Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Episode 8





Not a lot to say, other than what has been said. It is the end of the middle?

There are not many new costumes, this is where we get to the part of the show where the clothes become the same old thing. Lots and lots of repeats. Oh there is Frank in the same old suit. Is Claire wearing that bodice AGAIN?? I am very much looking forward to the criticisms about how boring the costumes have become because no one ever changes!

Wrapping up here. I leave Scotland on Sunday. Take a two week vacation and then get on with designing TWO.
Of course I have been designing it for a year in my head, but we are currently in process, making 1000 costumes for all the extras (need to write an extras post!) Still have to design all of the principal costumes, with no scripts! That’s a first.

What will happen on the blog over the hiatus. Many of you have contributed to a list of things you want to talk about, and I will work my way through those requests. I will also report on various aspects of how things work and what we have done, that there wasn’t time for during shooting. Definitely a book club, and maybe doing some costume classes. Those were a lot of fun on Twitter.

And I have to say, scrolling through the blog, there is a LOT to review here. Don’t stop at the front page go back to the beginning. Interesting to look at things in retrospect.

And the forum is really taking off. Come on in and join some interesting discussions. Doesn’t have to be limited to costumes on the show.

So, let me get my belongings packed up, the puppy off to boarding school, and to the airport at the crack of dawn. Who knows, I may find something interesting to write about at the airport!

22 thoughts on “Episode 8

  1. AvatarElaine

    Little Roger Wakefield’s clothes are just wonderful. And somehow, the detail of Frank’s suit really captivated me in this episode. I love it. I was surprised when you said it was the same old suit. I didn’t notice it before, but it is truly fabulous. I’ll have to pay attention next time I rewatch episode 1.

  2. AvatarSpiralight

    Can I request that you do an #AskTerry hour or something on twitter,
    Id love to ask you so much on how you learnt all of the things you know of costuming today, you are an enormous inspiration to me as an aspiring costume maker!

    1. AvatarChristinePincince


  3. AvatarPatg

    Terry: I can imagine designing the 18th century can be daunting and at the same time what a joy! The results of your hard work is truly amazing! I could never tire of seeing any of the Outlander clothes. When Jamie first appeared in the wedding episode he absolutely took my breath away! My only question is how hard was it researching clothes from that time period. Thank you Terry and Ron for bringing to life our Jamie and Claire!!

  4. Purl99Purl99

    Terry, Designing anything is an over whelming and a daunting task. I am sure you have many nights of pacing and contemplating. My parent was an artist, commercial, and my kids are both artists one a fashion designer/ seamstress the other a musician/ producer. Its said the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree and in that I also am an artist in interior design. Its quite an adventure to live with us, my husband of 34 years has endured very well, LOL I knit to save my sanity (read too) and find the costumes and knitted garments stunning. I really wish there was a book with all the original designs that I could keep with the other books of knitting and clothing design I have . One in particular is a book of 18th century women’s clothing which I use believe it or not I use for interior design.

    What I really want to say to you and to Ron is THANK YOU! I know the risks involved with any endeavor and bringing Outlander to the life is one I would think is more complicated than others. So many of the fans are fanatic and have set images and expectations (lord knows I have read some and listened to many arguments about one thing or another). I am constantly blown away by the detail and the respect you have for the books and Diana, says so much about you and Ron.

    Bright Blessings

  5. Avatarellenchristine

    safe travels. Nothing on this show is EVER boring. The details come to mean more, and each time I see the “same” thing, I notice different nuance. So everything is always fresh and wonderful.

  6. AvatarBLB

    I’m certainly not bored with the costumes and can’t imagine that I ever would be. Roger’s little suit is adorable and I don’t recall seeing Claire use that shawl before. Like pglynn, I was wondering about your puppy comment. Aren’t you taking him back to the US with you? As a dog lover (we have Gordon Setters, a breed of Scottish origin) I can’t imagine leaving one behind.

    1. AvatarSarah K

      I have Gordon Setters too! We don’t see many in the SF Bay area where we live. We got our first boy in 1996 shortly after I read Voyager. What better name for a black & tan Scottish dog than MacDubh? Mac was every bit the gentleman as his namesake! We lost our sweet boy last year at age 16 1/2. We still have our female, Sadie who’s 14 now. I love the breed, smart, friendly and active!
      Terry my heart is with you in saving your adorable boy behind!

      1. AvatarBLB

        We currently have 3 dogs, two hunters, a 4-year old female and an 8-year old male (who happens to be red), and one 11-year old rescue. She was a puppy mill breeder and was very shy when she came to us for fostering. Cassie still has some issues but has improved tremendously in the four years she has been with us. I call her our “permanent foster.” We have loved, and lost, four other wonderful Gordons over the years and it is always heartbreaking. My husband has not been thrilled when I’ve suggested names from the Books. My first choice would be “Ian.”

  7. AvatarBetsy

    We have enjoyed Outlander and all of your hard work so far. It is amazing! You have probably answered these questions before but how large is your wardrobe department ( how many people)? Ya’ll are all crazy talented. Also, how difficult is it managing all the costumes when you are shooting outdoors in the rain? Mud, etc. Do you duplicate costumes? Have a wonderful break.

  8. marthamartha

    I hope you’ll have a nice trip and a nice return(it’s return for me, since I’m european 🙂 ) Don’t worry we are not bored with the costumes!It’s so logic that they didn’t have many clothes and we may see some of them being worn,more than one time.Anyway, I’m looking forward to all your projects, and especially the costume classes and to be more specific, I’d love to learn the methods used, in order those customes to be made(like you did with the wedding dress and I learned about mica). So, “kalo taxidi”, as we say in Greece.

  9. AvatarMonicaP

    I certainly don’t get bored seeing the same costumes .. I love Claire’s outfit (one of my favs) when Angus is giving her a self defense lesson with the dagger. It wouldn’t be authentic if Claire had many outfits .. I’d assume a regular Highlander woman in the 17th century had two dresses (one for every day, one for church and special occasions). So no worry about costume repeats .. I love seeing them.


  10. Avatartheempathyqueen

    I think everyone has a basic wardrobe that they wear over and over (the 20/80 rule), but Cait gets a change of accessories, knits, etc.

    Now, I don’t wonder how they get dressed every day. I wonder how they always look so clean and gorgeous!

  11. Avatar@punkiBrenda

    Never does anything of this show get old…The clothing design of each and every actor including extras has been candy to the eyes…no matter which time period we are in. I wish you safe travels Terry and big hug to Cuilean from his fans that he will enjoy his time at boarding school know you have chosen well for your wee pup.Sure he will grow even more upon your return and getting back to him. Thank you again for all you and your team have done it has been a huge delight in being able to get insight to your creative thoughts and how you go about what you do!!!Im still amazed at the blowtorch aspect….Be well Be safe and take care

  12. AvatarKristin

    Terry, after all the hard work you and your team have done this year, I sincerely wish you an awesome vacation. I know it’s only for two weeks, and then you’re back at it, so hopefully during that time you get to sleep in late. Cuilean will have a blast at his boarding school, making new friends and probably getting into all kinds of mischief. Can’t wait for you to have another twitter class. Oh, forgot to mention… absolutely loved the dress Ms. Graham had on. Even though in many ways she’s an outgoing person, and speaks her mind, it was understated, and the color suited her perfectly. Can’t believe the time has gone by so fast, and am anxiously awaiting to see what treasures you’re bringing to S2. Safe travels to you when you leave on Sunday!

  13. Blackbird MarshBlackbird Marsh

    I wondered where your fuzzy-eared baby was going to stay. I hope Boarding school is easy on him. Have a safe trip home and a good time reconnecting with your hens..and the rest of the family ! A bit of relaxation is certainly in order…

  14. Avatarjackie

    Hello. I wanted to share a picture I just unearthed of my mother and father after their wedding in London at the Registry Office during WWII that I thought you might enjoy seeing. Not sure how I can share it here, but I have made it my profile pic on Facebook for the next few days in honor of my mother’s birthday. So, here is the url to my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.mccaffrey.10 if you are interested.

    It very much reminds me of the stills of Claire and Frank at their marriage. You really did get it right.

    I have had such an odd reaction to the Outlander series thus far. Partly it is the production and the writing, of course, but it also is very personal. My mother was a little younger than your heroine Claire, married a US army officer. But before she met him, she had been involved with a dashing Highlander, tall, powerfully built, and with red-blond hair, a member of the Scottish Commandos, while he was briefly stationed in London. When I was a child, she told me a rather romantic story about him with some of his fellow commandos their kilts flying as they burst through the doors into a dance hall (something equivalent to the USO) and separated her from her dance partner, an ordinary soldier, and swooped her off. Her Highlander is long dead. But I wish I could see him and his mates bursting through those doors with their kilts swinging.. I feel in some way I have seen them, watching Outlander.

    Thank you,


    1. AvatarChristinePincince

      Jackie, I loved the pic of your mom and dad. and hey me too! my English (Bedford) mom (just turned 90) married a US Army man also (he won the Congressional Medal of Honor just before they met) but their wedding pic at the door of a place just like Frank and Clare taken in Bedford has sadly been lost. I was born in England and came to America 2 years later on the Queen Mary which you may also have done if your mom was home in England long enough to have her babe. I so agree with you that Outlander gets it right on so many levels. I really love the books like I never have any other and the TV show so much so that for my 70th birthday next year my husband is treating me to a trip to Scotland! Hey, who knows, maybe I will spot some of those dashing kilted men that just missed out on being your dad. Ever been to Scotland? I would love it if a group of fans were going and meeting up somewhere. My biggest thrill would be to go to the set of Outlander and just stand outside and watch. I have worked background on lots of sets in my younger life and just love the whole fascinating process. Meanwhile, I re-watch the shows, re-listen to the mp3 of all the books and reread the books while dreaming of the Highlands. I love the generosity of Terry to share with us the way she does. a real kindness, and when you consider how packed her life is with all the things she must get done and then to spend the energy to include us is truly a gift.

      1. Avatarjackie

        Hi Christine, and thanks for writing! (I just noticed my post needed some serious editing but will blame my i-pad!)

        I’m sorry your mum and dad’s wedding photo was lost…but so pleased you took a look at the one of my mother and father. That’s so interesting that you came over on the Queen Mary! My mother lost her first baby to a miscarriage and by the time I came along my parents had been living in the US for many years. But we did go “home” to England every few years. And I was surrounded by my mother’s English and Scottish friends, mostly war brides. One of her closest friends was named Henrietta Maclean (from Scotland of course) and she was a favorite of mine.

        I too want to walk the hills of Scotland and hope to soon. Perhaps I will see you there! If you are on Facebook, why don’t you friend me and we can stay in touch. Or we can stay in touch here. But let me know when you are headed that way.

        I am very grateful to Terry also. I just discovered this site and am so glad it exists.

        All best and see you in Scotland!


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