How to dress like a Shelby: bringing Small Heath to Park Street

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By Ryan Welsh, Second Year Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

The Croft Magazine // Do you feel ready to channel your inner Shelby and head to the races? Well, devastatingly you can’t go in your Champion hoodie, Carhartt Corduroy trousers and FILA shoes. You’ve got to wear a suit.

If you’ve seen Peaky Blinders and are so restrained that you haven’t thought about joining a criminal gang, and becoming a Shelby, then fair enough. It seems pretty terrifying. If you have, however, thought to yourself, 'I’d look well fit in that' about the pristine outfits worn by the Shelby family, then you better read on.

When I searched ‘Peaky Blinders style suits’ into google, I was disappointed. All I saw were a bunch of brands stealing the good name of the Peaky Blinders and advertising their suits as rip-off ones from the show. Firstly, that’s fair enough, I did search ‘Peaky Blinders style suits’. Secondly, would James bond wear a ‘007 Edition’ aftershave? I think not. Tommy Shelby would have only the finest tailor in Birmingham to make his suit. However, you’re a student and therefore poor, so you’ll have to settle with being a BTEC Cillian Murphy. You’re going to need more than a suit though; you need the whole shebang.

Suit


Have I mentioned you needed a suit? Unlike their friends in the Italian gangs of New York, the Shelbys mostly steer clear of the double-breasted suit. Save that for Al Capone. Tweed or woollen suits seem to be the popular choice as like the rest of Britain, Birmingham isn’t the warmest of places. You may for the three-piece which includes a waistcoat but make sure it’s a dark colour like navy, brown, black or grey as the Shelbys don’t give off summer vibes.

Navy tweed suit, £159.99 | CAVANI

Hat

Any Peaky Blinder fanboy cannot go without a flat cap. You’ll need something to keep your skin-faded head a tad bit covered. Ask your sweet wee gran to sew on some razor blades to the back. I know 5 blade technology sounds menacing, but Gillette PROGLIDE just won’t do.

Baker boy hat, £35 | WOOLOVERS

Shirt

No forward point or button down collars here, only penny-collar shirts for the Shelbys. These are such lovely shirts and should be worn more often but now considered out-of-date. This is the lightest coloured thing the Shelbys wear so don’t get blood on them. Sweat stains are also a no-no.

Blue penny collar shirt, £49 | HOCKERTY

Jacket

If you’re going to Cheltenham, it’ll still be cold in March so you’ll want a jacket. The Shelbys opt for black overcoats, as should you. Lucky for you, overcoats can go with many different outfits, unless you want to look like a Shelby every day. Which you obviously do.

Black overcoat, £75 | ASOS

Shoes

If you’re thinking of running around and burning some poor old bookkeeper’s betting licenses, I’d suggest a comfy pair of boots. If you’re watching the horses from the stands then a smarter look will be necessary. Might I suggest a clean pair or chelsea boots or brogues? Not oxfords. Don’t listen to Colin Firth. Fine, listen to Colin Firth but not in Kingsman, super average film.

Boots, £65 | ASOS

Post-WW1 Britain didn’t quite have the same amount of icy threads as we do now, but a stylish person back then would at least have had a well-fitted suit. But you don’t want some regular old suit and blend in with the rest of the crowd. You want to stand out, you want to look like a Shelby.

Featured: IMDb / Robert Viglasky Photography


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