Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Claire’s Peignoir


Another requested item. Sorry, I have no picture of Claire wearing the peignoir (marvelous word, sadly rarely used). I DID very much want a peignoir, not a nightgown and robe. This represents Claire’s optimism and hope for the honeymoon that couldn’t happen because of the war. So many couples of the time had to marry quickly, while one to the other partner were on leave. And you got married with the knowledge you might never see each other again. What an investment, what optimism.

And then you are reunited after a brutal war, and have to try to push all that you have experienced and get back to normal?? What is that?

But there must have been a tremendous longing in so many women to rekindle and connect to some sort of hope and romance. Claire certainly speaks about trying to make that connection to Frank, in the book. I always imagined that she might decide to buy herself a new suit and a new peignoir. I wanted her to have seen some picture of an actress in a glamorous peignoir, and decide to buy it, completely out of character, just like the vase. A glamorous peignoir, a symbol of love and hope for a very practical and down to earth woman.


I am including some of my research images.

22 thoughts on “Claire’s Peignoir

    1. jbaillie88

      I agree, Terry, seeing the healthy focus on Claire and Frank’s love story, for me, gives an added dimension to Claire’s urgency to get back through the stones. It was good instinct on Ron’s part.

  1. outlander roundup

    It was so beautiful! You cant’ help but feel good wearing one of those. The research photos are great and I noticed the Simplicity Pattern was only 15 cents. My how things have changed. My mother used to have a HUGE box of patterns and we learned to sew at a very young age. She even used to make our Dolls clothes. When making Ranaissance costumes for a Madrigal group I used bridesmaids dress patterns and altered the sleeves and neckline etc… by drawig a new pattern piece on tissue paper then just adjusting as I went. Those were the days when I actually had the time and patience to do such things. It woud take a very skilled person to sew the piegnior and kudos to the person who did. The workmanship just blows me away because that fabric woud be very difficult to stitch and have it hang and drape properly. How much time went into the actual making of the gown? From the original sketch to the actual finished product?

  2. debbiedake

    Episode 1, like the peignoir, gave us a better understanding of Frank and Claire together. It’s a lovely piece that would make anyone feel beautiful in it.

    I want one.

  3. Melody Henkel

    My parents met and married within less than a month. He was on shore leave and gave blood to get an extra night of shore leave. She took his blood. He went back later to tell her his arm was hurting and asked her out to dinner. She gave him a massive shot of novicane and said “what the hell!” The rest was history.

  4. Elaine Boyle

    My mother got the name of a soldier from her home town from the USO and started writing to him, never knowing if they would ever meet. They married shortly after he came home! (I remember those Simplicity patterns well – used to make all my own clothes.)

  5. Connie Sandlin (@Yr_Obt_Svt)

    I became interested in the word “peignoir” after it occured to me while watching the Sassenach episode and seeing this beautiful confection.

    From the internet, I found it comes from “1825–35; < French: literally, comber, i.e., something worn while one's hair is being combed," So, Claire was wearing it "appropriately" while brushing her Claire Hair. 🙂

  6. Kim Lovelady

    I’m a big pj’s fan at night, but that peignoir even made me stop and go, “WOW.” I had to pause my watching so I could look at it a while longer. Of course, that was on my fourth viewing 🙂 And just like everyone else has already said, the color was quite lovely. I thought Claire looked lovelier/sexier there than in the sexy time bits! Thank you for sharing and nice job, Sarah!

  7. Laurie Gregory Scarborough

    Loved Claire’s beautiful peignoir. Sadly it seems the concept is outdated. My mother-in-law Clare traveled to San Antonio to wed her love Frank. (Yes, it really is Clare and Frank.) In their wedding picture, Clare is wearing a serviceable brown suit, Frank his uniform. It is hard to imagine whether or not Clare had a peignoir. Let’s hope so. Following their wedding, they were apart three long years. Frank was stationed in England. Clare was in the US. We mature so much during our twenties. I cannot imagine the difficulty of coming together after such a long, long time. I wish I could ask, but they are both gone now. Thanks for letting me share the memories. A peignoir would definitely be the order of the day – under those circumstances.

  8. terryhellmer

    The lace, the color, the design, the flow of the fabric, the way it fit Claire, really everything about the peignoir spoke volumes of romance and the expectations Clair had of her second Honeymoon with Frank. I also stopped at said, “WOW”. I had to rewind several times to get my fill. From the concept to the finishing touches it was superb!

    I loved the way the opening scene was set with the linens and the shaving blade. The simplicity gave it such a rich quality. Did your team have to make the linens for the show too?

    The uniforms were so diverse and magnificent! The volume of clothes those poor soldiers had to wear must have been so restrictive. Yes, Ron, the red is perfect. It really is striking with the backdrop of the Scottish woodlands. How horrid it must have been to wear those horrid wigs. It made them all have such big foreheads!! Every generation has their lemmings.

    I absolutely love Claire’s cape. I have to go back at look to see when it was used before because this is the first time I have really seen it as clearly and thought it was new.

    Bravo on another fantastic episode!

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