Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Grrrrrrrranimals redux


Seems there is a lot of chatter out there about how many outfits Claire goes on the road in, and why does she have so many?????????

I always make sure I can justify things for the story. The writers wanted to be able to show the day changes, and our Highlanders NEVER change their clothes, so it was up to Claire. Plus they wanted a “respectable” dress she could wear in an upcoming sequence. So, I ask,

1.”where do we put the clothes? ummmmmmmmm.
2.”Is there a wagon?” YES there is.
3.”Is it big enough for Mrs. Fitz to send a few things in a trunk (2 skirts, 3 bodices and 1 dress, a cloak, and some wraps/fichus),as she wants Claire to be presentable?” Yes, it is.
4.”How big is the trunk? Big enough for 1 skirt, 2 bodices, a cloak and some wrap/ficus?” Yes, it is
5. “Would you please SHOW the trunk, so I don’t get slammed for giving Claire too many changes????”
Maybe, not sure if we are going to shoot the loading of the wagon.

Okay, then the number of costumes is justified as far as I am concerned. Costume Designers can always take liberties, and many do. Producers and directors rarely care about such things, and studios hate it when actresses don’t change their clothes constantly. But I HAVE to justify it story wise. I am the one always watching and saying, “So where did she/he get that ??????” So after much consideration, I figure that seems to be the right amount of clothing to meet all the needs of shooting a television show.
If I were shooting a documentary, she might have one skirt, and MAYBE a dress, one cloak or riding jacket. But we are not.

With the number of outfits I choose, I can :
1. Serve the story and all that needs to be told using the costumes as a story device.
2. Accomodate upcoming stunts and action.
3. Mark the amount of time that passes.
4. Keep the audience from complaining that they are bored by seeing her wear the same thing all the time. “Doesn’t she EVER change her clothes. they weren’t backwards barbarians after all”
5. Keep our actress from dying of hypothermia.
6. Save my overworked department from having to make 20 duplicates of one costume so that we can accommodate all of the above (we don’t even have enough of any one fabric to do that if we wanted)

Plus I can get away with a few pieces of clothing, but make it look like she has a lot more, by cleverly using accessories (UH OH !!!!!!!!!!!!)

It will always be carefully considered on Outlander. Our job is to make a believable world. We are not doing a fashion show. It should look and feel as real as possible, given the incredible number of restraints filming a dramatic televised series, presents. We have seen 5 episodes so far. At the end of the season, get back to me and let me know how you feel about the number of costumes Claire has.

96 thoughts on “Grrrrrrrranimals redux

  1. AvatarRhonnie Brinsdon (@BRhonnie)

    I find it hard that you have to continualy justify your brilliant choices as far as this show goes, I love every bit of all the costumes & haveing done costumeing for a period film, know what goes into the design, make & breakdown of a costume. And as you know I’m makeing copies for sale for charitible donations & they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well done, keep it up & kudos to you & your brilliant pattern maker, cutter & machinists. They deserve applause the lot of them.

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      I am not looking at it as justifying, but explaining to people who have no idea what it takes to make a television show. People really have no clue, but will assume they do, and criticize accordingly.
      When the costume designers on various shows are ripped apart with the infamous red circles around costumes, in the press, I am saddened because I know how hard it is, and what an uphill battle it is to get it right.
      There is NEVER enough time, never. We costumed this show in 7 weeks. Not only do the viewers and the press have no idea, it is very rare to work for corporations who understand what we do.
      Everyone assumes there are zillions of costumes just sitting around waiting to be rented. They don’t know there are not. There are not bins filled with hundreds of period shoes. It all has to be made, or gathered, in an insanely short amount of time, based on the assumption that we rent it all.
      So when the press puts the red circle around the sole of a shoe, I know that might have been on an extra. They might not have even been shooting at that moment. But the costume designer gets ripped apart for it.
      Now there are also plenty of times that costume designers, OR THE PEOPLE THEY WORK FOR, decide to chuck historical accuracy in all things, out of the window. (I think sometimes because it makes doing a show SO MUCH EASIER, sometimes because that is the creative vision of the show)
      But they are usually pretty up front about that. I don’t think anyone is trying to fool people into thinking that people really wore Alexander McQueen in the 16th century.
      Part of the reason I am doing a blog is to help people understand how it all works.

  2. AvatarLinda Barnes

    Would women have varied things by changing up the stomacher? That would seem to be one possible–and potentially creative–way to make the outfit look different, while otherwise wearing the same thing from day to day.

  3. Avatarjapplebyvines

    Perhaps the different wraps and fichus make it appear like more clothes than there is? Or perhaps because the Highlanders don’t change at all, Claire’s wardrobe changes stand out more? Or….Perhaps people just like to judge and comment without paying extra attention and knowing of what they speak….:) Dinna fash Terry. Probably because the costumes are so detailed, well thought out and accurate, those types of people just have to find something different to criticize.

    Yes, the variety of wraps, fichus and stomachers make it look like she has more than she does. That was our cunning plan!
    Again, not upset at all, part of the reason for this blog is to educate about what it takes to costume for film.

  4. Avatarrosemaryhoffart

    Bravo Terry! You and Diana have the same meticulous work ethic. You are both detail oriented and do not mind sharing the details of your profession that many of your professional counterparts will not share. I am one thankful fan… I love your work and your strong female leadership skills. Thank you!

      1. AvatarAli

        I really like that frame of mind. I always love the behind the scenes view for things I love. Outlander is a lot of fun and this blog just makes me appreciate the costuming & the details more. Seeing how things all come together just adds to the enjoyment of the finished product 🙂

  5. Avatarlinda Tellier (@lindatellier3)

    Terry I paid very close attention to Claire’s Clothing and yes you can tell the she is mixing it up like you said it’s very evident ! It’s sad but I think people watch to much reality T.V.
    They are not using their imagination anymore ! You and everyone else involved in this serie are doing a extremely fantastic Job 🙂 xox

  6. Avatar

    Love, love, love all of the costumes! They are beautiful. Claire’s dress and all of Highland costumes are really enhanced by the beautiful scenery of Scotland. Thanks to you and all of your team for all of your hard work.

    Sent from my iPad


  7. AvatarBraizyn

    I love the clothing for the show. The time, effort and attention to detail and history you and your team have taken is awesome, considering the time you had with which to costume the show. One of your comments in your and Ron’s podcast was that you were using Claire’s costume changes to indicate passage of time makes so much sense, considering that most of the other cast members (and people of the time) have only one or two changes of clothes. And to the pickers of nit who want 100% historical accuracy? Outlander isn’t a documentary.

  8. AvatarAnne Riker Hetherington

    I love being educated about how this works, and look forward to the podcast and your comments in the blog almost as much as the next episode. I have never watched a TV show or movie several times just so I could catch a nuance of costume, music or interplay between actors, or scenery or set design. You all are doing an amazing job made even better by including us in the behind the scenes stuff. Thanks.

  9. AvatarTina Opsahl Thorstensen

    had no problem with the amount of changes or combining skirts with top etc so the same amount of items make alot of different looks. i think the one thing i was thinking of was, how does she tie her corset every day? I would assume she would loosen it before going to bed. does she then get one of the men to tie it up for her? or maybe she have some awesome skill to tie it herself?

  10. AvatarElana Macfie

    I had wondered about the costumes too because I really don’t know how people lived in the18th century. We don’t read about EVERY outfit Claire changes into in the book and I wouldn’t want too either. Unless someone is a historian how do we really know what goes on in a different time. It may be silly but I kind of look towards the show to show what life is like, I expect a degree of historical accuracy. I mean, who knew there was so many ways to make the same clothes different? I had no idea the clothes could be so nice and I LOVE all the knitted accessories. The cowls are gorgeous! I also like the fact you explain things about what goes on during the filing process. I don’t think any show has been so forth coming to fans. Love the work you have done its beautiful and greatly appreciated.

      1. AvatarMargie Thiele

        I believe you and the costume department shall win Awards!! As a seamstress as well as knit /crochet, ILove what you have put Claire (especially) and cast in!! Brava!!!!! Loved to see those tartens lined up and match, and bodices that compliments the fabric.
        Margie Thiele

  11. AvatarJeanette Harris

    I wait all week long to see the next episode and to see what EVERYONE is wearing and then I watch again and again. I’m a spinner/knitter/weaver/quilter PLUS LOVE historic work (when we retire we will be doing historic reenactments) and LOVE everything.
    Keep it up and thanks foe sharing how you do your most wonderful job!

  12. Avatarbonnydoones

    I do understand the time and effort that is put into the costuming of Outlander and you amaze me! I know how long it takes to put together one ‘historically accurate’ outfit for Civil War presentations from shift to corset, petticoats, stockings to shoes .. and finally the dress and bonnet…etc.

    Sadly, there are too many who do not know the history of the periods we are portraying. If some of the critics would READ the Outlander series, they would learn so much! Often Diana explained why people slept in their clothes and how many outfits could be carried while traveling.. and more.

    [No footed pajama’s or down filled sleeping bags…or a laundry mat on the next corner either!]

    I’ve learned so much from studying the way the plaids and the kilts were worn and used…(those guys were pretty smart!)

    Your explanation of why Claire has so many ‘outfits’ rings true…Mrs. Fitz had much at her disposal between cast offs from wealthy ladies living (Colum’s wife maybe?) or visiting the castle, to women who had died. But the way the “few” outfits are put together, how various pieces fit with others, (mix and match?) is just beautiful.

    You and your crew have done wonderful work! So many of us are clamoring for patterns or duplicates of Claire’s clothing or ‘accessories’…That alone speaks for itself!

  13. kmcherrettkmcherrett

    It never really occurred to me to question the number of outfits Claire wears. I was sure Mrs. Fitz would have sent her off with sufficient clothing. I love Claire’s outfits you have done a wonderful job of showing how to “mix and match” 18th Century style. The fact that Jamie, Dougal et al don’t change their clothes just seemed normal. Nice to see Claire looking the part of a “lady” not peasant. Thanks for explaining everything but it’s a pity you had to!!

  14. AvatarCharlene Erb

    I really appreciate the behind the scenes look that you and Ron are giving us because it makes us all feel so much more a part of our beloved books. Knowing that you adore these books and that Ron’s mission is “to not screw up your favourite books” how could we not believe that you are doing your very best to do your very best? I hope your costume design is recognized as heartily as the production is sure to be! As a Canadian we are quite few episodes behind but I love the extra anticipation all these blogs are giving me between the days of waiting for Sunday to arrive! Take care and sleep peacefully……your art is enjoyed my millions!

  15. AvatarSusan Powers

    Great explanation for the lay person. It is a fictional TV series and not a documentary. That said, the costuming is incredible. So impressed by the job you are doing.

    I do have one question that has been gnawing at me concerning Clair’s knitted cowl. The one that was knitted on very large needles. From my studies, I never saw anything that was knit that big or with that thick of yarn in that period. I am guessing that is another artistic liberty?

    With the attention that you are getting with Facebook Groups, Pinterest Boards, etc., I think you are going to be responsible for a style trend. A line of clothing would be fantastic. You have this Irish girl wishing she had a tartan plaid for her wedding… But that was years ago. 🙂

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      One day, Mrs. Fitz said to herself, “I love knitting and I have knitted something for everyone in the castle, and I am bored with making the same old thing. I think I am going to ask Fred, the castle woodworker, if he would make me bigger needles? I think that if I had bigger needles, I could make something that is different than everything I have been doing so far. I have never seen anything like it, but so what? What do I have to lose. I think it might work. What are they going to do, burn me as witch for the size of my knitting needles????”

      What do you think?? 😉

      1. AvatarSusan Powers

        Lol…I think it is a great answer. By the way…in all the knitting groups, everyone is obsessing about and knitting “Clair’s Cowl”.

        I studied costume design in college and it was my dream to become a costume designer. But life took me in another direction. I love that you have have this blog and are giving “behind the scene” insight and also insight into your thought process that goes into designing all the costumes.

        Thank you!

      2. AvatarPaula Arcioni

        You would know better than I, but I bet Diana would find that more than plausible. Like others have said, the work that you and your team do is beyond exceptional. your blog has taught us so much, not only about costumes but the business process of creating tv programming (or film for that matter). And like any business, the choices are made by those in charge for the purpose of ensuring the success of the business. This Outlander fan thinks the series is and will continue to be successful because of you and the winning, killer combo of those “running” the business. Will ther be an IPO? LOL!

        1. AvatarSfgirl

          Your costumes make me want to learn to knit! Where can we get that cowl snood? That’s the stuff Starz should sell. Your work is amazing. I watch the show over and over for all the details. I’m guessing lots of awards will be coming your way

      3. AvatarSfgirl

        Your costumes make me want to learn to knit! Where can we get that cowl snood? That’s the stuff Starz should sell. Your work is amazing. I watch the show over and over for all the details. I’m guessing lots of awards will be coming your way

  16. AvatarTerri Folks

    From one Terri to another Terry, the costumes are blowing me away. I love the explanation about Mrs. Fitz accumulating bits and pieces of clothing from people who have died, etc. It makes perfect sense to me. I always wanted to be a costume designer. Of course I wanted to be a director too and a writer. Listening to the Podcasts, I love hearing your ideas of what you did and why you did it. Love hearing Ron’s interjections too…and the dog…and the fire…and the clink of ice in the glasses. I feel like I am almost there!

  17. AvatarSandy Connor

    Terry, thank you to your and your staff for all the hard work that goes into making the Outlander world so believable. I am LOVING Claire’s wardrobe! The knitted accessories have inspired me to create my own versions. I find it ridiculous when viewers chastise the wardrobe choices or question the historical accuracy. It’s an ADAPTATION for heaven’s sake! I am so excited to see what you have in store for us in Season 2. I am particularly looking forward to the party at Versailles (assuming that scene makes the cut!). I truly appreciate the time to you take out of your busy day to post on your blog. I can tell this project is a labor of love for you and your amazing husband. THANK YOU!

  18. AvatarElin McCall

    The costumes are such a key part of the show, They really have become an another character like Scotland itself. I think you have done a fabulous job with both the women’s and men’s costumes. I love that you have added to Claire’s garments with the knitted pieces. This has started a new surge in knitting on the internet, on both blogs and Facebook groups. I don’t know if you realize what a trend you have started. There are going to be a lot of women wearing cowls knitted on large needles, fingerless gloves and little capes this winter!

  19. AvatarEllen Putnam Paquette

    Terry, I am in awe of your work and marvel at how you and your crew created–and continue to create–such a vast amount of costuming under such tight scheduling. I am relishing the behind the scenes tidbits and attention to detail, as I have done historic costuming in the past for theatre (Brigadoon! Yessss!) and am also a Celtic harpist who loves to sport her arisaid and traditional kit when the gig calls for it.
    I have a question about bodices. I know they were a central component of women’s clothing for hundreds of years but at what point did they start to integrate more darts and shaping to push the bust out rather than the flatter profile (albeit it’s rounder once things start to pop out above the top of the neckline!) of the 18th century?

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      Well the profile and details change across an entire century, but the flattened front, cone shape, lasted, I believe (I haven’t designed that period) almost to the end of the 18th. I know it definitely changed after the Revolution. Yes, if you flatten the front of the bodice, the breasts will push up.

  20. AvatarKristin Milner (@WarriorInSoul)

    My husband and I recently watched EP5 with the volume down and the podcast going, and we were both struck, once again, by the attention to detail. It’s perfectly reasonable that Mrs. Fitz would have ensured Claire had a suitable amount of clothing, and besides Claire’s narration, it’s a helpful clue that days/weeks are indeed passing. Another thing that actually caused us to pause the TV in certain places were the villagers’ costumes. We looked at the number of extras and were gobsmacked with the authenticity that you and your team imbued in each character. I wish I could fully explain how much joy I feel that such special, and hard working people, are working on this production.

  21. AvatarBrenda Cunningham (@PunkiBrenda)

    OVER THE MOON!! The show is incredible actors,clothing, scenes, storyline all of it.Terry you have as I said before gone up and beyond you and your crew have so much to be proud of I appreciate that you invested so much research into your designing as always…..NO COMPLAINTS just so so pleased.Be proud and know that you have achieved an absolute work of brilliance in clothing our beloved characters.Thank you

  22. AvatarMichelle Brittan

    some people are just not happy unless they have *something* to complain about! I love the costumes … I think they’re interesting and beautiful … and I never once thought that Claire had NUMEROUS changes of clothing …. sheesh! Keep up the fabulous job! Enjoying the whole show immensely!

  23. Avatarkalliope

    Personally, I can’t get enough of the costumes you’ve created for this series. I sew myself, and sometimes I get frustrated because the lighting on the show is so dark that I can’t see the details! Hopefully some of your creations will eventually end up in our fashion collection here at the Phoenix Art Museum, so I can see them up close.

    I want to hear more about the 700 year old house you are living in over there. Seen any Jacobite ghosts?

      1. AvatarMoz

        Good! I love the effect of the dark lighting, but when I see fan edits that have lightened up the shots (gamma correct is our friend here) I realize how much were missing…..love the costumes, Terry.

        P.S. people, one can corset oneself without help…just pull the ties from the center back eyelets to the front, tighten and tie! 😉

  24. Avatarsireesanwar

    Frankly, you are a miracle worker and I am hoping next year you are recognized at the Emmys. The wardrobe in Outlander is spectacular and makes me hope your creations are picked up for future fashion… well maybe not the corsets. LOL

    You know, I figured since there was a wagon she probably kept something on it… I mean she also has to have her medical supplies. Why not clothing.

  25. Avatarchtease

    I got into this exact conversation in comments on the EW.com recap of Episode 105. Would it be OK if I commented with the link to this on that site? I’ve said most of this myself, but coming from you, Terry, they may sit up and notice. Thanks!

  26. AvatarBlue Faerie (@BlueFaerie20)

    I think the costumes across the board are fantastic. I do sometimes wonder how she’s able to dress herself so easily. I’ve worn a corset…I always need help, but I go with the flow….and it all fits with the story (in my opinion). But, I think you’re doing an amazing job and I know you’re a huge fan of the books so why wouldn’t you pour your heart into it.

    Haters gonna hate.

    But, nothing but love from me.

  27. AvatarM&M (@M_another_M)

    Since I use to wear Garanimals I get a kick out of the reference. So many of us want to see the details, but none of the pictures are big enough. Maybe we can bribe the photographer who took these great shots to share the higher resolution.

    Loving everything!

  28. Avataranandasata

    All I can say is BRAVO to you and your team! I am grateful not only for your believable, gorgeous, and detailed work, but for your kind heart that embraces how the negativity comes from a place of ignorance rather than meanness (well, mostly!). I’m soaking up everything you post because it allows me to see the competing demands and desires for accuracy and expediency. Every job/profession has its conventions and ways of dealing with them and I love hearing about how you manage to achieve the balance. Thank you! People make so many assumptions about things they don’t truly understand. Can you imagine what it would cost to house and hold all the costumes, props, and accoutrements from every production ever made? And let’s imagine what it would take to make such a collection ‘usable’ (can you tell I’m a librarian? LOL) It’s not like all people are the same size, either! Maybe you’d have the perfect costume, but it was made for a rail-thin man of 5′ 8″ and you need one for a buff man of 6’3″ – not helpful. Also, every production has its own aesthetic. You’ve (with producers, yes? I love hearing Ron rail against the red of the Red Coats, but then, I only hear it when I choose to listen to the podcast, lol!) made a choice to go with historically accurate colors and fabrics but another designer/producer might have chosen to go with the tartans with which modern folk are familiar. It would be fantastic if the Powers That Be would commission a book from you that shows off the costumes in detail with your commentary and explanation for how they came about, their creation, and how each functions for the character and story. With the kind of work such a book would entail, you’d need to be compensated fairly! 🙂

    1. AvatarCharlene Erb

      I would for sure buy a book with all these beautiful costumes from this wonderful story! It would be so interesting to read just what you have pointed out to us Terry…….what it takes to costume a production such as this (similar to our Outlandish Companion book). It would proudly be on the shelf next to all my Outlander books.

  29. AvatarSandie Russo (@KnitzyBlonde)

    Terry, you so completely ROCK! What a great explanation, and so clever with how you outfit Claire. If you and your crew don’t get some Globe or Emmy nominations for the fabulous costume designs I will be utterly shocked!

    Amazing work by all concerned from the designer to the cutters and sewists! BRAVA!!!!

  30. AvatarCindy Thornton Slafka

    I just love reading about all of this. I already rewatch the episodes a *lot,* and because of your blog I have ended up watching yet again just to catch the costume details. Now I sit there looking to figure out which sleeves are on which bodice with which skirt. It’s fun :).

  31. AvatarAmy Colburn Cook

    I love the costumes and I think you’re doing a fabulous job. The one thing I’m wondering (and please forgive me if you’ve already been asked a million times) is whether you need to make more than one of every costume, at least for the major characters, and if so, how many?

  32. AvatarJulie (@xfsista)

    I love this blog sooooo much! I have a love of history and tradition, and Outlander has really ticked that nerdy box for me. A big part of that is the clothing that they wore, not just for fashion, but practicality as well. I’m learning so much from this show, and your blog, and the podcast about a time and era that I knew very little about before. So, thank you very much! I’m utterly engaged.

    I’m also hoping to cosplay as Claire at some point in the future, so this will be a great reference.

    Keep creating beautiful things! <3

  33. AvatarSusan Van Hoven

    I thought for a brief moment about the costume changes, but I guess I’m from the Mrs. Fitz school of traveling wardrobes. I have loved every outfit Caitriona has worn and it seems there is a cottage industry of people trying to recreate different touches like the cowl and the gloves. I believe there could even be a trend going here and finally I’m glad to be living in a cold place so I can wear some of these items. Caitriona carries all of the clothing with grace and poise. Thank you Terry your work is extraordinary.

  34. Avatardebraemarvin

    I don’t look at it as a lot of costume changes but always notice the incredible knitted and woven pieces. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who just plain wants them for herself! Terry, I don’t know any other case where a production has been so generous. You are amazing to share this background and the show is so rich we must watch it over and over to see all the details. My gosh, it is all so lovely, and your costume crew deserves so much recognition for what you accomplished. Fashion will be following your lead! Well-deserved!

  35. AvatarSarah Knudsen (@sayrahk)

    Terry, thank you so much for sharing information on your amazing Outlander costumes. They certainly make the story come to life. I have a feeling that you will cause a new tartan and knitted bits trend! I’ve already asked a friend to make me one of Claire’s fabulous cowl scarf! Huge tip of the hat to you and Ron for making this for the fans.

  36. AvatarAndee (@AndeeKF)

    Based on the books I have designed so many knits I know Claire would have worn. Little did I know there would be a TV series made… Bravo to you (now that she is real I like to think she would of thought about wearing the things I designed with her in mind). I love all the knits you have put her in! It is so convenient that Claire’s sister-in-law has spoiled rotten merino sheep. I have lots of merino yarn knitted just for Claire I like to think she has several trunks and many ponies to carry them for her 🙂 Especially her hooded cloak with a hood…. oh wait we have a while for that one 🙂

  37. Avatarterryhellmer

    I’m sick of people questioning you about what, when and how many outfits anyone wears on the show. Good grief! Just watch the frigging show and be happy you have a show to watch. We’ve been waiting for so long to have the show and it’s totally awesome. If it weren’t for Terry and Ron there wouldn’t even be a show. Thank you, Ron, Terry, everyone who has worked on the show in any capacity for bring it to us!!! I will take it with whatever you decide is best as you are the professionals and you do know what is best as you have clearly shown us all you know how to do just that. Please don’t keep responding to these people who obliviously don’t have anything better to do with their lives than criticize your stellar work. You have given your all over the past year and more months and I praise you for your efforts and can’t thank you enough! Just let them do their work, enough is enough.

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      I am choosing to look at it as if most of them (not ALL), are thinking about the show. Thinking about what they are seeing it, and they have questions.
      I want that to be okay. The nature of the beast is that will always happen on any show, and if I choose to see it as all negative, then there is no point in doing this, because it will be no fun. But I have seen many people who had the questions, but as soon as I explain that we need clothes to show the passage of time, they go “oh, okay”. That is a good thing.

      1. AvatarKatie Bonner (@bunnums)

        I LOVE the education we’re all getting out of this process. Terry, I can’t imagine how you have the time to answer all these questions!

        A thirst for learning and knowledge are great, and I’m thrilled you are so willing to share your experience. As you’ve said so many times, asking questions is not an issue. Being disrespectful, acting rude, and calling names is.

  38. Avatar⭐Pamela (@P_Umali)

    One thing I appreciate and love about the show is how true to the books this show is… AND to the time period. I hate period pieces where the hairstyles are modern, but they actors wear “costumes” of the time–it’s so cheesy. I have a hard time watching. The clothing in Outlander are so real and not so “hollywoody”. Claire’s clothing are so lovely (everything on Cait just looks so great!) I think, “Wow! That’s how they dressed then…” I am one of those viewers who would say, “Where does Cait pack her clothing?….How much clothing did she bring?….” Or, “This is for real b/c the characters are NOT in full make up looking glamorous.” I enjoy reading and hearing about the planning process.

  39. AvatarTahira Shahbazi (@tahshah)

    I love all of the costumes so much, but particularly Claire’s knitwear. Am I the only one that wished she had taken off her knitted sleeves/gloves (what are those called?) before she started walking the wool with urine last week? I kept thinking, “those are going to stink forever, how will she wash them?” lol

    Thank you, Terry, for helping to bring the world we love so much to life with so much beauty?

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      I don’t think the smell of urine was as offensive then, because it was not flushed down a porcelain bowl. I was reading something the other day that said that urine was sometimes drunk as a cure for various ailments. OH GOD, HERE IT COMES. GET ON THE FLAK JACKET.

    2. Avatarterrydresbach

      A fascinating article from the Smithsonian.

      From Wikipedia:
      In 1978, the Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, a longtime practitioner of urine therapy, spoke to Dan Rather on 60 Minutes about urine therapy. Desai stated that urine therapy was the perfect medical solution for the millions of Indians who cannot afford medical treatment.[28]

      Cameroon’s Health Minister Urbain Olanguena Awono warned people against drinking their own urine, believed in some circles to be a tonic and cure for a number of ailments. “Given the risks of toxicity associated with ingesting urine,” he wrote, “the health ministry advises against the consumption of urine and invites those who promote the practice to cease doing so or risk prosecution.”[29]

      British actress Sarah Miles has drunk her own urine for over thirty years, in claiming the belief that it immunizes against allergies, amongst other health benefits.[30]

      Former Major League Baseball player Moisés Alou urinates on his hands to alleviate calluses, which he claims allows him to bat without using batting gloves.[31]

      Madonna explained to talk show host David Letterman that she urinates on her own feet to help cure her athlete’s foot problem.[32]

      Mixed martial arts fighter Lyoto Machida revealed in an interview that he drinks his own urine.[33] His father, Yoshizo Machida, admitted he got Lyoto to start doing that after he couldn’t get rid of his cough three years ago.[34]

      Boxer Juan Manuel Márquez drank his own urine during a filmed training session for the HBO series 24/7 promoting the Marquez/Mayweather fight, he revealed that he believed the practice was of great nutritional benefit aiding his intensive workouts.[35]

      Urine therapy was used as a plot line in the fifth-season episode “Crow’s Feet” of the popular television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

      Author J.D. Salinger is also said to have been an adherent.[36]

  40. AvatarDiLovesBooks

    Hi Terry,
    Thank you so much for all this “inside” information.

    People wonder all the time about costumes, etc. and it doesn’t mean they (we, I have questions sometimes!) are being negative. It’s all in how people express themselves and not about their expressing themselves in the first place, which I think is a very good thing. I know you’ve said more or less the same thing before, but it bears repeating every once in awhile. 😉

    I really like the way Claire looked in her fichu and when she didn’t wear it, I missed it and wondered, “Aww… where’s her fichu?” I had no idea that such a simple costume decision was made because of a not so simple problem. I love Claire’s “look” and know that Mrs. Fitz would never allow Claire to be improperly dressed, but still appreciate the inside scoop.

    Loved this article, just loved it!

    1. Avatarterrydresbach

      It is so easy and logical to think that I as the costume designer, just do the research, design the costumes and then make them. You would think, but that is NOT how it works. People who know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about costumes, modern or period, ultimately make the decisions.

    1. AvatarJonnee Kohler

      She’s a Lassie who has been stuck in bloody army nurse outfits for years on end and in archeology digs for years before that… She’s on a trip with someone she cares for, who has strong opinions about women even if they are more moderate than the Angus types. She’s unmarried and she knows they have seen her in her shift… By the way how did she get rid of the blood on her apron after the Tynchal?

  41. AvatarDeirdre Popp

    How is this still an issue? You’ve addressed it already. Grrrrr, indeed. For a show that starts out with a woman traveling through time, people sure spend a lot of time nitpicking ridiculous things. But, wow, those fabrics are gorgeous!

  42. AvatarCourtney Vermette (@cvermette11)

    Hey! I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but do you know the type of stitch used on Claire’s infinity scarf? The show has made me into a knitting monster (my poor family), and this scarf is by far my favorite. I just don’t know which stitch that is! All of the pieces are so beautiful, and you and your team have done amazing work. Thank you so much!!

    – Courtney

  43. Pingback: Link Love: The Gingham Trend - YLF

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