Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Unfinished Business



Before we are swallowed whole by Season Two, I need to wrap Season One. I have been meaning to post my mood boards since forever. I’ve had to edit them down, because there are sooooo many images. So here they come. But not all at once.

This is Claire.


21 thoughts on “Unfinished Business

  1. Kat Schella

    Thank you for sharing Terry. You really captured the 1940’s look with your clothing designs. The entire feel of the show is supported by the “authentic” look of the clothing. You are amazing, Outlander is so lucky to have you. Having read all the books I am anxious to see your creations for all of Jamie and Claire’s adventures. Have a great day

    1. annalapping

      I hate to admit it, but I was born in 1946, and the movies from the early to mid-’50’s were all about the “War” and things pertaining to it. I remember this, and these types of clothes. I remember my mother wearing them in the early ’50’s (maybe just from photos). I loved it all, the elegance and style, even if it did not pertain to the the cost of the garment. There was still an element of style. That is gone now.

  2. awabbit

    Wow! Such a trip down Memory Lane !
    My mother modeled for Gilbert Adrian at his salon in Beverly Hills when she was pregnant with me, late 1942. I have several pictures of her from that time. She also modeled for my aunt who was an interior and dress designer, from 1943-1954. As a little girl, I recall going to my aunt’s atelier and watching the seamstresses cut, drape, pin, and sew the beautiful fabrics (silks, magnificent woolens, velvets, linens, and cottons and even men’s suiting) into memorable gowns, day dresses, sportswear, and suits. I have pictures of many of my aunt’s creations. I can clearly recall the texture of the fabrics, and I even have some small bits of these, I’ve saved since then. I am a total fabric “junkie.” Your composite pictures are wonderful. I spied the Simplicity pattern Size 12 Bust 30 inches– 30 inches!!! My how things have changed. I love how sexy womens’ legs looked in the round toed high heeled pumps in the picture on the bottom right. One could *really* walk in those shoes, so different from what you see now, with women tottering around in 3 inch platform with 5-6 inch heels.

  3. katejlongo

    I am seeing my mother in the pictures. Sexy, a woman who has a mission but hasn’t the idea on how to push it through.
    I spent years playing dress up in my mom’s 1940’s clothes. One pair of open toed skin shoes and pocketbook are vivid memories.
    Terry, thank you for being accurate and just being meticulous in you designs.

  4. joanne1202

    today was my parents anniversary married in 1949. pictures of her in these clothes. good memories. thank you as for the other blog about modern costumes….you got some brass ones. love it!

  5. @auntbabs74

    My favorite pictures of my grandmother are from the 1940s. She looks just some of the women in the photos.
    Thank you for sharing part of your creative process with us.

  6. Susanne Armborst

    These pic are amazing Terry!! I love the 1940 style! Elegant and underlines the strength of the, at that difficult time, living stong women! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Purl99

    Lovely…my mom is always reminiscing about the 40’s. She was in high school during the war and remembers all the rationing and difficulty during that terrifying time. It was a treat to see my namesake…Lauren Becall…she was beautiful. Bright Blessings, Terry!

  8. Wool gabardine…..be still my heart. The tailoring and details are just beautiful. I showed my mom this post and she reminisced about how excited she was to enter the workforce late 1949/ early 1950’s so that she could wear these types of clothes. When I was young, a favorite activity of mine was to look through her cedar chest, where she kept some of her favorite pieces. She would lovingly unwrap each item and we would admire the design, color, and construction. Then she would sigh and say, “they just don’t make things like this anymore.” Thanks Terry for sharing!

  9. MelPflueg

    Absolutely incredible! Those are some amazing images and I think you captured 1940’s Claire perfectly!! Thank you so much for sharing, I’m really enjoying the sneak peeks and insight into how you developed your creations.

  10. darlenec

    These photos remind me of my Nana. She and her friends would dress up to the 9s to go shopping. In Galveston, Texas during the 1940s there were photographers that took shots of people on the street. I am sure that was done everywhere. I have one of these images and it is a treasure.

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