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STYLE AND CULTURE

STYLE LESSONS FROM PEAKY BLINDERS

By Style Feed Staff, 22 August 2019

Peaky Blinders is back in all its sharp-suited, flat-cap-topped glory for a fifth season, kicking off this Sunday. It's not just the drama, the violence and the accents that have us all hooked though; it's all about the threads. Not many shows have had such a radical impact on men's tailoring, so we thought we'd look back over some of the best lessons from every season so far. Turns out we very much do f*** with the Peaky Blinders after all.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: BBC

Have a signature item

In Peaky Blinders, the gang’s signature style item is a flat cap with razorblades sewn into the peak (all the better to slash their enemies during a dust up). For the record: we don’t advocate any accessory that could get you arrested. But having a signature item is an excellent way of developing a look of your own. 

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: The Urban Spotter

With that in mind, if you're fond of kicks? Buy a few pairs in different colourways. Look particularly good in hoodies? Build a wardrobe of them. Cravats or silk ties? Sure, if you’ve got the minerals for it. The point is to find what you love, and be that guy.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: BBC

Embrace the air tie

Wearing a suit and shirt without a tie is hardly a bold style choice today – and that’s just the problem. These days it has an unpleasant whiff of politician-trying-to-be-a-regular-guy about it. A cooler, more contemporary way to dress down a suit is the ‘air tie’, which is to say buttoning your shirt up to the top even though you’re not wearing one.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: Getty

The Peaky Blinders wear detachable collars, but you can achieve the same look with a formal, grandad or even Oxford shirt. That way you can save the tie for those slightly more special occasions and really make the effort. Plus, comfort – you know?

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: BBC

Accessorise sparingly

Thomas Shelby generally wears a three-piece suit with an overcoat and one simple accessory that ties the look together beautifully: a pocket watch with a visible brass chain. His brother Arthur, on the other hand, opts for a bow-tie and very subtle pocket square (folded straight, rather peaked or puffed). 

main in printed shirt

Picture: Getty

The key with accessories, always, is that less is more: attempt all three at once and you would start to look fussy and affected. Take the chap above – he's opted for layered chain necklaces, instantly updating his laid-back printed look.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: BBC

Find a haircut that suits your face

Rarely has a haircut suited a man so well as Cillian Murphy and the much-imitated ‘Peaky Blinders cut’. Shorn rough at the sides with length on top, the reason it works so well is that it accentuates the man’s enviable bone structure – it wouldn’t suit a fuller or more rounded face nearly as well.
Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: Getty

The lesson? Find a decent barber and talk about what style and grade of hair best suits what nature gave you. After all, having the wrong hairstyle will mean you look bad whatever you wear.
Michael Shelby

Picture: BBC

Learn to use colour

A colour pop is, unsurprisingly, a pop of colour. Switch up your tailoring game by opting for a more neutral palette. Navy and greys are always cool but the look Michael's gone for above has got winter wedding written all over it. Extra points for the matching gloves and tie combo, too.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: Getty

Tommy Shelby, for instance, often wears a Bengal-stripe shirt in blue or purple under his three-piece (for Arthur, it’s the aforementioned bow-tie). Talking of tailoring, opt for a neutral tone like the one Michael and the chap above are both rocking, or find some trousers that pick out the highlights in your printed shirt. Matchmaking made easy.

Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: BBC

Pick a pattern

While the Peaky Blinders palette is resolutely muted – dark green is about as flamboyant a shade as you’ll see on Tommy – the show is a good reminder that experimenting with pattern and cloth is an easy and less showy way to mix things up a bit.
Style lessons from peaky Blinders

Picture: Getty

Take some peaky pointers in terms of flexing a pattern or two. Whether it's Donegal tweed, Glen checks or houndstooth, there's always room for making a more eye-catching move. Take the guy above – he's even gone and incorporated classic checks into a bonafide street-ready look. Ideal.

Peaky Blinders series 4 Style Lessons

Picture: BBC

Remember the classics are classic for a reason

Peaky Blinders may have revived an interest in narrow-fit tailoring, waistcoats and flat caps but, really, the core of what the gang wear has never gone out of fashion. 

Peaky Blinders series 4 Style Lessons

Picture: The Urban Spotter

Proper suits, long woollen overcoats and sturdy work boots: men have looked the dog’s in this stuff since time immemorial. So while experimenting and trying out trends is all well and good, don’t forget to build a strong rota of the basics. It’s what the Blinders would want.

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