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Alan Cumming Breaks Down His 'Eccentric' Looks on 'The Traitors' — Including the One Item He Kept

The Traitors
The Traitors

Peacock

Alan Cumming welcomed a slew of reality stars and TV first-timers to a Scottish castle for a murder mystery game full of twists, grandeur and theatrical monologues — and his outfits were fit to match!

As the host of The Traitors, the Tony winner, 58, had to look the part of the eloquent, cheeky leader, guiding the players as they figured out who were the traitors among them that were murdering the "faithfuls" one by one in their sleep.

To do so, Cumming worked with stylist Sam Spector using clothes from his own wardrobe combined with pieces the stylist found to evoke the ultimate "eccentric, dandy, Scottish lad."

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"The mood I was trying to go for was this part James Bond villain, part laird of the manor and eccentric inventor or something," Cumming exclusively tells PEOPLE, in an interview days before the buzzy series was renewed for its second season. "Most of the suits, most of the base things were mine. But what made it pop was Sam Spector kind of added all these sachets and big broaches and even my specks were really interesting, all different colors and little slippers and wellies and berets and stuff like that."

The Traitors
The Traitors

Euan Cherry/Peacock

As the show was set in Scotland and with a Scottish host, Cumming wanted to stick to his roots in his looks as well. With that in mind, his wardrobe included kilts, berets and a whole lot of tartan.

"I love tartan and I love wearing it. I think it's interesting because it can be very punk and very kitsch at the same time," Cumming says. "It's kitschy, but it's also authentic and also it's kind of about wealth and style. So there's a lot going on. And also for swanning around the castle, what better than tartan?"

RELATED: Reality Stars Are Buried Alive — by Accusations and Lies — in Shady New Peacock Series The Traitors

One of the most iconic outfits the two worked together on was a colorful ensemble anchored by a velvet purple smoking jacket embroidered with Cumming's initials. To help it stand out, the actor wore a bright gold beret and matching socks.

The Traitors
The Traitors

Euan Cherry/Peacock

Unlike the majority of the looks, this one Spector created himself, Cumming tells PEOPLE. He wore it for daily recap sessions the show shot with Cumming where he explained where contestants stood that day before the group voted to banish a potential traitor at the nightly roundtable. Though those scenes didn't make the final cut, the outfit stayed.

"We thought that might be a structural part of the show where I would sit there and have a drink and in my smoking jacket before going into the round table," Cumming said. "I thought that was quite good. There were several bits where I had to shoot stuff out of sequence, so we had to have something to cover up what I might be wearing in the episode and that was one of them."

RELATED: Alan Cumming Says Returning British Honor Was 'Not a Black or White Thing': 'It's Complicated'

The Traitors
The Traitors

Peacock

Another item that had a similar purpose ended up being Cumming's favorite — and he took it home with him after the show wrapped up shooting.

He describes the piece — a black coat — as a "French policeman's cape," and shared how it was also used to hide an outfit in scenes that were shot out of order.

"My favorite look was the little policeman's cape that I wear in the dark," Cumming shares. "It just got a little collar coming up and... I just love it. It's so nuts. I love my arms coming too, those big long blue gloves. And also you can just have your arms inside and it just hangs around you like a bell tent."

He continues, "I enjoy a smoking jacket. I mean it's one of these things that I think, 'Oh, I love that.' And I've got it upstairs, but I haven't ever worn [it]. I'm not sure if I ever will, maybe a costume party or something."

In addition to the jacket, the Romy and Michele's High School Reunion star also kept a few pairs of shoes, sachets and broaches.

The Traitors
The Traitors

Peacock

He tells PEOPLE that he doesn't have one single source of style inspiration, but likes to dress up and be creative, no matter what the result.

Being fashion-forward and taking risks, though, isn't always easy. The ever-opinionated star notes that while award ceremonies are in celebration of creativity, in his experience, if a man dresses in something other than the traditional black and white tux, they're often criticized.

"If it's all about an act of dressing up and almost putting a costume on, then go for it. Don't try and be bland and blend in," he says, offering advice to his contemporaries. "I try to just not worry about all that and just dress up and wear something that I think I feel good and confident."

Cumming adds, "It's also armor because you're going out into the world and you're being photographed and shouted at. So it's good to have something that can deflect a little bit, but I think that's what a good outfit should be. It should be external and make you feel good about yourself internally."

The Traitors
The Traitors

Peacock

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Armed with one of the many colorful berets ("I love a beret!") and suits, if the Traitors has taught viewers anything it's that looking good and feeling confident may not be as much of a challenge for Cumming.

That, and never trust anyone from Survivor in a game of strategy.

The Traitors is streaming in full on Peacock.