Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Sketch of Claire



Claire - Stones DR 1 copy

This sketch of the “shift” dress was done over a year ago, before Catriona or Sam were cast. I locked myself in a London hotel room and sketched for weeks.
As you can see, the final dress was a bit different, button instead of bow, 3/4 sleeves and a leather belt. But that is the process, it is an organic thing. Things change and evolve.

I guess it was pretty successful. It was such a pain to design and then to make. So many prototypes. But it is starting to grow on me…

19 thoughts on “Sketch of Claire

  1. Katie Bonner (@bunnums)

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – that dress/shift design was brilliant. I just wish that in the first episode it was clearer that the men (Redcoats and Highlanders) thought Claire was in her undergarments. It was perfectly clear to readers, but I’m curious how many non-readers picked up on that.

  2. Debbie Dake

    Terry, my apologies if I’m leaving this comment in the wrong place, but I just found your blog and love, love, love it. And I really don’t know my way around here yet.

    First of all, your birthday poem is truly perfect, what a gift.

    Secondly, I loved the show Carnivale (in a creepy sort of way)! The costumes were perfect, what a wonderful job you did with them.

    I wondered about the home you pictured on Twitter but I thought it was something you were just staying in while you were there. What an adventure that it actually belongs to you and that you spend your time there, away from it all. You must learn something new within its walls every day.

    And I’m in love with everything Outlander. I love the insight you provide through your blog and your costumes. It does seem real to me and I couldn’t ask for more from any of you involved with the show. Thanks a ton.

    Sorry for gushing ~ Debbie

  3. Brenda Cunningham (@PunkiBrenda)

    I am so very pleased that you designed this dress as you ended up doing…..its perfect I know it was tough to design you at first did not like it but now it has grown on you.I myself being a huge fan from start think that it could not have been done more perfectly.As she is in the 40’s the style to then fall through time to being a nightdress. Honest I would be happy with that style of many different colors for my own use!!!You are a fantastic designer Terry and it says a lot. I see clothes when I look upon the costumes….Everybody is blown away Thank You for being a fan yourself and putting so much into the designs beautiful job done!!

  4. laraynesthings

    My SIL, who has read the books but is not a social media fan girl, just watched the 1st episode and commented on the brilliance of the dress. I didn’t prompt her at all. Quite a testament to how well it worked! Btw, she loved it all!
    LaRayne @Not1But2

  5. Jean (@whiskyeyedgirl)

    Terry, I love your comment “But that is the process, it is an organic thing. Things change and evolve.” The creative process is organic and the creativity in the process, the synergy and dynamics of everything involved create the magic! My husband is an incredible stonemason here in the US. When his customers know him and trust him as an artist he is able to create incredible stone work for them. Sometimes following an architect’s blueprints to the T cuts out the possibility for that magic. When he is artistry is freed up, the result is breathtaking. Your comment above is universal in the arts. Thank you for helping to create Outlander from the very beginning for all of us to enjoy! Your costumes are just beautiful and such an important part of Outlander’s magic. We all (husband, 18 year old son included) loved the first episode.
    I really enjoy reading your blog entries. Thank you for giving us a look inside the process.

  6. Lisa Gill

    I have to echo the comments of others in that this white dress was a brilliant solution to transition Claire from the 1940s to the 18th century. The solid white is inspired. Is the fabric a wool crepe? I’ve always been curious what Claire did with her undergarments once she arrives in Castle Leoch – did she burn them in the fireplace? Perhaps the show will tell us?

    Every photo and snippet I’ve seen about the show reveals beautiful costuming – the details! Your work is simply gorgeous.

  7. martha

    The simplicity of this dress, is what makes it astonishing!It is so elegant and essential! As for the designing, I believe, though you don’t know, who is going to be cast( hope I’m telling this right, english isn’t my first language), you foresee the possibilities and you design. Cause I believe, when one is a costume designer, besides from being creative, innovative and fully educated, you must be some kind of psycologist and “prognosticator”. And as we all see, you got it! 🙂

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