Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Claire 18th Century


This was the very first costume we made for Claire, and it defined the show, just as she does.



I am going to post Claire’s costumes one at a time so discussions don’t get confusing.

20 thoughts on “Claire 18th Century

  1. EllenSpins

    I really need to get the patterns for the knitted and felted clothing! I really hope the knitwear designer comes out with a book! You have such an eye for detail that each piece works beautifully with all the others. I’m so glad you love the books too!

    1. terrydresbach

      Thank you!
      I doubt the designer even knows their piece is on our show.But there are a lot of these kinds of pieces out there at Craft fairs, on Etsy in small shops.
      Finding and using the knits made the costumes come together and become a whole. I did not originally plan on that, but it just shows up as one of those organic, magical things I always look out for.

      1. Erin Chavez

        This is the person who is selling things that look similar to the show’s. On her page, it says her things were used on Outlander. I see that she is in Scotland. Is it possible that this is one of the artisans you bought from? I was planning on ordering, but I want to know that I am getting it from the right source. https://www.etsy.com/shop/InnerWild

        I love all of the costumes that I have seen so far. The show is truly a piece of art.

        1. terrydresbach

          I have purchased a few things from Inner Wild, as well as other artisans on ETSY. Claire’s knit cowl is made by someone else. If you shop around there are lots of amazing knits and felted pieces to be found.

  2. satxoutlander

    The dress is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t imagine Claire in the clothes she wore (in my mind) for the last 15 years anymore. I can honestly say that it hadn’t occurred to me that the colors would be different, so I’ve now scrapped the colors she wore too. All of this makes the ‘new clothes’ Claire is wearing all the more fascinating. You have got a gift for taking us on a by simply dressing a person.

  3. Annie Featherstone

    Terry I love your eye with the costuming.
    The first picture i saw was one of Jamie in kilt, belts and full fighting regalia.
    The colours and authenticity just struck me as being so right.
    I have seen shows where the linen is snowy white after a fighting scene and the outfits seem as new. I really love it that these clothes look like what these people could have afforded and used and lived in. Thanks for bringing outlander all to life for me.

  4. Deborah Harvey

    Yes, EllenSpins, I’ve found her, too. I’ve already purchased several pieces from her collection, since I’m sure she’ll be swamped with orders after Outlander airs.

    Terry, I have a question for you: how different is it to design for someone like Caitriona, who has the perfect model’s figure, from cast members who may not be gifted with flawless figures for clothes? Are you so concerned with fabrics, accoutrements, schedules, and authenticity that there’s no time to worry about minimizing figure flaws? I always thought actors were fussy (and somewhat vain) about their costumes.

    Thanks! (I love this blog, too.)

    1. terrydresbach

      Actors are almost always vain and fussy, no matter what. Bless them. But their body, their voice, their being, is their instrument, and without a lot of self contemplation they usually are not very good.Focusing on self is their job.
      Some more than others, and Outlander, we are BLESSED. No divas, no prima donnas. Lovely, lovely people.

      But let me say one thing that I think is very important. I have worked with so many beautiful, famous, actors who are on your screens, the red carpets and in the fashion magazines. I have seen them all practically and sometimes all the way, naked. Not one of them has ever had a flawless figure. Not one.
      Every single one has had a flaw, sometimes many. The actor without insecurity about their flaws is rare, just like all the rest of us. They are out there, they tend to be character actors, often theater people. If they are insecure, we usually work to hide it, so they can feel comfortable and get on with being someone else. If they are secure we just get on with it.
      Everything you mentioned is my job. Anthropologist, sociologist, historian, PSYCHOLOGIST.
      I should add accountant, publicist, advertising exec, teacher, mother, and if it wasn’t so late about 20 more job descriptions.

  5. Laurie Gregory Scarborough

    I have a question about the skirt – the width at the hips. It looks like there might be a frame over which the skirt is draped. How is that look created? Is there a functionally reason for the width, or is it purely aesthetics? (Which brings to mind the pointy bras worn in the late 50s and 60s. What a look! )

    1. terrydresbach

      Skirts were worn over bum rolls, or panniers, and it was purely for aesthetic reasons.
      There was an amazing show done years ago at the Met, on women’s underwear. An amazing timeline tracking what was going on in the world socially and politically, alongside one tracking underwear/lingerie.
      Said a lot. Very profound.

  6. jessminguez

    Is it Inner Wild? I’ve ordered a couple of items from her, but I’d love to find this cowl! I can pick up my items tomorrow; I will post them!

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