Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Claire 1940s





12 thoughts on “Claire 1940s

    1. terrydresbach

      I have to deviate. I tried in the beginning to design exactly as Diana wrote it, but it became clear that what is on a written page is not the same as on screen. It doesn’t always work.
      Funnily, I had read the books a zillion times and couldn’t really tell you what anyone wore, except the shift. I had to look up the red dress in Dragonfly,when fans started talking to me about it. I just alays dressed everyone in my own clothes, I guess.

  1. terrydresbach

    Well, 1940’s printing technique would have been very strange in the 18th century and would have drawn all sorts of extra suspicion to Claire. Shifts were usually just plain linen, so I went with a fabric that could be as close to that as possible. I figured by the time Claire arrived at the castle, it could be so destroyed that it could pass as a shift.

    1. Katie Bonner (@bunnums)

      You certainly achieved that objective! And this cream colored dress certainly sets off Cait’s flawless skin tones. I can imagine that a dress with a small flower print (I *think* that’s what DG wrote in Outlander) would be visually distracting against the lush backgrounds of both the 1940s and 1740s Scottish countryside. Having seen the trailers, it would be quite startling (and not in a good way) to see a print dress in those settings.

      1. terrydresbach

        Exactly right. The foliage in these glens is very busy. We needed to see her as she moves through. There is also something lovely about seeing her come through in this clean white dress that could only have existed with modern technology, and see it running through the landscape, being destroyed as it goes, just like her modern existence.

  2. karenlkimmel

    Terry, the depth of research you have undertaken is impressive! I love your thought process as you discern each costume design. A few questions…

    What is the fabric used for Claire’s blue coat?

    Do the actors have any input into the costumes?

    When did you begin research on the costumes for Outlander? It seems as though the process would take months and months and hours and hours!


    1. terrydresbach

      The coat is a wool gabardine.

      Actors always have input with me. Creating a character is a collaboration. If I impose something on them they don’t feel comfortable with, then that will impact their performance. It is as important that the actor feels like the character as they look like the character to the viewer.

      The foundation of the costumes you see have more or less been in my head for twenty years. We had 5 weeks to so the research and make a few hundred costumes.

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