- Outlander -Would You Actually Wear These 'Outlander' Costumes?
When thinking of the Outlander costumes, particularly the early days, glamour and kilts come to mind. Claire's silver-laden wedding dress. Jamie's kilt. Claire's plunging red dress. Jamie's kilt. Claire's yellow dress that travels from Paris to Jamaica. Jamie's ki—you get the picture. But whether they're elaborate or more utilitarian, would you really wear the Outlander costumes? Not recreations, but the authentic styles?
Costume designer Terry Dresbach, who left the show in Season 4, recently tweeted from her Outlander Costume account wondering which Outlander costume fans would want to own... not necessarily wear. Even though she's well-acquainted with the fervent fanbase after working on Outlander for so long (and her husband Ronald D. Moore created the show), she was displeased to discover that people wouldn't want to simply display the costumes, but actually don them.
It seems her shock stems from the fact that these are painstaking pieces of art (as she wrote, "I’d be horrified if people were wearing them and spilling drinks on them"). But she also addressed the impracticality of it all. For instance, intricate ones like Louise de La Tour's blue gown, she questioned how this would fit into a fan's social life.
One fan said they'd wear Louise's dress hanging around the house, but once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, I say anything goes when it comes to dressing up for nights out — 18th-century Parisian fashion included. Like this fan who said not to worry, they'd find a place to wear Claire's red Versailles dress. Hard same. Though one must consider the uncomfortability factor of the corsets... and the fact that most of the coveted costumes were tailored to Caitriona Balfe's body.
Dresbach was also heartbroken that people would want to wear costumes like the Highlanders' everyday gear. It's unclear if it's because her artistry helped bring 18th-century Scotland to life or because, as she described Jamie's Edinburgh printer's costume, it's just "3 yards of inexpensive wool. Nothing more than that."
Even if Outlander's OG costume designer does not approve of fans wanting to wear her original pieces for the show (which is very fair and valid) and would prefer them to be on display in exhibitions or museums (again, fair and valid), it's still fun reflecting on the many talked-about and unsung costume pieces that have been on the show. Dresbach tweeted that the conversation prompt was out of "pure curiosity," so it's not like anyone stands a chance at getting their grubby little hands on them anyway. Buttttt, if you could, would you just display them or dare to wear them?
I am very much of the "this is why we can't have nice things" lifestyle — I barely wear white since I don't trust myself not to spill on it. Oh, the red wines stains I would make! So while I'm down for a recreation (in the right company and circumstances, I'd even try the swan dress), the original costumes are far too rich for my red-wine-filled blood.
If you've got the Outlander costume itch, may I suggest checking out seamstress Teri Biglands, who has created her own intricate Outlander-inspired pieces. And there's always the creative Con scene to admire when large groups are permitted to gather again. But if you ever do somehow nab an original costume piece from Outlander and wear it, just don't tell Dresbach.