Peaky Blinders: Will It Ever Become Outdated?

Published on   Oct 02, 2022

 

As Tommy Shelby’s boys gather for one more season of skin fades, flat caps, tweed waistcoats and a bit of murder, we take a look at the surprising legacy of Peaky Blinders style

 
 

Cillian Murphy has never been fond of the hairstyle that helped him become famous. The character Tommy Shelby's haircut, a severe skin fade with a dishevelled fringe that Murphy described to reporters as "brutal" in 2016, has become a cultural phenomenon; it is a search engine optimised grooming smash that has inspired innumerable "how to" articles and imitation high and tight barnets. Murphy continued in the interview, "Now in the UK you see fellas voluntarily seeking for that appearance." "I don't know why," you say.

 

Via Google

 

Murphy's haircut is far from the only aspect of Peaky Blinders that has achieved success in the wider world of men's fashion, having been forced back into the barber's chair by a giant BBC producer in a big black trench coat for one last catastrophic shear for the sixth and final season. The Peaky Blinders ensemble, which consists of a three-piece suit, a white grandad collar shirt, a tweed overcoat, brown leather boots, and—most importantly—a flat cap, has become one of the most iconic pop culture-inspired looks in recent memory since it debuted in 2013.

 

Via Google

 

According to the Telegraph, the "Peaky Blinders effect" caused flat cap sales at John Lewis to increase by 83% between 2016 and 2017. Since then, they have increased by an additional 25% every year. This effect is also evident in the physical world. You may expect to see at least one man (often a group) wearing a tweed flat cap in any bar in any UK town, with little to no expertise using a sprayer, fencing in a cow, or caring for the land.

 

The show's much-riffed look, including the flat cap and Tommy Shelby's Brummie gang lord starched shirt and wool-heavy uniform, was established by Stephanie Collie, the costume designer who styled the first season of the show. This look has since spread from early 20th century dark and dangerous Birmingham to the highstreet barber's chair, the races, and a million (and the rest) wedding parties.

 

Via Google

 

Via Google

 

Collie credits historical images for helping her piece together the idea for the outfits in the series: "I did a lot of research looking at them and was particularly intrigued by the men in them. "They were looking to the future after having recently survived a horrible battle. To give Tommy a competitive edge and to establish him as a leader, I wanted Tommy's wardrobe to reflect that.

 

"We had been having a number of fittings, testing the suits, and one day as I was ready to put a tie on Cillian, I realised that it really didn't require a tie at all because of the sharpness, due to it being starched and the shape of the collar being a double round, he had more stature without one." Collie continues. "Tommy wouldn't look exactly like everyone else in the programme, which was an added plus. He would be unique, and that would be all. That was the Peaky Blinders' style.

 

Via Google

 

Since season 4, Alison McCosh, who is responsible for the show's costumes, has maintained Tommy's appearance quite consistently. "The biggest change has been this season. Now that it's 1933, Tommy has greater clout. This season, more opulent fabrics with richer textures are available. Although you can't see the luxury on camera, you can definitely feel it, and that was essential to me.

 

Via Google

 

“I am surprised [by the popularity of the clothes],” adds McCosh, “but I feel very privileged to be a part of it. I think it is great that the show has influenced how people dress and how they express themselves.”

 

It's simple to be somewhat disdainful of the show's look. You can't dispute the influence, even though I have occasionally rolled my eyes at the sight of a crowded bar filled with men wearing flat caps and suspenders and brown boots. It must signify something if innumerable men from all over the world are dressing like Shelby's from off Broadway, doesn't it?

 

“Clothes are, of course, so casual nowadays,” says Collie, giving her view on the what and why of Peaky style. "For a lot of men a suit had almost become a uniform, something you had to wear at the office and then along came Peaky and suddenly here were these cool guys wearing their suits with an attitude, a swagger and you could absolutely tell that the actors genuinely enjoyed wearing these clothes. Who wouldn't want to put on a suit, a hat and belong to this stylish group?”

 

Via Gyfcat

 

Whether you like it or not, Murphy's razor-sharp cheekbones and pale eyes still define the Peaky image, which is expected to last for at least a few more years. This is true nine years after the show's debut. There are plans for a movie after season six is finished. For supporters, good news For Cillian Murphy's barnet, bad news

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