Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Jamie Pt.2…Posh Jamie


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We needed to create costumes for Jamie that would move him into very formal wear. Personally, I find the embroidery on mens suits incredibly sexy. There is something about a man so confident in his sexuality that he is not threatened by decoration. That men’s clothing has to be stripped bare, or it MEANS SOMETHING (gasp), is such a conceit of a later time, and an attitude that I think is very narrow and less progressive than earlier times. Again, we think we are so advanced compared to earlier periods of history. We had a recent discussion on Twitter about how restrictive corsets were to women, but once I posted pictures of Victoria Secret pushup bras, the discussion expanded.

ANYWAY, case in point.

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I LOVE THIS SHOT. I took it on set. It was the moment I knew we had got it right. Here is a very relaxed and confident man, a very masculine man. A very confident man. A man secure enough not to be threatened by some embroidered silk.

This shot is taken between takes, so this man is not Jamie Fraser, it is Sam Heughan. I knew at this moment that Sam felt comfortable with the direction we had taken him in Paris, and could get on with the business of playing Jamie. Languid, is the word that comes to mind.

IMG_4017 (1)Another great shot. I love how Sam/Jamie is cradling his wounded hand.

The Waistcoat. It is not called a vest, people ;).

At some point, Liz bought an 18th century waistcoat on eBay, for a ridiculously low price. She brought it in for us all to study. It was later in the century, but really fit into the direction I wanted to do, cream with gold and silver embroidery.Very masculine. I THINK we copied it, don’t remember exactly, we probably modified it a bit, but pretty damned close to the original. I am in love with this waistcoat.

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IMG_4020 (1)Beautiful glass buttons from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco.

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We made the buttons, I love them. Decorative, yet once again, masculine. Notice his cuffs. No lace. That would have pushed it too far. When designing, you really do have to imagine that you are the character fitting clothes with a tailor. I could just feel Jamie saying to the slightly scandalised tailor, “No lace”.


37 thoughts on “Jamie Pt.2…Posh Jamie

  1. Avatar

    Another great post, Thanks! Oh Jamie, wears clothes just as well as Claire. #buttons are awesome.

  2. Avatarjeancard

    That waistcoat is a work of art! The attention to detail all the way to the buttons (which by the way are perfect) is amazing. You and your team are true artists!

  3. Avatarwomanofthemists

    The embroidery is absolutely incredible. I love looking at the embroidered waistcoats and coats. It is great to be able to see still shots and close ups. Thank you Terry.

  4. AvatarLynda

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Sam/Jamie’s wardrobe this season is perfection. Thank you Terry for the incredible job you and your staff have done this season!!

  5. juliesheil1juliesheil1

    Just fabulous. And what a gorgeous self confident man wearing all your exquisite work. so enjoying this season Terry. Thank you. And well done Liz too!

  6. AvatarJune Bell

    Can a person be aroused by a pair of boots? Yes, yes you can.
    Can’t wait to hear more about those lovelies. The are the capper to what is a great look for Jamie. Understated elegance and masculinity.

    Love his costumes!

  7. AvatarPhillygirl1807

    Terry – the clothes you have designed for Outlander are amazing. Your attention to detail is so important. But I think what is most important is your attention to mood. You can’t dress Jamie in bright colors while he is still suffering and mourning for his life before he endured BJR’s sadistic and brutal rape. And yet, you had to make him stylish enough to fit into to aristocratic Paris society. I personally liked Jamie’s and Claire’s Scottish clothes better. They fit more with the types of people they really were – and what a strange thing for me to say about fictional characters. But Diana has made them much more than that, and you and Ron have translated the books into wondrous works of art. So thank you for your contributions.

    I’m sitting here in North Potomac, MD, nursing a fractured elbow received last week when I was walking on a marked crosswalk to cross a Boston street after seeing my granddaughter perform in a kids musical. Someone rear-ended ME while making an illegal move to back out of a one-way street and turn the other way on the through street I was crossing. I didn’t see him, and he didn’t see me. I underwent surgery to repair the elbow this past Tuesday. Recovering now by re-reading Voyager and watching my favorite characters come to life on Outlander.

  8. Avatarsecolerice

    This is my favorite waistcoat! I just love the color and the way it catches the light! Thank you for the close ups. What I thought was a dark grey seems like a grey purple depending on the lighting, and the pairing of it with the green gold is so nice. And I had no idea that the buttons were glass. You and your team are simply amazing!

  9. AvatarAnne H.

    Love seeing a close up of the embroidery on the waistcoat, colors are beautifully masculine, just like the actor -and- the character he plays. Thanks so much.

  10. AvatarLois341

    I love the attention to detail and the care taken to stay true to the characters. How much of the embroidery is hand wrought and how much is done by machine? With so many costumes and such care taken, all of the embroidery must’ve been very time consuming regardless of the method used.
    Thanks also for sharing your insights and thought processes with us.

  11. Avatarchristine

    I love reading your posts. You are incredibly talented and your passion for the work you do simply shines. I’ve especially enjoyed your thoughts regarding designing for Jamie. The embroidery, buttons, keeping the character solidly in mind, all simply beautiful. You make me fantasize about pursuing another career!

  12. SolitaireSolitaire

    Love this waistcoat and the other one with the diamond pattern over most of the front. Love the detail of the teeny, tiny handstitches edging the cuffs and pocket flaps. The embroidery is a-MAZ-ing!!!

  13. Avatarsheelaghk

    All I can say is everything you have created with your staff is absolutely spectacular! But these colors and the subtle embroidery are
    just simply exquisite. Terry, your blog is fascinating, especially as I
    once thought I would become a designer when I grew up, having always loved fashion and doodled a million dresses during school hours. But your explanations of what goes into this effort gives us an entirely different appreciation versus simply looking at the beauty of them. I really appreciate the time you take to
    allow us a peek inside the process. Your talent is breathtaking. Thank you.

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  15. Katiscotch22Katiscotch22

    Thanks for showing us the close ups of both the waistcoat and the buttons. I keep using the word beautiful to describe your creations but they are simply beautiful! You’re right I couldn’t see Jamie in lace LOL

  16. Avatarangelasassoinlondon

    Just beautiful. You can tell the clothes work – he looks comfortable in what he is wearing. It’s absolutely perfect. Spot on.
    And LOVE the embroidery! I assume that this work was done by hand as opposed to machine?

  17. AvatarNabby

    I would absolutely kill for the scraps on the floor. Just to touch the fabrics would put me over the moon. I love the more earthy clothing as well.

    You’ve done such a fantastic job with the costumes, they become an other actor. Bravo!

  18. AvatarNabby

    I would absolutely kill for the scraps on the floor. Just to touch the fabrics would put me over the moon. I love the more earthy clothing as well.

    You’ve done such a fantastic job with the costumes, they become an other actor. Bravo!

  19. AvatarMimiK

    The first thin that struck me seeing Jammie in Paris dress was that it looked so fitting for him! Love the embroidery & it does look masculine. It all feels right. Now hard to imagine Jammie in his highlander dress!

  20. Avatarwoolfarmgal

    As a person who loves the fiber arts, especially spinning and inventing yarns, knitting, felting, weaving…. I harken back to the first skill taught to me as a six year old, embroidery. So my eyes just feasted on the details of this waistcoat. I zoomed in so I could see the stitches in detail. Such lovely work. I really wish men today would wear more waistcoats…. In all textures and even a little embroidery.

  21. Avatardebelene

    absolutely exquisite…what a fabulous job you and your staff have done. The embroidery and fabrics….design…the thought process….swooning here. Love these detailed costume posts!

  22. Avatarlarrouxgirl

    It seems young Sam is pretty comfortable in his own skin, whatever covers it, but the waistcoat is a stunner and looks regal on him. I was trying to imagine one of the men I know wearing it and among that number could think of only one who could handle it with aplomb, even in a 21st century setting. Makes me sad. I love peacocks, too. Speaking of those buttonholes, they look like they might be hand worked. Yes?

  23. Avatargsbhlass

    “…so this man is not Jamie Fraser, it is Sam Heughan. I knew at this moment that Sam felt comfortable with the direction we had taken him in Paris, and could get on with the business of playing Jamie. Languid, is the word that comes to mind.”

    Then you did your job, in case the beauty of it all wasn’t enough to prove it, in spades…

  24. Avatar

    The buttons are to die for……and I like the sheen that the black fabric adds to the piece.

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  27. Avatarmc

    Jamie in the black waistcoat was breath taking. Absolutely beautiful. The black suit with the black belt in the hospital was so masculine. He looked much older and larger in that scene as well. Gorgeous. Very fitting. I always have to remind myself he is not real. Yes, Sam is of course but Jamie is beyond attractive with the clothes you designed for him. I never new the though process that goes into actors clothes and how they have to fit the character and the surroundings. Now, if he could only time travel and land in my den. With those black boots on.

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