henley-on-Thames wore them to race in, there are a lot of company’s making the Henley shirt, but to me there is only one company who make a proper Henley Shirt that is Wolsey, their Henley shirt is made from 100% cotton, in a loose fit, with a five button placket and ribbed cuff
Another feature of the Peaky Blinders is the long black overcoats they wear, they are big and loose-fitting very masculine in style, when the character’s done theirs coats and walk on seen they look very menacing in deed, the style your looking for is a simple over coat that just hangs off your shoulders but fits you in the sleeves, I’ve chosen this black over coat from Warrior Clothing, its made from 100 % wool with a stunning red lining you can’t go wrong with this stunning coat.
The crowing glory of the Peaky Blinders look is the eight panel tweed cap with a peak at the front and a button in the middle, the caps have many names like the Gatsby, The baker boy, the newspaper boy, it was a type of head wear worn by dock workers and other manual workers of the time, in Peaky Blinders they had sewn razor blades into the peaks of their caps, then used them as weapons, this how they got their name Peaky Blinders, Baker boy caps to me are the most stylish casual head wear you can own.
The final piece to the Peaky Blinders look is the pocket watch, Thomas Shelby is always seen with a pocket watch hanging off his waistcoat, before the wrist watch was invented all men wore a pocket watch it would be attached to their waistcoat by a gold chain, the more stylish chains would have a fob attached to the chain, to me a pocket watch is a great way to add a touch of style to your waistcoat, don’t go out and buy a new watch get your self a vintage one, ebay is a great place to get them.
Peaky Blinders is truly a unique programme very stylish as well as entertaining, cant wait for series three just hope the guys are still stylishly dressed.
BE BOLD BE PROUD