Peaky Blinders, how to buy the style

Reading Time: 7 minutes

It’s impossible to ignore the influence of the Peaky Blinders these days. Season four of the BBC series recently ended and there a fifth season has been promised, so the Blinders will no doubt be part of the public consciousness for a while yet. Unless you’ve been living in a dark cave, with only your little fishies for companionship, it’s hard to avoid the fictional tales of the gangsters in 1920s Birmingham. Is it the actual stories that capture the imagination though, or is it the snappily attired bad lads and their vintage tweedy garms? Going by the number of places I keep running into the words “Peaky Blinders Style”, I suspect the style is a major part of it.

Hence, in the name of altruism and promoting the vintage tweed look, I thought I’d offer up a short guide to quality emporiums that will help you recreate the golden bygone times when young men would demand money under menaces and fit razor blades to the brim of their caps to weaponise their headwear (the cap peak has the potential to blind, hence “peaky blinders”, my son). Keeping the razor blades out of the getup is a wise idea these days, let’s just stick to the notorious caps, shirts and cunningly cut suits, ok?

One word of warning: Whenever something gets really popular, the conmen move in. If you’re searching eBay for blinding vintage gems, be very careful of items offering said style, but being made from inferior materials and sub-par workmanship. There are any number of items claiming the style, but using 100% synthetic fibres and made in a far away country. If you consider a 10 quid pair of Primark brogues to be pretty great, this won’t worry you, otherwise, I’d suggest looking further, paying a bit more and enjoying a quality garment.

As an aside, may I just mention that sartorially-wise, in my very personal opinion, if you think the Blinders are great, take in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film from 2009 for a total whiplash of vintage tweedism. In fact, the great website “Clothes on film” has a couple of fine pieces about just this film and it’s garments, read it here.

First up, Darcy Clothing and their Peaky Blinders style:

That removable collar with brass stud, by Darcy Clothing.

That removable collar with brass stud, by Darcy Clothing.

Darcy Clothing has been in the vintage reproduction clothing game since 2004, pre-dating the current Peaky Blinders obsession by a decade, but aligning more with the Chap movement. From their base in Lewes, they supply gentlemen (and gentlewomen) worldwide with a very wide range of vintage clothing. This is the most comprehensive selection I have found available, and pricing seems pretty fair as well. They also have a handy guide to “shopping the Peaky Blinders look“, where we also find the elusive shirt with studs and a removable collar, a vital part of the look. Rumour has it they may also have supplied actual costumes for the film, though I couldn’t possibly deny or confirm this.

Second, Tom Smarte newsboy caps:

Newsboy caps by Tom Smarte London.

Newsboy caps by Tom Smarte London.

Newsboy caps or flat caps, in vintage times men liked to have some tweed covering their barnet (aka wear something on their head). Tom Smarte in London has a very wide range of both the newsboy style and flat style, and all made in the UK. Newsboy caps have been enjoying an increase in popularity and offer a quite different look to the more common flat cap, and definitely a more obviously vintage look. Tom Smarte makes a point of their caps being the same style and shape as those used in the Peaky Blinders series, and I’m sure a voice whispered to me from a dark alley that the series actually used Tom Smarte caps. I’ve got a couple of them myself and think they’re great.

 

Third, Garrison Tailors offer official Peaky Blinders style:

Peaky Blinders tweed suits by Garrison Tailoring.

Peaky Blinders tweed suits by Garrison Tailoring.

In a strange twist of reality and fiction, Garrison Tailors, a company started by the writer of the Peaky series, offers his own line of “official” Peaky Blinders garments, including tweed suits, shirts and caps. Competively priced and fair looking, though to my mind a lot less of the style I’m was expecting. This may be down to me now having completed all episodes of the series, but I get the impression Garrison is going for a more modernised look than the more vintage look of the series.

Fourth, Bucktrout Tailoring for different tweed:

Harris Tweed three-piece suit by Bucktrout Tailoring.

Harris Tweed three-piece suit by Bucktrout Tailoring.

A recent discovery of mine is Bucktrout Tailoring in Yorkshire. Not a vintage style as such, but well cut and competitively priced tweeds do fit nicely into the sort of style we’re after. Well made, in name tweeds such as Harris Tweed and Donegal Tweed, with styles that add extra interest. Bucktrout also makes the tailored part of Thomas Farthing’s range, another brand that defines the modern vintage look. Well worth a look.

Thomas Farthing vintage tweed look.

Thomas Farthing vintage tweed look.

Do you have more recommendations? Please share your advice in the comment field.

Liked it? Take a second to support nick on Patreon!

6 Comments

  • Roland Novak 10/03/2018 at 12:55

    Well Nick, this is perfect as perfect it could be! Great sources and always with great behind the scene information!

    Reply
  • Deanna 10/03/2018 at 16:49

    I’d like the frock coat with the velvet lapels. Thanks for the post – it sent me down a lovely rabbit-hole with my morning coffee.

    Reply
    • nick 10/03/2018 at 16:50

      Pleased to provide inspiration, thank you for the kind feedback!

      Reply
      • Deanna 10/03/2018 at 17:00

        You’re welcome! Your blog is a nice respite from the steel-toed boots and Carhartt’s cargoes fashion of the northern New Mexican environmental work world in which I live. I now need to see if the newsboy cap I bought my daughter some time ago is still lurking in her disarrayed closet. I might have to borrow it.

        Reply
        • nick 10/03/2018 at 17:52

          Sounds like you have a plan! 🙂

          Reply
  • wobbly Jelly 10/03/2018 at 19:29

    The Peaky’s look seems to avoid hands in pockets and an enlarged shoulder stance, but perfect time of year for that look.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.