Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

The Riding Jacket


This piece came about out of necessity. We didn’t plan on it, but it was so bitterly cold, and Cait had been through so much wearing that shift, I just couldn’t send her back out into the freezing winter, without something very seriously warm.

So Mrs. Fitz went back into her trunks and dug up this coat. It is very, very warm, and our girl was very, very warm.

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The gloves are made with kid and we printed and drew stag antlers on them in honor of the McKenzies.

The coat is based on 18th century riding jackets. I am including some of our research.


28 thoughts on “The Riding Jacket

  1. M&M (@M_another_M)

    I didn’t see this pic close up before and missed the antlers……..positively stunning! I just love all your insights to the costuming, and Ron with the filming. You two have been so great to us funs, this has just been such a positive experience from start to now. When all of this started last year, I was just so happy for Diana and her finally getting recognized for all she has done, so it was more about her getting her dues than the series being made.

    For almost two decades the core of Diana’s fans have been afraid of what an Outlander production might be….. we are beyond the moon with what has been done! It just makes us giddy! 🙂

    1. b.a.shugg

      Amen to that! Those books got me through, sitting by while death by cancer took two people I loved so much. I would have gone around the bend without them to use for a retreat from all the ugly that goes with that. Thank you for that Diana, as well as the great story, for the king of men and for Claire and her courage. Thanks to Ron and Terry for the screen life of these books and finding actors who fit the roles and clothing them beautifully and correctly. Thanks to set designers, sound people, and thank you for the wonderful music.

  2. Laurie Gregory Scarborough

    This is my favorite costume thus far. Just stunning. Lucky, lucky Cait. I’d also like to say that I have listened to several of your podcasts with Ron, and love your commentary on the costumes, most especially the fabrics. Like many women in the ’50s and ’60s, my mother sewed all of our clothes until we were independent adults (i.e. out of college.) My memories of her sewing often turn to our trips to the fabric stores. We would examine and touch all the marvelous materials, feel the sheen, the scratchiness, the density of the different fabrics. (Even now I adore touching garments in fine clothing stores.) When you point out a vintage wool or the felted quality of other woolens, it brings back those memories. I can almost feel the fabrics you describe. Thanks so much for taking the time to share the “love” – so to speak! Keep up the good work.

    1. Stephanie Lehman (@StephanieinSD)

      I agree! My mother was a professional seamstress, and while I didn’t inherit her skills (or patience), did love our time in the sewing room – I’d cut out the pieces or iron seams while she sewed – and hours spent searching fabric stores. Have loved the pictures, posts and replies and also conversation on the podcasts – appreciate the work and attention detail that is all so far out of my skill sets. 🙂

  3. kmcherrett

    I just love this outfit. You could wear it today and turn heads. Agree with everything Michelle said. For so long I wanted to see Diana’s books “in motion” she’s such a marvelous writer but I was afraid I wouldn’t like the end product. I’m just so delighted with the TV series and can not say enough about the beautiful job you have done with the costumes. I hope Diana keeps on writing so you & Ron Sam & Cait can keep this fairy tale going

  4. Connie Sandlin (@Yr_Obt_Svt)

    One way I pass the time while listening to podcasts or listening to Davina Porter is solving jigsaw puzzles at http://outlandishpuzzles.tumblr.com/. After the last puzzle piece is place by using the mouse, the picture become visible in its entirety and I can zoom in and look at details.

    Just today, the lower photo of the beautiful Caitriona Balfe on her mount became available as a puzzle, in 5 different levels of puzzle difficulty. I really enjoyed checking perusing the details the horse’s tack and of your beautiful creation, Terry.

    No matter WHY it was created, it is gorgeous and is consistent with the integrity of the rest of the show. Brava!

    1. terrydresbach

      Button, button, who’s got the button. I don’t remember where those came from. Buttons are the bane of our existence. There are about 30 buttons on a frock coat, another 15 or more on a waistcoat. We buy them, make them, we never have enough. I THINK I got those at Britex Fabric in San Francisco hen I was there last winter, but really not sure. I made that coat almost a year ago.

  5. Erin Chavez

    This is so beautiful. It makes me a little emotional. It’s always scary to see your favorite book adapted into a movie or TV show. You think it can’t possibly live up. This show is so much more than I ever could have imagined.

  6. ⭐Pamela (@P_Umali)

    This is a beautiful coat and, by the way, SO happy to see Cait in something warm! This a coat you can see in modern day fashion; however, you see Cait wearing this piece and you don’t get the feeling its out of place in 18th century Scotland. It fits Cait like a glove…Cait/Claire looks so put together compared to the rough and rugged Highlanders . You get a sense that she is more than a peasant woman– someone of importance. The way Cait walks, she puts her hands in the skirt pocktes….Claires strong personality sets her apart from the other women — she’s a modern woman of the 20th century…the coat is a strong piece– I like it!

  7. midgiemoo

    Just stunning, Terry. Truly. This is one of my very favorites so far. So excited to see Season 2 designs. No pressure on you, as you’ve not gotten to that stage yet. Just great anticipation to see your and your crew’s amazing talent on display yet again.
    Enjoy your time off to recoup and recharge.

  8. Carol Mole McKee

    Terry I have to say what a complete pleasure it is to see and read all that you are sharing here. To know the painstaking and in deepth work that went into these costumes and to hear the reasoning behind what was done is such a gift!

    I get an email every time you post and your posts have become my little secret mental getaway at my stressful job. Thank you so much for doing this blog!

  9. Stefani Bell

    What an absolutely gorgeous coat. I am an avid knitter and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the homespun throughout the show! How beautiful and what creativity and patience! I volunteer my knitting skills to help out with Second season ;-).
    SUCH beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail. Historical dramas are the best and you are definitely bringing knitting back!

  10. SidenMoare

    I’m a textileteacher and a textileartist. So i really enjoy The outfits. My grandfather was aTailor here in Sweden and sewed to many theaters and films. So i have grown up with “Old” costums. Loved it then and love it now. Such good designs and so much work an reserge to get it right. . Marvelouse!

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