Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

About Terry Dresbach

Eastern Woodland Indians #1


I will post more extensive info a bit later, but I hope to give everyone a quick overview of the basic components!

Many people are not understanding why the Indians are wearing the same clothing as Roger. Roger is given the same clothing that the Indians wear, by the Mohawk. These components were worn by Indians across North America, with variations on theme, dependent on location and climate.

When different cultures live together, they adopt various elements of the other. Clothing moved both ways between the settlers and the Indians.

Welcome Back!!! And welcome all you new people!


Give me a minute to uncover the furniture and open the windows.

There is soooooooo much of S1 & 2 to lok at, I am sure you’ll be entertained . While you’re looking at that, I am going to figure out all the rest that needs to be done.



Details…the Latest, Claire ‘Blueberry’, and Analiese ‘Dressage’



I have an endless stream of these pics. They will take us all the way through Droughtlander. It is not only a way to share the kind of detail my team accomplished, but also a look at how staggeringly enormous S2 was. It is overwhelming in retrospect and interesting to now be dealing with the concern that I overwhelm the blog. Can viewers take it all in?? I really don’t know.

Anyway, the Blueberry was created because I found this gorgeous pice of fabric, once again at Britex. I was really playing with colour and decided to embroider the brilliant red leaves on it. Not only did it make for a stunning costume for Claire and highlighted the opulence of Paris, but it highlighted the beautiful colours in the fabric in a really dramatic way.

L1001725_edited-1 L1001708 L1001703 L1001702 L1001695 L1001693_edited-1 L1001691 L1001684

This costume of Annalise’s is one of my favourites. Annualise gave us, as did Louise, the chance to once again, define Paris and to define Claire, in juxtaposition. We went to town on this costume, the same way did on Louise’s costumes. It was an opportunity to just show the viewer how complex and detailed 18th century clothing could be.

In story terms, it highlights how foreign and decadent this world is that Jamie and Claire have to navigate. How they stand out in contrast to that world and yet carry the simplicity and elegance of Scotland and of the 1940s into the French court.

L1001622 L1001611 L1001591 L1001584 L1001582 L1001579 L1001568 L1001565 L1001562


Details – Master Raymond


These pics are just all so extraordinary. Thank you Dennys!!!!!I will just keep working through S2, commenting where relevant.

L1001751         L1001750 L1001749 L1001744

L1001769 L1001741 L1001775 L1001770 L1001758 L1001754 L1001750 L1001749 L1001744 L1001739 L1001739 L1001750 L1001749 L1001744




Tired of spending days and days on the internet trying to find jewellery we can afford that looks like it is 18th century. We are finally going to start making our own led by the marvellous Emily who is responsible for some of your favourite accessories in S1 & 2.




Anyway, she started making some test jewellery. Pretty amazing stuff. These are not for any specific characters. just testing out what we can do.

Coed0F4VUAEgbG7.jpg-large IMG_9630 IMG_9638 IMG_9640 IMG_9650

Pretty COOL!!!!!

DETAILS – We call it the Ramsey Dress















I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage an amazing photographer, Dennys Ilic, to photograph some of my S2 Designs.

Excited to share with all of you! I will add pictures over the next few weeks. Here’s the Red dress…










Such an Important Story.




The Production Designers who design all the spaceships, the prop guns, or bows and arrows that get sold in toy stores for decades, the Costume Designers who design all the costumes that are also sold in toy stores and in Halloween shops FOREVER, make absolutely nothing off of any of it.

The composers make money off of the music they compose. The writers make money off of the words they write. In Perpetuity. Even the Directors and Assistant Directors make money every time time a movie or TV show is aired.

But the artists who create the visuals??? Not one red cent.

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.


Details. St. Germain…Dinner Party.



1 2 3 4





18 17


15 14 13 8

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 12.17.19 pm copy


God is in the Details.





God is in the details. So they say. Words I tend to live by.

My next two posts will be a reflection on exactly that. I have talked before about my biggest struggle in doing a show like this, where the Costume team has an opportunity to create such elaborate, detailed pieces, is hearing viewers say, “when do we see that costume?”. WE SAW IT!!!! Three episodes ago! But you actually didn’t. The actor never got up from the table, we never saw them from the back, there was never a head to toe shot (almost never), it is too dark to see it if they did, etc.

I often threaten to abandon the details. “What is the point? ” I ask. “Why should my team bleed over these costumes for months, if we are never going to see them?!?! Don’t we want the audience to SEE this alien world??”

But I do get it. The show cannot add hours to loving close ups on buttons or pocket details. There is an awful lot of story to get into a 13 hours of television and every minute is precious. I also believe that even if we don’t see the details, we feel them. They are their subliminally (is that a word?), they help the audience to believe that the world is real, and they absolutely help the actor to feel the character. God IS in the details.

But I am a mere human, and I struggle. So I created my own art gallery, to celebrate the details. My work, the work of my team. I am an atheist, after all.

Let’s start with one of my favourite costumes this season. Annalise at Versailles. I love this costume. It is as close a reproduction as I could make of this costume. I try to pepper the show with reproductions. Not only does it add authenticity, but it validates various choices. this particular costume is about detail, but very importantly about color. This supports our choice to use a different palette in S2 than everyone expects. These are not the pastel, bon bon colours that come later in the 18th century. The colors of the mid 18th are much deeper and richer. Our story is just one King before the ears of Marie Antoinette that everyone associates with the 18th century.

This is a Casaquain from the Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. 

Casaquin. Anonyme, vers 1730-1740. Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.



The differences are clear. Our colors are deeper. There comes a point when you have looked at every possible shade of whatever colour you are trying to match, the dye room is already behind schedule, and you have to LET IT GO, TERRY! It is close enough! We also just did not have the time to create that marvellous tulip hem and to piece the silver lace the way they did. I had to use a Dupioni silk in order to get the closest color. Very often these things are an exercise in compromise. But you accept it and move one. Cameras need to roll.

IMG_1041 IMG_1043 IMG_5391 IMG_5392