Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Category Archives: Other Characters

Louise – Versailles


Outlander Season 2 2016

Louise was absolutely essential to our entire structure. She was actually a cornerstone.

I set a very public goal before we ever started filming Outlander. To be as authentic as possible. Of course you can never be truly authentic. There is no way to make thousands of garments by hand, in the time we have. We can’t use actual 18th century materials, in short we are making costumes, not reproductions. But I did not want to present a contemporary view of history. As I say over and over, “History is pretty good, just as it is! It needs no help from us.”

But we knew that we were going to play this time travel note with Claire. The ONLY way that works is if the world around her is very, very true to the period. Otherwise it is just a mess. We lose all accuracy, and Claire’s message gets completely lost in the jumble. Louise (and Mary) are the female supporting characters, they are Parisians. They MUST be absolutely SPOT ON.

Louise’s character really lends itself well to the task. A somewhat vapid coquette, a member of the Parisian Aristocracy, she is an 18th Century fashionista of the first order. She can carry the water. Louise can define Parisian fashion for us, and create a backdrop for Claire. She is our contrast.

We looked to some really spectacular gowns worn by Madame Pompadour and other ladies of the French Court.



One of the costumes we do that with is her Versailles gown. I chose the most flagrant fabric I could find. A wildly sensual embroidered silk. the colours on it are outrageous.


Trying to remember the name…something Peony. Very Chinoiserie, which was an influence of the period through the silk trade.

The most fun thing about the gown was that no matter HOW MUCH we threw at the gown, it just absorbed it. Bows, furbelows, lace, flowers, jewels, nothing was too much for this dress. I think we could have added even more but had to stop at some point.

It is rare to have so many great pictures of one costume, but the publicity dept. shot this from every possible angle. Fantastic. I have added a few more, so keep scrolling, there are a zillion pictures. I think the best thing is just to post them all. I guess this dress really can never be too much.


Outlander Season 2 Gallery Pictured: Claire Sermonne as Louise de Rohan Photo: Jason Bell/Starz/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television






Furbelow construction –







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Voila! Louise.

Geillis in Green



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THIS Costume Gets a Dedicated Post


Because it is one of the best costumes on the show! Wedding dresses and dashing heroes get all the fan fare, but this kind of costume is what it is all about. No People Magazine or Vanity Fair pieces, no hours of debate over necklines, fabric or bum rolls. And that is a good thing, because then we can really have fun.

Just a glorious, glorious costume. One that we are INCREDIBLY proud of in our department. One of my favorite characters in the book, I couldn’t wait to do his costume. This is the kind of costume you can be totally free with, because no one is looking, no one cares about the beggar. It was and is a source of design joy.

Hugh Munro. DAMN, I love this costume. Look at those Beggars Badges, the textures, the layers, the pure craft of it all!

Ladies and Gentleman – Hugh Munro.






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The Garrison Commander


I won’t spend much time on our regular cast since THEY ARE ALL WEARING THE SAME OLD THING, LOL. I do look forward to the complaints that everyone is bored and “where is the eye candy???”. No doubt they will come.

Anyway, Jamie, Claire and Dougal.

Outlander 2014


I particularly like this last shot, as it shows you the construction of the waistcoat, and how Sam chooses to wear his kilt.


Just a great shot. A nice example of the choice Ron made to have the Redcoats provide all the red in the show (except the occasional peek of Geillis’s shoes). Makes for a very dramatic visual.

New costumes-

Claire’s nightgown. It is just a lovely, lovely garment. We dyed that gorgeous silk this lush, peach color. I wanted to make something that was clean and sophisticated that would reflect who Claire is and what she would choose, and yet be devastatingly feminine and sexy. The high lace collar shows off her perfect neck. I also wanted it to to slide off in one movement, once you untie that string (originally scripted).


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Brian Fraser

Yes, that is him. I wanted him to have some amazing coat to help give him standing and authority as the Laird. Don’t remember if we see him in a wide shot, but the coat is knee length.



Last, but certainly not the least, our Redcoat officers. I have been wanting to do an entire post about the fine, fine work of my assistant designers, Elle Wilson and Nadine Powell. They are both amazing designers. I cannot do everything on a show this size, so the extras (supporting artists), and most of the supporting cast is done by them, and then approved by me. Their work is so essential to the look of the show. They are the ones who add a lot in terms of texture and authenticity. You can get away with almost ANYTHING on extras, and a lot on the supporting cast. Which on a period show means that is where you can really go in depth, and get it right. No one is going to argue with an extra wearing a cap, or an enormous floppy stock tied into a bow, the way they will with the lead actress or actor.

I am going to do that big piece and then add a segment every episode, to showcase their excellent work.

The redcoat officers –

Remember that we had to make all of the Redcoat uniforms because SOMEONE had to have the perfect shade of red. That means that for a scene like this, you can’t go rent any of these uniforms. If you look carefully, you will notice that no two uniforms are alike. That is because it was not until later that the British Army finally ruled that uniform choices had to be approved. At this time, officers made their own, and some of these have green or blue waistcoats, cuffs, collars or lapels. Different deceptive bits, stocks, etc. Jack Randall wears blue.

Must have been one hell of a parade!



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The latest from our friend Colleen over at http://girlfrog.tumblr.com







Ned Gowan


Oh how much did I LOVE this costume!!!!!!!!

Ned Gowan is one of my favorite characters in the book, and this costume was so much fun to do! Bill Paterson is perfection. Such a lovely, lovely man.

Our aging and dyeing team did a fabulous job on this!



Episode 105, Rent





Talk about sketching on a napkin!!!!


I remember saying, let’s just do this, and scribbling this out. Everything was done in a panic! Ron’s cameo costume.

The Gathering





Mr. and Mrs. McTavish


Ron and Diana