Roald Dahl’s Matilda is a favourite classic. The clever little girl who loves books and has the power to move things with her mind is a brilliant role model for children. Her story is a quirky tale about good against bad.


The good comes in the shape of Miss Honey, Matilda’s kind and supportive teacher. The bad comes most definitely in the form of Miss Trunchbull, the terrifying school headmistress.

All three were brought to life in the film version of Matilda, which helped cement the characters as some of Roald Dahl’s most recognisable.

For this reason, the characters are great options to dress up as for fancy-dress parties.

We’ve put together an easy guide to some Matilda costume ideas which won’t cost the earth. Whether you prefer to order the outfit ready to wear or pull the parts together yourself, we’ve done the digging for you.

We’ve got complete costumes and individual pieces to inspire your child’s perfect Matilda dress-up outfit with limited fuss.

What does Matilda wear?

Roald Dahl Matilda book cover

The great thing about Matilda is that she wears a simple outfit of everyday clothing. This could be an easier character to convince your little one to dress up as if they aren’t a fan of fancy dress.

The key elements of a Matilda dress up outfit are:

  • Red hair ribbon
  • Blue dress
  • White tights
  • Black pumps
  • Props: toy newt, books

How to dress up as Matilda

Matilda official Roald Dahl costume

Smiffy’s official Roald Dahl Matilda costume, from £14.43

Sizes: 4-12+ years

For an easy all-in-one, this official Roald Dahl Matilda outfit is a good option. The full dress, book and even toy newt are all included so all you’d need to add is a pair of tights or even white socks would do fine.

If the event seems to have sneaked up on you out of nowhere (again), you can order this to arrive in a hurry with Amazon Prime.

Available from: Amazon and Smiffy's

Blue pleated Matilda dress

Pleated dress, £12.99

Sizes: 1 1/2 - 14+ years

If you’d rather put the outfit together yourself but don’t already have a blue dress at home, something like this from H&M could work well.

One reviewer of this pleated dress said, ‘Best pinafore dress I have found in terms of length and quality. Washes well, hardly needs ironing and looks fab on.’

Choosing a regular dress will be more long-lasting than fancy dress clothing as you’ll get more wears out of it by using it for day-to-day, too.

Available from: H&M

Red hair ribbon for Matilda costume

Red ribbon, £2.99

Sizes: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm

Perhaps more familiar from the film character than the book illustrations, a red ribbon helps complete a recognisable Matilda outfit. Red ribbon is an easy enough item to come by and has lots of other uses too.

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If you don't already have some, this pack is good value as it contains three rolls of ribbon in various sizes. You can choose which one best fits your child’s head and save the leftovers for wrapping presents and crafting.

Available from: Amazon

White John Lewis tights for Matilda costume
John Lewis

White tights, £6.00

Sizes: 2-15 years

A pair of white tights will help bring the final costume together. If you need to add some to the all-in-one costume above or to your own pulled together look, these ones from John Lewis are an easy choice.

They come in a pack of two so you have a backup pair (white tights aren’t going to stay white for long!) and they're a high cotton mix so they should comfortable.

One parent who bought them said, ‘My daughter has these in many colours and they last until they're too small, surviving days at nursery, constant washing and rounds in the tumble dryer... Great quality and hold their shape, far better than tights I've purchased elsewhere!’

Hopefully that means they’ll at least survive the excitement of the day.

Available from: John Lewis

Black Asda plimsolls

Black plimsolls, £3.50

Sizes: 8 junior - 4

Most kids will have a pair of black pumps somewhere or some school shoes which will do for the day. If not, there’s no need to break the bank for a costume.

Asda do a low-priced pair of plimsolls which get positive reviews.

One parent said, ‘I always buy Asda George plimsolls for my kids, I won’t buy them anywhere else. They never let me down, they are great value for great quality and my little girl loves them, which is always a bonus as she can be very fussy.’

They can always double up as back up school uniform, too.

Available from: Asda

Toy newts for Matilda prop

Toy newt, £1.60

Any old book would work well as an additional prop but a toy newt would really put the cherry on top. This pack are inexpensive and also tactile as they're squishy, which could be an added bonus if your child likes something to fiddle with to keep entertained.

Available from: Amazon

What does Miss Honey wear?

Everyone’s favourite teacher, Miss Honey is another simple character whose costume which shouldn’t be too tricky to pull together with just a few pieces of clothing.

From the illustrations, her outfit is made up of:

  • Red or pink long-sleeved top
  • Grey skirt
  • Purple neck-scarf
  • Round glasses

How to dress up as Miss Honey from Matilda

Pink knit jumper for Miss Honey

Pink jumper, from £9.00

Sizes: 4-13 years

The bows on this long-sleeved top add a sweet, Miss Honey-like detail. Being a cosy knit, it should also keep your child warm in the playground and is lovely enough to re-wear again.

Available from: Matalan

Grey pleated Miss Honey skirt

Grey pleated skirt, £9.99

Sizes: 1 1/2 - 14 years

A simple school skirt should be good enough for the other half of this costume. If your child doesn’t already wear one for lessons, something like this simple H&M pleated option would work just fine for a Miss Honey outfit.

Available from: H&M

Tortoiseshell round glasses for Miss Honey

Tortoiseshell round frames, £6.00

A pair of round glasses are an easy addition, especially if your little one already wears a pair! Otherwise, this tortoise-shell design help offer a more grown-up, teacher look which in a pair which still fits little faces.

Available from: Claire's

What does Miss Trunchbull wear?

If your child likes to have fun and do something a bit different when dressing up, Miss Trunchbull could be a brilliant choice of character for confident kids. In the book she wears a simple but distinctive outfit of:

  • Long brown trench-coat
  • Green tights or socks
  • Hair tied in a tight bun

How to dress up as Miss Trunchbull from Matilda

Miss Trunchbull Matilda costume

Smiffy’s official Roald Dahl Matilda costume, from £7.58

Sizes: 4 - 12 + years

An easy way to turn your child into Miss Trunchbull is with a complete costume. This official Roald Dahl outfit is also available for speedy delivery with Amazon Prime if you need it.

Everything comes included with the all-in-one dress, green leg-warmers and even hilarious stick-on eyebrows.

Available from: Amazon and Smiffy's

Girls' Trench Coat

Trench coat, £22.50

Sizes: 18 months - 14 years

While a complete costume is probably the easiest and cheapest choice for fancy dress, if you’re considering buying a trench coat for your child anyway then adding a tight hair bun to a coat like this should do the trick.

This coat is Trunchbull-like but still quite stylish and has a removable hood (take it off for the costume for maximum Miss Trunchbull effect). It's also machine-washable so it's easy to keep clean.

Available from: Vertbaudet

Green tights for Miss Trunchbull Matilda costume
John Lewis

Green tights, £6.00

Sizes: 2-15 years

John Lewis also do the kids’ tights we recommended for Matilda's costume in bottle green, which is exactly what any little Miss Trunchbull needs to complete their costume.

Available from: John Lewis

Feeling inspired by the Matilda costume ideas? You can watch Matilda on Now TV with a free trial or read the Roald Dahl original buying snapping it up on Amazon.

Images: Sky


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