We are now fast approaching Father’s Day, coming soon on Sunday, June 18th.
For the classic gentleman’s accessory, look no further than the iconic ‘Peaky Blinders’ cap.
Thanks to the recent television crime drama ‘Peaky Blinders’, this classic style of headwear has surged in popularity of late, though it has never really gone away since its origins in Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th century. The notorious Peaky Blinders were a criminal gang operating in Birmingham, England around this time. Their name is thought to be derived from the razor blades that they would stitch into the peak of their flat caps as concealed weapons. There is also speculation that the nickname simply comes from the ubiquitous ‘Peaky’ – a flat cap with a peak – and that a butt to a victim’s nose from the hard peak could result in temporary blindness!
Derived from the simple flat cap, this common form of flat cap, typically made of wool, consists of 8 panels forming a voluminous crown, often with a button to secure the stiff peak to the brim. It has earned a multitude of names over the years, often referring to specific contexts, some of which may be familiar – the Newsboy or Paperboy, the Baker Boy; though others less so – the Bandit cap, the Cheese Cutter, Apple Cap, Eight Piece Cap, Eight Panel, Cabbie Cap, Fisherman’s Cap, Pageboy, Paddy Cap, Applejack Hat, Lundberg Stetson, Chiz Hat and the Poor Boy Cap!
Despite many of these nicknames, the cap was not just worn by boys, but was also a typical form of headwear for adult males, particularly of the working classes in both Europe and the US. However, they also became rather popular with the ‘upper’ classes, though the cap was primarily worn as an accessory to leisure or sporting outfits, typically under the guise of the ‘Golf Hat’. A voluminous crown to match those voluminous sporting plus fours!
And so, there we have it – the ‘Peaky Blinders’ cap is apparently just one of many aliases for this longstanding sartorial icon. Whatever you call it, we think it adds a decidedly dapper slant to any gentleman’s outfit, contemporary or vintage, casual or smart (or smart-casual). Long live the eight panel (whatever it’s called)!
P.S. Our associate ‘GASP‘ vintage warehouse, was very proud to have provided many of the props and furniture for the set dressing in the Peaky Blinders television production!