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So, I was recently watching 2015’s Legend with Tom Hardy, and I though that, given their awesome suits and style, many people may want to know how to dress like the Krays.
Deadly gangsters or not, you can’t deny that Ronnie and Reggie have a killer look – in fact, without their image and presentation, I doubt they would have been able to successfully build themselves up to legendary status.
Though each twin has a slightly different style, to dress like the Krays, you will want to wear a single or double breasted slim fit navy suit, a white dress shirt, a vintage tie, and black dress shoes or boots. As their style is associated with the 1960s, your tie should be 6-7cm in width.
The rest of this article will cover more details about each specific clothing item, the style preferences of each twin, and where there best place is to acquire similar items!
What Do you Need to Dress Like the Krays?
In case you haven’t seen the film (and if you haven’t, go watch it!), the Krays are famous for their formal suited looks.
Though both twins have similar style preferences, such as the colour and cut of their garments, each one adopts different styling options.
To be able to dress like Reggie Kray, you will require:
- A slim cut dark navy suit.
- A crisp, white dress shirt with a tab collar and french cuffs.
- A slim, vintage silk tie.
- Vintage tie bar
- Pocket square
- A black belt with a silver buckle.
- Black derby shoes.
To be able to dress like Ronnie Kray, you will require:
- A three-piece double breasted suit.
- A classic-slim silk tie.
- A white dress shirt with a cutaway collar and french cuffs.
- Pocket square.
- Black wintip dress boots.
But let’s get into what this actually means, and the specific details of each item.
The Kray’s Suits in Legend
In both cases, the Krays wear dark, slim cut suits – a very classic combination. Their trousers feature a half-break, though have a high rise.
Though they have the same general aesthetic, they tend towards different types of suits.
Reggie Kray wears single breasted suits, mainly in navy.
His suit jackets:
- Don’t feature a vent
- Have thinned out lapels
- Feature flapped pockets
- Have lightly padded shoulders
This all creates a very versatile look which is still applicable to modern day suiting, and is likely something you can easily acquire at most tailoring shops.
The only slightly dated aspect of Reggie’s suit, though they are coming back in, is his high wasted trousers. These will be hard to find for general sale, as the current trends favour low rise trousers that sit lower down on the hip.
Ronnie has a preference for double breasted suits, again usually in a dark navy colour. His double breasted jackets feature wide peaked lapels, and have a standard six button Y formation.
In some cases, Ronnie also wears a standard V-cut waistcoat with 6 buttons. However, unusually, he wears it under his double breasted jacket – in my opinion, this creates a really cool look, which I haven’t seen done elsewhere.
On top of this, his trousers feature cuffs that look to be about 5cm in depth.
In some scenes, he wears a heavier green flannel suit with a red windowpane check, again double breasted. Though this quintessentially British suit is awesome, I feel it would be more appropriate on a posh English farmer, and not an English gangster.
Taking this all into account, I feel Ronnie Kray’s suit style all hearkens back to the idea of his mental instability, as it seems that he can’t quite find himself, and is wearing classic clothing in slightly alternate ways.
Throughout the film, both twins wear white dress shirts, in what looks to be a poplin weave. Their shirts feature french cuffs, which take cufflinks, raising the formality level of the outfits.
However, the collar worn by the twins varies.
Reggie typically wears a ‘tab’ collar, which is when there’s a piece of fabric that fastens the back of both collar points together, pulling them down. This unique collar style adds a debonair touch to Reggie’s look, and sets him apart.
This badass collar type has been worn by James Bond and Don Draper, but is annoyingly hard to find in stores.
Contrastingly, Ronnie’s shirts feature a wider, spread cutaway collar, which works to widen the face.
Of the two, I feel that the tab collar flatters Tom Hardy’s face better, as, unlike most people, he doesn’t have a very long face. This is because the tab collar is more pointed, and works to elongate his facial balance, opposed to the cutaway which accentuates the width.
Both twins tie their ties with a 4-In-Hand knot, one of the most typical and classic. Most of the time, their knots lack a dimple, which, when present, adds depth to a knot, and draws attention to the face.
Reggie Kray wears thinner silk ties that are around 6cm in width. This is very reminiscent of the time period, and coordinates well with the thin lapels found on his suit jackets.
In some cases, he ties his ties about an inch too short, which unfortunately throws off the proportion of the look.
He sticks to conservative colour pallets in his ties, such as blues and reds, but isn’t afraid to bring in brighter and bolder shades, such as cobalt and light blue.
On top of this, most of the ties he wears don’t have a pattern, but those that do feature 60s styling, such as asymmetrical lines.
His ties vary between ‘typical’ silk ties, which are usually patterned and brighter in colour, and knitted variants, which are darker and solid.
Though you can’t fully see them through his double breasted jackets, Ronnie looks to wear slightly wider ties, perhaps around the 7cm mark. This widening, again, matches well with his wider lapels, and helps to enhance the proportions of his outfits.
Unlike his brother, Ronnie sometimes brings in more adventurous colours, such as yellow and green, and sometimes wears alternate patterns, such as floral.
Carrying on his classic aesthetic, Reggie wears standard black lace up derbies. This is a very common and classic shoe style that I’m sure you could find at most men’s shoes providers.
The black colour matches well with his dark navy suits, and acts to solidly ground his outfit.
In keeping with his classic-alternative style, Ronnie wears full-brogue wingtip dress boots. This doesn’t just give him an extra couple of intimidating inches, but also the mobility and utility of wearing boots.
On top of this, it makes his outfit slightly more casual and rugged.
Ronnie Kray wears a pair of browline optical glasses, which have become synonymous with the Kray’s style. These feature a black acetate frame, and, like Reggie’s thin lapels and tie, are really representative of the 1960s era.
This glasses style is classic and formal, and can be seen on other 60s icons, like Malcolm X.
Despite their trendiness in the 1960s, this style has made a resurgence in the last few years, most notably in sunglasses. In fact, I’ve written an article about some awesome browline sunglasses that James Bond wears, which includes everything you need to know about buying the pair.
The Pocket Square
Both of the twins wear pocket squares with their suits, and in similar ways.
Throughout the film, they can both be seen with classic white pocket squares, worn with a presidential, bar fold. This is as refined and as versatile as you can get when it comes to pocket squares.
Alternatively, at points, they switch to a multi-mini triangle fold, and switch up the colours, sometimes bringing in yellow, or burgundy.
The Tie Bar
A distinctive part of Reggie’s style is his tie bar, which you can see in most moments when he’s suited and booted.
This is an awesome functional piece that helps keep his tie out of his way, and adds some flair to his outfits.
Throughout the film, we can see him wearing all sorts of tie bars, from gold to silver, and with different retro decorations. For a modern outfit, I would forgo the decorations, and just stick to a solid tie bar.
However, as can be seen in the right image above, in the film, he sometimes wears a tie bar that is too wide for his tie. This looks odd, and is a faux pas.
Instead, you should wear your tie bar like he does in the left image, which covers about 3/4 of the tie width.
Rings, Cufflinks and Suspenders
I’ve already covered a bunch of accessories above, but it’s also worth noting that both twins aren’t afraid to bring in other jewellery.
Both Krays can be seen wearing rings at multiple times in the film. These rings are all of different styles, and are worn on different fingers.
Both twins accessorise with very era typical cufflinks, which are sometimes obnoxiously large. They wear both gold and silver varieties, some of which look to have precious gems embedded in the centre.
Ronnie Kray wears a pair of white and red striped suspenders, to help keep his trousers up. Though not the exact pattern and colour, these are things he was seen wearing in real life.
How to Dress Like the Krays in Black Tie
The Kray twins don’t just kill it in regular formal suits, but also in tuxedos. Like before, they both observe a proper slim fit in their black tie clothing, making the outfits contemporary, and classic.
On top of this, their respective black tie attire follows similar style preferences that is seen in their suiting.
Reggie’s tuxedo is black, and features a thin shawl collar. His jacket also features jetted pockets, which is a typical feature of a tuxedo jacket.
He wears a pleated shirt with slim pleats and a covered placket, which is accompanied by a silk black bat wing bow tie.
For shoes, he wears black toe capped patent laced oxfords, which is the traditional black tie shoe.
All in all, this produces a classic and streamlined look – it’s no wonder that Tom Hard’s name keeps getting thrown around in the ‘who should be Bond next’ discussion!
Like with his suits, Ronnie’s tuxedo jacket features a double breasted button configuration, and wide peaked lapels. On top of this, it includes silk turned back cuffs, a traditional and exclusive black tie feature.
At points, around his neck he is seen wearing a white silk scarf.
Though Ronnie’s jacket is awesome, the lower part of his outfit suffers a few problems.
Firstly, for some reason, Ronnie wears these ugly square dress shoes – what a shame! You can easily improve on this by making sure to wear Reggie’s preferred shoe option, as discussed above.
Also, from the photo on the left, it looks as if his trousers are too long, creating multiple breaks, and ruining the line.
Both twins turn to classic and refined outerwear options.
At a couple of points in the film, Reggie wears this awesome overcoat over his suits and tuxedo, which features:
- Double breasted button configuration
- Wool fabric
- Wide peaked lapels
In the bar scene, Ronnie wears a light grey single-breasted overcoat with a red striped scarf.
How to Casually Dress Like the Krays
The brothers don’t have any ‘casual’ ensembles per se, however, in less formal settings, they are both partial to knitted, woollen cardigans.
On the left, Reggie can be seen wearing this awesome medium-thickness green cardigan over his signature shirt, tie, and tie bar. It features a raglan sleeve, black buttons, and no collar.
On the right, Ronnie is wearing a thick red wool cardigan, which looks to be very insulating!
In my opinion, both outfits look quite dated – to pull this sort of smart-casual look off today, I would recommend investing in a fitted merino wool cardigan, which is slightly more formal and dapper, and less ‘granddad-like’.
So, now you know how to dress like the Krays (according to Tom Hardy’s Legend style, that is).
As the film is set in the 60s, use their style to see what still looks good today, and invest in these timeless pieces which will still be appropriate in another 60 years!
In any case, feel free to bring in some of their more unusual styling choices, such as wearing a waistcoat under a double breasted suit, or their retro tie patterns.
What a fantastic article. After watching “No time to die” Iv been looking for the shirt that has the collar tied down, a proud tie, tie thickness, tie knot and style of suit, you have answered all my questions. Thank you very much for taking your time in doing this, great read. Keep up the great work.
Paul, my absolute pleasure. I’m glad I could be of service!