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Dressing like the snazzy, smooth, and attractive Peaky Blinders for Halloween probably appeals to many fans of the show. The only problem? There are not that many Peaky Blinder Halloween costumes on the market. So you will have to get creative when putting it together!
The Tommy Shelby Costume
For some context, the show takes place in the 1920s, which means lots of the costumes in the show are functional clothing, so the good news is that many of the parts of a Peaky Blinders costume can be reused as unique everyday clothing.
While looking for the parts of your costume, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. To keep with the authenticity of the costume, try to find features from the show that appeal to your sense of fashion, and begin to work off of that.
The Three-Piece Suit
The Peaky Blinders had a classic three-piece suit (see more Peaky Blinder Style Suits ) uniform that set them apart from the other gangs and people on the street. It completed their sleek attitude and frankly, looks amazing.
Three-piece suits can be pricey, so make sure you can afford the suit. In the show, the majority of the suits worn by Cillian Murphy, (who plays Thomas Shelby) are grey or blue-ish grey. The parts of the suit are the vest, suit jacket, and pants. Since they are all matching, it creates a polished look.
When finding a suit, try to look for ones that have some type of 20s flair to them and look good with a newsboy cap, which is what the Peaky Blinders wear in the show.
- Check Out: Our Peaky Blinders Costumes for Females!
This suit comes in plus sizes too!
This costume is great because a classic three-piece suit will last for years, and will always be in style, so you can whip it out in 5 years for that cousin’s wedding that you don’t really want to go to, but you know you should.
- Looking for More Costume Ideas: 1920’s Zoot Suits
The Long Coat
Nothing says that you have something to hide or a mysterious side than a long coat. These coats were crazy trendy among gangsters in the 20s and 30s (probably because they could hide a whole shotgun in there!) and they still look great today.
They complete the three-piece suit look and seem really comfortable too. They also come in plus sizes and will be the final touch to any Peaky Blinders outfit.
Also, imagine how amazingly cool you would look walking into work on any given Tuesday morning with this thing billowing behind you?! Lauren from accounting would never bother you again.
Okay, these pants are incredible. They will flatter any body type because of their classic cut and style. They are vintage chic and will become a staple of your wardrobe, guaranteed. The navy blue and checked charcoal-grey are perfect choices for a Peaky Blinders get-up (or a fancy diner when you meet your girlfriends’ parents for the first time and really really need to make a good impression!)
Add a vest and some suspenders and you’ll be walking and talking like Tommy Shelby in no time! (Ya know, minus the violent crime.)
Also a classic. The penny collar makes the look realistic and authentic, plus it will be nice to have a shirt that is a little different than all the other boring button-down dress shirts you own. This shirt should be tucked into the pants, and then with a vest, pocket watch, a nice newsboy cap, and a blazing desire to take over Birmingham, you are ready to be one of the best Peaky Blinders of Halloween! You can also incorporate this into a three-piece or tweed suit for a very clean look.
Let’s be really, really honest with each other. The vest is the piece that makes the outfit feel like it is straight out of the streets of 20s Birmingham. The Peaky Blinders certainly did not have bulletproof vests, but they’ve got tweed and charcoal grey ones that have fun little pocket squares in them! Put this vest over a penny collar button-down, add a pocket square and tie, and match the pants to your vest and off you go, Tommy Shelby!
You can add them to a tweed suit for a bit of saucy flair, or pretend to be your grandfather in the mirror after Halloween is over. Vests = versatile.
Plus, if Halloween is a little cold this year, you have a bonus extra layer of warmth. The vests also come in plus sizes!
The Suspenders and Accessories
I am only going to say this once: suspenders, not belts! No one in the 20s wore belts. Everyone was loving the suspender trend, and to be honest, I have no clue why they went out of style.
Wear these over the penny collar shirt to hold up your fancy, vintage lookin’ pants and then top it off with the long jacket. (You might want to have someone record you being able to dramatically swing the ends of your coat and have it billow behind you when you walk down the hall. Just sayin’!)
Try not to cover them up with a vest, let them shine through in all their functional, pants-holding glory.
The Boots Are A Must for All Peaky Blinder Costumes
Of course, the boots are important too. Tommy Shelby was sure as heck not running around in Skechers or Birkenstocks or whatever shoes are in the back of your closet. Boots look hardcore and will mesh the tough gangster attitude of the Peaky Blinders into you. Boots are a very critical part of the costume and will make you tip to toe tough, and ready to push small children out of your way so you can grab the last Snickers bar.
And boots are just plain useful! You can also use them beyond your costume. They will be an eye-catching addition to any suit or dressy outfit, and if you ever need to spontaneously ride a horse for some reason, you’re raring to go!
Think like spaghetti, long and skinny. The Peaky Blinders didn’t have thick ties with little leaves or whales on them, they were pretty solid and direct.
The tie should not take away from the costume, but add flavor to it. Make sure that it matches or at a minimum complements the rest of your costume or suit.
If it doesn’t, it may stick out like a sore thumb and draw attention away from the fantastic Peaky Blinders accent you’ve been secretly practicing in the shower for 4 weeks.
A good, plain tie is another great thing to have in your closet that will never go out of style. Its simplicity and practicality make it a great buy.
This may go without saying, but please, do NOT put a razor in the brim of your hat like the Peaky Blinders did. God forbid you accidentally shave your own or someone else’s eyebrows off while dancing.
Personally, I have shaved an eyebrow off (twice) and I will tell you, they never grow back the same.
The Peaky Blinders were known for their newsboy caps and they are critical to completing the costume. Without the hat, you are just a well-dressed man in suspenders. Nice blue, black or grey caps are classic 20s colors, and they (literally) top off the outfit. The iconic style of these hats are so iconic and eye-catching and will be a fun thing to pull out of your closet once in a while for the sole purpose of tipping it and saying “M’lady,” and “Hello, chaps.”
Cuff links are the subtle touch that will make the costume feel realistic. (Added bonus, you can adjust them as they do on the TV series before they punch someone in the face!) Cuff links are another staple that suit wearers should have in their suit accessory arsenal.
They add the bling-bling that is otherwise missing from your costume and make you look like you mean business, just like the Peaky Blinders. They are a perfect addition to something like a tweed suit and add the power of the Peaky Blinders to your shirt sleeves. They are not just for flair in costumes, they are also for flair when you want some pizzazz on you during a work meeting or a night out. They are a small but noticeable fashion feature that is classic and a great idea for part of a Peaky Blinders costume
Where the Peaky Blinders typically use armbands to hold their sleeves while committing crimes, you can use these to keep your sleeves up while kneading dough or making cookies. These armbands will give your costume the same casual, relaxed, “I don’t care” look that Tommy Shelby has mastered.
The rolled sleeves with the suits give the impression of strength and dominance, which is seen in so many Peaky Blinders, not just Tommy Shelby. So next time your co-worker uses your coffee cup, you can roll up those sleeves and defend it in style.
The Albert Chain
Nothing in the world screams class and wealth like a pocket watch. For some ideas on how to show it off, they can be draped around the waist and threaded through a buttonhole of the waistcoat, or the chain hung in a loop of the side of the hip. They were such a fashion staple for years, the 20s being no exception to the trend, and Tommy Shelby and his gang certainly latched onto it. Many Peaky Blinders can be seen checking the time with their pocket watches or walking with the chain swinging.
This may not be something you use every day like the Peaky Blinders, but if you ever want someone to think you are super wealthy and successful, wear the pocket watch and check the time while they watch. They’ll think you have everything together.
So there you go everything you need to make your next Halloween or costume party a memorable one. Don’t forget to send me your favorite photo’s, I would love to see your outfit turned out!
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.