Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Monthly Archives: July 2014




Claire 1940s





Outlander Costumes



Figured I would post them here, and answer any questions anyone has. Working on building a costume design website, so stay tuned.

Butcher, Baker, Anthropologist, Sociologist, Psychologist, Historian, Thief…



I have always felt that my job as a costume designer is not to grab the audience and scream “look at the costumes!!!!!”. My job is to blend into the scenery. How many of us can remember what anyone wore yesterday or the day before. If you have an encounter with someone, do you remember what they had on, or their face, and what happened between you.
My job is to help you recognize that character, accept them, feel comfortable and familiar with them, and then MOVE ON. Pay attention to the words and to the story.
Sometimes there can be a costume that demands to looked at, but only as it is part of the story. Because all of us in this business are essentially storytellers of one kind or another. We think about who our characters are, where did they come from, who was their family, what are their resources, what is their history,sociology, anthropology and their psychology?
All of us put on “costumes” every day. We tell the story of who we are to the world. People look at us, take in the story we are choosing to tell, with our costume, and turn to look and listen to us.

As for our actors, my job is to help them BECOME someone else. I am almost the first person on the production they usually interact with, unless they have met with the producer or director. But they come to me at the start of the process, and together, we find a character.
We talk in depth about who that character is, their history, anthropology, sociology and psychology. You also learn to trust each other, hopefully.
You can tell when they merge into another person by the way they move and walk. They sort of “settle” into it.

I have heard from actors that I do things a bit differently than other designers. So I can only speak for myself, having only worked for a couple of designers about 30 years ago. No real idea about how others do it.
My method works well for me. It engages me and all aspects of my brain. I think at one time or another in my youth, I considered becoming a historian, an anthropologist, sociologist and definitely a psychologist. And a lawyer. 😉 You don’t see that aspect onscreen, but many a producer can attest to it’s existence.

I get extremely frustrated, angry and disgruntled about my job, but never bored. It is a visual medium, but also an intellectual one.<a href=”https://terrydresbach.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/tumblr_n7h9j3cykg1sd8q4zo1_500.

Costume Design



I have been getting a lot of questions about my costumes via twitter. Awfully difficult to answer in 45 characters. So if anyone has questions, I will happily answer them here.