Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine, played by Eva Green, is the perfectly proper and refined school mistress who runs a special home or safe haven for peculiar children on the island of Cairnholm, a fictional island in Wales.
Miss Peregrine is an Ymbryne* (Imm-brin). Her main unique skill is the manipulation of time for the purpose of protecting her peculiar children. In addition the Ymbrynes like Miss Peregrine and Miss Avocet (Judi Dench) can turn into their specific birds forms as part of their peculiarities.
The costumes for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children were designed by many time Tim Burton collaborator, Colleen Atwood. Atwood combined several different periods for this movie. You can see Victorian, 1940’s (Second World War) and even Gothic/Steampunk influences in her costume.
She has two main outfits her main blue bird suit and her black leather coat worn when hunting for Hollows. The blue suit is figured out on this page. The black leather attire is at the DIY Miss Peregrine Hollowgast-Killing Costume page. Ideas for her make up, hair and her nails are located on a separate page.
* Ransom Riggs pronounces Ymbryne as “imm-brin” both syllables having short “i’s.” This is also how Miss Peregrine pronounces the term in the movie.
Images from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Who is Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine?
Alma LeFay Peregrine, formerly Alma LeFay Bentham, is the head schoolmarm who established a safe home to protect peculiar children on the fictional Welsh island of Cairnholm. The women are the protectors in the peculiar world.
The movie and book characters are a bit different, with different attire and hairstyles. Both characters smoke a tobacco pipe. Eva Green’s version is less stern than the book version, but fiercely protective of her charges. In describing her take on the portraying Miss Peregrine, Eva Green refers to her as
She is Scary Poppins with a big heart.
Here more about her character from Eva Green in this on-set interview. She also speaks about the important message of the movie, to be yourself and embrace your uniqueness.
Tim Burton’s perspective on Eva Green’s character Miss Peregrine is that she is a “weird Mary Poppins like character—a strong and mysterious person who looks like she could turn into a bird.”
Peculiarity Designed by Award Winner Colleen Atwood
Three time Academy Award winner and eleven time Tim Burton collaborator, Colleen Atwood was the costume designer behind the 1940’s influenced Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Look carefully at the images to the right and at the top and you can see that the suit for the movie character was made from a deep vibrant blue wool crepe, which may have caused some confusion in the media about the “dress” color. Blue is a change from the book’s character who wore Victorian black mourning attire to mark the death of Victor, one of the children killed by a Hollow.
Atwood incorporated qualities of each peculiar’s unique power into their costumes. She also worked with Eva Green’s statuesque physique in fashioning her designs, remarking that “[Eva] lends herself to that sort of slim kind of goth middle and the kind of pointy shoulder.”
For Miss Peregrine, who can transform into a falcon as one of her special powers, Atwood included subtle bird elements in the school mistress’ clothing, hair and makeup without them being too obviously birdlike.
As you view the images of her attire look for some of the hidden birdlike elements:
- The blue suit color was a nod to peregrine falcons who have slate and blue-gray wings
- A peplum (an extension of a garment below the waist) at the back of the jacket that extends down to a “V” in the back to create the feeling of wings
- Pointed ends at the front and back of the collar (seen above) and the jacket sleeves
- The ‘winging’ up of the inverted box pleats in the shoulder (evident in the top photo)
- Embroidered metallic silk feather inserts in her inverted box pleat shoulder
- A flowing trumpet skirt creating the feeling of movement
- Feathery blue highlights in her hair
- Birdlike makeup and talonlike nails
- The feather-like embossed blue shoes
Recreating Colleen Atwood’s very detailed designs can be quite challenging—think Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman and Into the Woods. We’ve broken down the basics of the two outfits worn by Miss Peregrine in the movie to help you make, modify or mash-up your own version. The blue suit is on this page, the black coat on the
Miss Peregrine has two main outfits in the movie, her blue bird suit on the left, which she wears for her daily duties. This page covers the blue suit and accessories. Her black leather Hollowgast-killing attire on the right, was briefly worn when she goes hunting for the Hollow. This outfit is covered on the DIY Miss Peregrine Hollowgast-Killing Costume page.
Blue Bird Suit
For the blue suit attire Miss Peregrine wears a deep blue button up jacket with long peplum and below the knee skirt with birdlike elements incorporated into the designs. She wears dark stockings with feather-like embossed blue ankle strap vintage pumps with gray highlights.
Along with her perfectly styled updo, the accessories to include to complete this look are a tobacco pipe (not seen in this photo) and her loop resetting pocket watch time piece.
The list of clothing items and shoes needed for the blue suit from top to bottom include:
- Shoes & Stockings
- Accessories – Hair (Wig), Pipe and Pocket Watch
Jacket Suit Sleeve Detailing
When designing the suit jacket, Colleen Atwood incorporated many subtle birdlike elements into the designs including pointed ends at the front and back collars, the sleeves and the lower back of the jacket. The most interesting may have been the changes to the sleeves creating an inverted ‘winging up’ box pleat (see to the left) instead of the typical puff sleeve for the time period.
In interviews about the costume designs, Colleen Atwood offered these insights to the shape, the materials used for the navy blue wool suiting and the hidden metallic feather embellishments.
I did a metallic and embroidered silk feature on the insert of the sleeve, so when she moved you kind of got a little glimpse of it.
You can’t really tell it’s a feather because it’s pretty much hidden, but we knew it was there. So it was kind of for us.
She said that her inspiration for the hidden feathers was the animals in nature, who often have a bright patch of color “that their own species catch but others don’t catch.”
If you look at the details in the image you can see the embroidered feathers within the pleats. We’ve included some ideas and materials below to help you create your own hidden feathers.
In breaking down the design there are two options for recreating the two different looks for her blue wool suit and her black leather jacket. It is possible to create an overall impression of the look using existing premade clothes, hair and makeup. Those interested in a version that may last longer will want to look into sewing one from scratch.
- Premade Options – Take existing clothes and modify them in a few hours.
- Sew Your Own – Use clothing patterns to sew your own unique version.
I am very surprised there were no Miss Peregrine costumes made this year for Halloween considering how popular the vintage Victorian look has been with Steampunk and Cosplay. Perhaps by next year.
Premade Suit Pieces
If you need to pull something together in a relatively short amount of time, the taking existing clothing and modifying them is the way to go.
Black or Blue Vintage or Steampunk Blazers
When working with premade jackets look for vintage, steampunk or blazers with a peplum. This will help create the illusion of her Victorian look. Finding jackets in black, especially steampunk or Gothic designs, are much easier than finding ones in navy or blue. I’ve include a few in each color that are available on Amazon.
Embellish the Blazer Sleeves
Once you get the jacket you may want to embellish the sleeves to create your own metallic feathers. Several options for doing this include layering black and blue ostrich feathers or feather tape (probably the easiest) feather-like yarn (the next easiest) or actual metallic embroidery (the most time consuming).
Choose the length of the ostrich feathers based on the amount of sleeve you want to cover. Feathers come in lengths from 10 inches upward. Note: Getting slightly longer feather will give you more actual feather and less feather shaft for embellishing.
Black or Blue Flared Below the Knee Skirt
A below the knee flared premade skirt that creates the illusion of the schoolmarm’s suit is pretty easy to find. The most difficult part may be matching colors if you are going for the blue, but even mixing a black skirt and a blue jacket will still create the desired cosplay effect.
Sew Your Own with DIY Patterns & Fabric
For those wanting a more authentic outfit, sewing your own suit allows you create a better quality, cosplay-worthy option that will last through several wearing.
To recreate her blue suit jacket look for a vintage design riding habit or riding frock pattern and sew it up in a blue or navy wool fabric. Good jacket patterns include vintage pattern options from Ageless Patterns and Reconstructing History for different late 1890’s and turn of the century riding jackets. No luck in finding contemporary patterns that would work.
For the skirt pattern look for one that is below the knee length skirt that flares out at the bottom. Sew it up in the same matching fabric as the jacket.Several contemporary skirt patterns work. Good skirt patterns include Simplicity 2058, Simplicity 1560and McCall’s M6842.
These jacket and skirt patterns can be used to sew your own version of her leather Hollow-hunting coat and skirt.
Shoes and Stockings
Paired with dark stockings her bird-like shoes have a distinct retro feel to them. They also look practical for a school mistress who might need to be on her feet all day.
These ankle strap vintage pumps create a feather-like effect with the embossed navy (possibly suede?) contrasting with the very light blue-gray background, another nod to the peregrine falcon colors.
Finding blue or black ankle strap pumps with the same vintage birdlike feel is one option. Those wanting a closer option can paint light blue-gray accents onto navy blue buckled shoes.
Accessories – Wig, Pipe and Pocket Watch
Those who already have longer dark hair may be able to style their own in her coiffed updo. Another option is to style and add blue highlights to a dark wig. For help in doing perfectly styled hair style we have an entire page with a DIY Miss Peregrine’s Makeup, Hair and Nails.
To complete her sophisticated, vintage everyday look add in a few additional accessories a tobacco pipe and her loop day pocket watch. She always has her pocket watch, the pipe more when she meets Jake. You may want to add a gold band between the black top and the cherry wood bottom of the pipe so it looks more like the one she uses in the movie.
(For the crossbow see the page on DIY Miss Peregrine Hollowgast-Killing Costume).
Loop Day Time Resetting Pocket Watch
In the image to the left provides a good view of Miss Peregrine’s black talon shaped fingernails holding with her very important pocket watch. The watch is a key accessory for any peculiar head mistress costume.
She always has her pocket watch with her and is very aware of the time, almost to an obsession. The pocket watch is what allows her to manipulate time, one of her special talents that allows her to protect the peculiar children in her charge.
A Ymbryne choose a safe place to stay and then create a loop. If you reset the loop those in the loop stay safe. Resetting the loop daily, allows those inside to remain protected from the outside world. Date of her loop is September 3, 1943 which was established to protect her children from a German bomb blowing up their home.
More Costume Ideas
To make it easier to find the Miss Peregrine’s costume details we’ve split the clothing, shoes and accessories from the Make-up, Hair and Nails. Clothing breakdown ideas pages for several of the other peculiar children costumes will be coming on their own separate pages.
- DIY Miss Peregrine Hollowgast-Killing Costume
- DIY Miss Peregrine’s Makeup, Hair and Nails
- DIY The Masked Peculiar Twins Costume from Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
- DIY Emma Bloom Costume from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
- DIY Olive Elephanta Costume from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Our Pinterest Board for Miss Peregrine & Peculiar Children Costumes
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Images from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on Facebook.