How to dress like the Peaky Blinders August 13 2019

The BBC have announced the much anticipated return of Peaky Blinders and we couldn't be more excited here at Mad World. Pretty much every member of staff is a huge fan of the series - especially the music and of course the costumes.

The Men

It's hard to think of another TV show that has such a distinctive look for it's characters. The Peaky Blinders gang are recognisable by their now iconic headwear. If you want to dress as a Peaky Blinder, you will need a newsboy / bakerboy cap. 

Newsboy / bakerboy caps are similar in style to the more common flatcap, however you will notice the Shelby's hats are rounder and fuller, with panels and a button in the middle. 
We strongly advise against storing razorblades in the brim though.

As well as the cap, you'll need a three piece suit, ideally in herringbone tweed, but definitely a dark colour. The waistcoat is an essential and accessorising with a pocketwatch peeking from the pocket will make sure everyone knows you're part of the PB gang. 
You can add a long black overcoat as above, but this isn't essential unless at an outdoor event.

Whilst the Peaky Blinders appear to dress identically, there are subtle differences for each character.....


As head of the gang, naturally Tommy has an impressive collection of suits. He wears them with a distinctive, detachable collar - sometimes known as a penny collar. These were worn in the 1920s as it meant you could clean the collar or replace it without having to do the same with the whole shirt. These have fallen out of style nowadays, but you can get them from more high end tailors or suit outfitters. 
We use a round collared shirt and team it with a vintage look tie with tie pin to create a similar look. 

If you really want to emulate Tommy, wear a pair of round lens glasses and clutch a cigarette (fake!) at all times. 


Tommy's volatile older brother Arthur has a more playful style, he often wears a dicky-bow instead of the more straight laced tie. 

He's also rarely seen without a drink and a cigar, so remember these props if you are dressing as Arthur. Don't forget to grow a moustache, or failing that we have a nice range of fake taches!

Alfie Solomons

Tommy's "frenemy" Alfie is my absolute favourite character and a good choice of costume for people who like to stand out from the crowd - as he dresses differently to the Peaky Blinders.

Alfie's style is undeniably based on his proud Jewish heritage, his wide brimmed hat is evocative of Orthodox Jewish tradition - his behaviour is very much not! He often wears a white tasselled scarf draped over his overcoat which is reminiscent of the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit). 

His every day style is more casual than the Shelby's. Alfie gets his hands dirty at his "bakery" (illegal distillery!) and this is reflected in his clothing. Grandad shirts with the sleeves rolled up and collar open and loose, open waistcoats accessorised with plenty of rings and his signature beard are essential for the Alfie look. 

The Ladies
A Peaky Blinders party is the perfect excuse to get glam with a touch of gangster.
The ladies in Peaky Blinders can more than hold their own with the men, whilst looking fabulous to boot. 

The ladies wear clothing of the period, starting with late Edwardian in the earlier series and then a bit more razzle dazzle of the 1920s as time progresses (and they get richer!)

For the every day looks, a blouse and long skirt with a long coat and cloche hat, accessorised with gloves and jewellery will be enough to give you the Peaky Blinders girl look.

Most people prefer to glam it up with an evening look instead, and why wouldn't you when it's as glamorous as this. 

Note the dresses are historically accurate rather than the usual cliche of a 20s "flapper" style fringed dress. The Peaky Blinders ladies wear long, opulent beaded dresses, sleeveless but with elbow length gloves, simple jewellery and a fur stole. 
Hair is usually short, with waves and decorated with a feather/jewelled band.


Polly (or "Aunt Pol") has a very enviable wardrobe throughout the series. Her style differs slightly to reflect her status. She is the only person who could potentially outrank Tommy in the organisation and her clothing reflects how she is an equal.

She will often wear blouses with a collar, as well as rocking a holster and weapon. In the image below, which is a sneak peek from the new series, it looks like Polly is embracing the androgynous look even further this season. 

Peaky Blinders series 5 begins on BBC1 on Sunday 25th August.