Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: The Dress


Ha! I think it would be fun to know that, too, Rachel.

I really didn’t think it would be as hard as it was to find out what a shilling was worth in the 1740’s in Scotland. Maybe if it hadn’t been such interesting reading I’d have come up with a monetary figure a bit faster. But I couldn’t stop reading about the history of the cost of living and what was important to people to buy/own who could afford more than just the most basic clothing, a roof over their head and the food they needed to stay alive.

Apparently, housing in Edinburgh was in such demand at one point that a landlord could become fairly well to do. Especially considering the fact that in the less wealthy citizenry, people were somewhat squashed in terms of too many people living in too small a place.

I did a walking tour through the historical part of Edinburgh a few years ago and the college history student who was our guide spent a lot of time describing the dumping of chamber pots out of second story windows and what the streets would have been like. Though I know it was de rigeur at the time, it was rather shocking to think about.

And … I am now scratching my head, thinking, “how did I get here from talking about a dress?”. Sorry about that. lol